Vintage Ads & Sexism

by - April 10, 2014

avintagenerd

When you look at vintage ads or even films set in the past and you see sexism being displayed, do you ever cringe? I will confess that I do. I am not a feminist in the modern sense. I am grateful to have options, the freedom to choose, and the ability to live my life as I please but I am not against traditional roles. Seems that today many people are. And sadly there are some people that view a housewife in today's modern world as being treated unfairly or even dare I say being lowered in her status.

I think the art of caring for your home and family is a beautiful thing. And I can tell you it is HARD work. I have had a career and now I am a housewife and the work is never-ending plus you don't get any sick days or vacation days!

But to take the traditional roles of women or even the physical beauty of a woman and use it to demean her (and her gender) in order to sell something. Gee, what does that say about the advertising industry?

Do you wonder if it has changed?  Take a peak at these vintage ads and tell me what you think? Does it stir up something inside of you? Do you think they actually sold products they were trying to sell? Do you think women in the past cringed also when they saw these ads?

Vintage Ad
Vintage Sexist Ad
Sexist Vintage Ad
Vintage Ad

Did you cringe a few times? I think what gets under my skin is how blatant the ads were. They were so in your face basically saying, "you are female therefore all you can offer the world is cooking, cleaning, looking pretty, and being needy" There is nothing in the world that is wrong with cooking, cleaning, looking pretty, and needing your spouse but there is something wrong with pigeonholing someone and saying that's all there is to them. That they could never possibly offer anything more to the world.

Have things changed in the advertising world? I see a lot of sex in ads today and still a slew of drop dead gorgeous women wearing almost nothing to sell paper towels.

Here is an amazing article I found that compares some vintage ads with some modern ones and shows how ad agency's are keeping sexism alive and well. You can read it HERE. Some of the ads that I included in my post are also in this article. Be warned the last photo has a woman who is naked.

I really hope you can look at that article. I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you think things have changed?

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2 comments

  1. I'm with you entirely, dear Daffny. It pains me sometimes to see how we've often relegated traditional roles, which don't have to be inherently oppressive by any means (for some folks at least) in today's world. If we, as women, truly have the right to be whatever we want, that should include being homemakers and/or SAHMs with zero degree of judgement from our fellow ladies or from men, if they opt for a different career/life path. Live and let live - and don't knock what was once the most revered roll 1/2 of the population strove for and the other half commended.

    ♥ Jessica

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  2. I really hated the one with the woman on the ground with the man's foot on her head. I also disliked the one about blowing smoke in the woman's face. There are so many ads today though, that might not be considered sexist in the traditional sense, and yet they use sex to sell products. I also find the trend of advertising that make men out to be idiots offensive as well. An example of this is the crestor medicine ad where the man's wife and children roll their eyes at the man while he cheers for the medicine like he's lost his mind. I also often wonder how the weight loss companies like weight watchers make money because I find all of their ads annoying and offensive.

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