Can Better Policies Make Men Share the Housework?

“My little baby girl, you’re all grown-up now,” says an older man in an Indian ad for laundry detergent that made the rounds online this week. “You used to play house,” he continues, “and now you manage your own house. And your office. I am so proud. And I am so sorry. Sorry that you have to do all this alone.”

This is not a tragic tale of her husband dying young. We can see him right there in the ad — he’s chilling on the sofa with his laptop. Meanwhile, she makes him tea, takes a work call, and tends to their son at the same time. The spot ends with her apologetic father heading home to his own wife and the two of them loading the washing machine together. The campaign is hashtagged #ShareTheLoad — a task that is probably much easier for men of retirement age who are untroubled by messy kids or demanding day jobs.