Stand By Tough Moms: Is This Ad Really Supporting Moms?


Stand By Tough Moms. Sounds like a great message. I am a tough mom, most of my friends are tough moms. We aren’t necessarily trophies for showing up kinda people. We praise our kids efforts and outcomes not their failures. When our kids say they can’t do something because they tried once and it didn’t work then we tell them to try again. If they make a mistake, they have to fix it. If they had stolen any amount of money then trust us when we say there would be thought out consequences.

So yes, we stand with this tough mom. As we do with all tough moms. Parenting is hard, raising good human beings is hard and we will always do whatever we can to support each other.

But this ad. Let’s take a moment and talk about this ad. An ad where the daughter in law walks around serving every member of the family, an ad where her husband and various other members of the family are point blank rude to her. They speak to her in front of her children, in front of a little girl, like no one needs to be spoken to at all.

It seems that her status as the “bahu” or daughter in law is what makes this behavior acceptable. That is the actual problem that needs to be highlighted. When a person doesn’t get treated with any degree of respect based on gender (son in laws don’t have quite the same misfortune) then everyone suffers. It is not just about parenting, it is about decency. At the very least it should be about setting an example for subsequent generations.

Now mind you, in many families (including mine) a “bahu” is not treated that way and I would never be writing piece like this if it wasn’t for how quickly and thoughtlessly it went viral. The hashtag #StandByToughMoms resonates, but what if it was hashtagged #ManSaysItsNotYourMoney or #LowClassBahu. These are all underlying messages and themes.  I am not claiming that the makers of this ad are guilty of a narrow minded misogyny . However, I am saying that we do need to be more thoughtful with what we promote on social media. If we are then hopefully makers of ads like this one understand that they too need to be more thoughtful with messaging.

So yes, go ahead and share this video, and go ahead and make a big deal about it, but let’s make this clear. This video is NOT just about supporting Tough Moms. It’s about what it means to be a Woman. By allowing the narrative to be so narrow we are detracting from the bigger problem. Let’s be better than that.


  1. I love this perspective, Sarah!! We’re standing by tough moms but also perpetuating deeply patriarchal family systems. There was just so much wrong with this commercial. lol.

  2. I really do find myself struggling even more after I published this piece. A lot of people seem to have the view that a victory within this partiarchal system is a significant victory nonetheless. I think I would be more inclined to agree if the overall behavior towards the bahu had also been addressed by the grandfather too.

  3. You’re right! It’s implied that this is the way she’s usually treated. And if she’s usually treated like that (especially by her husband), then this ad has bigger fish to fry! I mean, how tough is she if she’s not standing up for herself at all? They could have done it differently.