We’ve come a long way, baby: 25 horribly sexist ads

26 May

25 horribly sexist ads is worth a look if you’re interested in making comparisons of how things used to be and how they are now in the depiction of women in the world of advertising.

Copy such as “Every husband wants his wife to be feminine” in an ad for Demure liquid douche, not to mention Lysol as a remedy for vaginal germs. If you don’t attend to them your husband will reject you and you’ve only got yourself to blame, smelly.

Then there’s the ad for the sturdy Volkswagon’s resistance to dents inevitably inflicted by the wife:  “Women are soft and gentle but they hit things.”

My personal favourite is the man with his foot on a woman’s head. Her body, BTW, has been transformed into a tiger skin rug. Wow.

So, are things better or worse for women in the world of advertising? Is it better to be portrayed as a vaginally stinky, germ-ridden bad tempered car smasher who wants a Hoover for Christmas, but on the bright side, knows how to open a sauce bottle by herself, or half naked in your underwear, spreading your legs, sucking on a lollypop and miming an insatiable desire for a penis in every orifice?

Danged if I know.

13 Responses to “We’ve come a long way, baby: 25 horribly sexist ads”

  1. gerard oosterman May 26, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Then again. Remember the ad featuring a pilot in his war plane: “nerves of steel smoking his Camel?”
    He bombed the shit out of the Japs but still died of lung cancer!


  2. PAUL WALTER June 6, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    By golly, I observe the weekly spanking, as depicted; a once-noble corrective assigned to the bottom of the broom closet, along with the strap.
    (Loosens collar)
    Your commentary has me in mind of the old Kyle Onstott slave novels, with the frontespiece always a Mel Gibson type, standing arms crossed with a whip, while some slinky exotic creature drapes herself about his feet.
    And any way, if women know how to open tomatoe sauce bottles, how come they always hand the job over to the nearest bloke?


  3. PAUL WALTER June 6, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    Just back from the link. Stunning. Truly.
    Ads for the ages.


  4. Bruce Tritton July 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    Now of course it has gone the opposite way where literally all sexist ads are against men. Of course the liberal media or feminist groups say nothing about it.


  5. Julia July 8, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    One that has been irking me lately is the life insurance/funeral plan ads…where the husband is worried lest his pretty wife will lose the family home, have to bludge off relatives, or go out to work if he, the breadwinner, dies & leaves her destitute…and it is always assumed HE will be the one one dies first.


  6. paul walter July 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    But yes, Julia.. It’s a demographic fact that women live longer than men, men work themselves to the bone in honest, gnarly-handed toil for their little one, who then collects on the insurance when the poor hero expires through exhaustion, at the feet of his intended.


  7. gerard oosterman July 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    And the worried look of hubby when his wife reproaches him for having insurance for the car but not for the kids. He gets all puckered up, weakly responds to her with ‘you can’t insure the kids’. Yes, she retorts quick as a flash,’ yes, but you can take out life insurance’.
    New shot:Whole family relieved now and he looks as if he will get his conjugals that night.

    Yucky, most irritating adds.


  8. Steve at the Pub July 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    Rip van Winkle moment for me: When did “Life Assurance” become “Life Insurance”?


  9. Julia July 10, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    Was thinking about the Lysol douche ad. It may not be so blatent nowadays, but the perception of stinky vaginas is still around. Women are urged to buy specially formulated perfumes to cover or eradicate the smelly germs. And I recently came across undies with aloe vera infused crotches that also are supposed to eliminate the stench.
    So the attitude hasn’t really change at all.

    I had a laugh at your apt take on the insurance ad, Gerard.


    • Jennifer Wilson July 10, 2011 at 7:19 am #

      Hi Julia, yes I just discovered the aloe infused crotches and wondered! I don’t know if they still market that “femfresh” stuff women were meant to spray “down there” – I hardly ever watch commercial TV and then only recordings so I can avoid the ads.

      I did think that Lysol ad was pretty scary – I thought Lysol was what they used to clean public toilets.


  10. gerard oosterman July 10, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Years ago women were lured into spraying their crotches with a range of floriade sprays that also killed normal bacteria that were supposed to keep it all in balance. Thousands flocked to doctors with vaginal infections.
    Yet, no such sprays for men. Strip back the foreskin on some and cop that smell.You’d be running to Oodnadatta and back as well. ( not that I’ve spent much of my life stripping back foreskins)


  11. paul walter July 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    It’s a red-letter day.
    Firstly Gerard reminds us off the vagina spray craze of the Brady Bunch late sixties and seventies and the turn of conversation that has created a necessity in Dr.Wilson, for the use of the expression, “down there”, a default term for most women in discussing these sorts of joyful mysteries (“down south” and the “nether regions”, are of course, substitute euphemnisms interchangeable with “down there”).
    All this fuss over something as shy and obscured, as a mouse’s ear!


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