An online maid service in India has launched an ad that offers maids for house cleaning, cooking, babysitting and elderly help; and with Diwali on its way, the website suggested husbands ‘gift their wives a maid in lieu of diamonds’.
The ad sparked a storm of controversy, with many taking to Twitter to share jokes and comments; while others reproached the website for sexism.
A picture for the start-up, ‘Bookmybai’ (with bai referring to maid), began circulating on social media and had Twitter abuzz with comments and was also trolled for its cheeky tagline, “Diamonds are useless. Gift your wife a maid”.
The service enables users to pick and choose a maid depending on their expectations as well as the religious, linguistic and places of birth of the maids.
While some embraced the new service, it became a source of controversy for several others who termed the service sexist and harshly criticised the disrespectful tagline.
“The campaign was extremely light hearted and we don’t mean to stereotype or discriminate women,” said Anupam Sinhal, co founder of bookmybai, adding that “We would never dream of doing that since women are the reason we exist. Ninety nine per cent of domestic helps are women. It completely depends on the mindset of the person reading the advertisement.”