It’s not as if anyone believes that men and women are equal. For instance, there are some cities in the United States where women make only 61% of their male counterparts, according to Yahoo Finance. And this is in 2013.
That’s why it’s not hard to imagine that in the mid 20th century things were way worse for women — financially and socially. But it’s hard to grasp just how unequal the sexes were sometimes — until you see something so jarring that it actually takes your breath away.
These advertisements from the late 1930s through the early 1970s are stunning, and in a very, very sexist way. Not every man was responsible for these ads, of course. But it’s just a teeny bit difficult not to look at all men and blame them, anyway, for being part of the gender that once thought up something so ass-backwards as these ads.
Take a look:
Volkswagen, 1964 1 of 6"Women are soft and gentle. But they hit things."
Like the heads of the people who thought up this ad.
Lestoil, 1968 2 of 6"Women of the future will make the moon a cleaner place to live."
You mean there will be no men on the moon? Awesome!
Midol, 1974 3 of 6"Be the you he likes to be around."
If only he'd do the same and wear a shirt that doesn't resemble your grandma's afghan.
Listerine, 1932 4 of 6"[Women] can't expect to attract and hold men if they have halitosis."
But by all means, guys, please go for a fourth day in a row without showering after your workout. That musty odor is quite the turn-on.
Tab, 1969 5 of 6"When you can't be with him, be in his mind. Have a shape he can't forget."
Like the shape of your middle finger, perhaps.
W. T. F. 6 of 6All of a sudden Mad Men doesn't seem like a piece of fiction.
For 5 more retro ads, click over to BuzzFeed
All images used with permission from BuzzFeed
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