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Love And Marriage? 25 Vintage Ads Depicting Blatant Sexism

Yeah, I can open it. WHEN I BREAK IT ON YOUR SKULL.

The first thing I feel when I look at these atrocious ads is grateful.  Grateful that we are where we are now.  Grateful that my daughter is growing up in a world where women are increasingly seen as equal to men.  Granted, women still earn something like 75 cents for every dollar a man makes.  There is a gender-related wage gap in virtually every occupational category.

And still…

Take a look at the 25 advertisements below and you might also feel grateful to those who went before who beat bloodied hands on glass ceilings to pave the way for us, our daughters and their daughters.

Wives and mothers from sixties and before had it particularly bad.  They were prisoners of society’s expectations.  How could they ever truly know who they were if they had to conform to what was deemed appropriate feminine behavior?

Thank God I came of age in the age of “You can be anything you want to be” movement.  I know sexism and gender inequality is alive and well, but when I look at my daughter the possibilities seem endless.  Especially compared to the little girls who grew up seeing advertisements like the ones featured below.  Some are so horrible it’s tough to believe they’re real.  But they are.


  • The Little Lady Belongs In The Kitchen 1 of 25
    The Little Lady Belongs In The Kitchen
    Tell that to my husband, the chef and cook in this household. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • An Ad For Rugs? Pants? Domestic Abuse? 2 of 25
    An Ad For Rugs?  Pants?  Domestic Abuse?
    Seriously, how did this pass Don Draper's desk? Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Coffee Approved Domestic Violence 3 of 25
    Coffee Approved Domestic Violence
    Woe be unto you ladies who aren't "store-testing" coffee freshness. Go on fellas. Beat the hell out of her! Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • I’m Just A Secretary, I Don’t Know Much About Computers 4 of 25
    I'm Just A Secretary, I Don't Know Much About Computers
    Good thing she's got sexy legs! Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Ketchup For The Delicate Woman 5 of 25
    Ketchup For The Delicate Woman
    Yeah I can open it. WHEN I CRACK IT ON YOUR SKULL. Don't you love how they underline the word "woman"? Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Being Pretty Is So Much Better Than Being Smart 6 of 25
    Being Pretty Is So Much Better Than Being Smart
    The 1950s equivalent of the "I'm to pretty to do my homework so my brother has to do it for me" T-shirt. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • It’s Your Fault He’s Not Coming Home, You Ugly Broad 7 of 25
    It's Your Fault He's Not Coming Home, You Ugly Broad
    Take the time to read the text on this one... Pretty mind-blowing. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • We All Know Women Can’t Drive 8 of 25
    We All Know Women Can't Drive
    I can drive a stick and my husband can't, suckas! Also, is that Goldie Hawn? Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • The Harder She Works The Cuter She Looks 9 of 25
    The Harder She Works The Cuter She Looks
    This is probably some form of speed to keep the little woman working nonstop. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Lysol Feminine Products Can Save Your Marriage 10 of 25
    Lysol Feminine Products Can Save Your Marriage
    "Often a wife fails to realize that doubts due to one intimate neglect shut her out from happy married love". Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Men Are Better Than Woman 11 of 25
    Men Are Better Than Woman
    Another mind-blower. Don't beat around the bush, Drummond, tell us how you really feel. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Someone’s Blowing Smoke All Right… 12 of 25
    Someone's Blowing Smoke All Right...
    I know I turn into absolute mush when a man blows smoke in my face. I put out EVERY time! Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Indelicate Women Are Hideous! 13 of 25
    Indelicate Women Are Hideous!
    Society (men) simply WON'T stand for it, ladies! I haven't put on deodorant yet today... and I'd love to get the dude behind this ad in a sweaty headlock. HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW? HUH? THAT INDELICATE ENOUGH FOR YA? Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • All I Want For Christmas Is A… Toaster? 14 of 25
    All I Want For Christmas Is A... Toaster?
    You can take your kitchen appliances and shove it, mister. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Keep Her Where She Belongs 15 of 25
    Keep Her Where She Belongs
    You know... naked, on the floor, kissing your feet? That's where women belong. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • When In Doubt, Throw A Chick In A Bikini 16 of 25
    When In Doubt, Throw A Chick In A Bikini
    Dear God, I can't even count the things wrong with this ad, which is uncomfortably current. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Yes! She’s Decidedly To Blame! 17 of 25
    Yes!  She's Decidedly To Blame!
    I love how the ad for feminine hygiene is marketed toward men. Like, women are so low on the totem pole ad execs won't even market feminine hygiene products toward them. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Housework + Appearance = A Woman’s Role 18 of 25
    Housework + Appearance = A Woman's Role
    Sure you clean the house all day, BUT ARE YOU THIN ENOUGH? Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • You Know You’re The Woman Your Husband Wants You To Be 19 of 25
    You Know You're The Woman Your Husband Wants You To Be
    "Every husband wants his wife to be feminine in every sense of the word". Notice how the word husband is the biggest and boldest? Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • The Perfect Perpetuation of Gender Stereotypes 20 of 25
    The Perfect Perpetuation of Gender Stereotypes
    She's cleaning and breaking nails. He just likes big, cool, machinery. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Here Comes The Old Battle Axe Again, Son 21 of 25
    Here Comes The Old Battle Axe Again, Son
    Use Ivory Soap to calm your nerves and for hellsakes, stop ruining evenings for your family! Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Thank Goodness For Men Penmakers! 22 of 25
    Thank Goodness For Men Penmakers!
    In case you can't read what's in parenthesis there it says "And it's time the men who make pens did something about it." Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • A Woman’s Place Is In The Kitchen 23 of 25
    A Woman's Place Is In The Kitchen
    Isn't he hilarious! Making light of how his wife can't even cook right. And it's her only job! Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • All Women Want… 24 of 25
    All Women Want...
    I'd love to show you my reaction if my husband rolled up on Christmas morning with a new vacuum for me. Photo credit: Oddee.com
  • Women Can’t Drive 25 of 25
    Women Can't Drive
    I hope that crumpled bumper means she ran over her husband for getting her a vacuum for Christmas. Photo credit: Oddee.com

All photos courtesy of:  Odee.com

 

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