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He never asks for a second cup of MY coffee...
May 27, 2009 3:55 PM   Subscribe

A man marries a woman because he loves her. So instead of blaming him if married love begins to cool, she should question herself. Vintage sexist ads. (Disclaimer: posted by Neil Gaiman on Twitter and shamelessly stolen.)
posted by misha (60 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
What's wrong with being sexy?
posted by billysumday at 4:01 PM on May 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think maybe the first one needs zoom or something.

That tiger skin one is ...er... quite something.
posted by Artw at 4:02 PM on May 27, 2009


Shitty unsourced blogspam? Sign me up!
posted by Garak at 4:02 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also THIS IS A COMPUTER is ace.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on May 27, 2009


"blow in her face and she'll follow you anywhere"

holy shit.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:04 PM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


So, it's news to people that advertising used to be rife with sexism and overt misogyny? Well, get ready to have your mind blown, people:

Advertising is STILL rife with sexism and overt misogyny.
posted by dersins at 4:04 PM on May 27, 2009 [15 favorites]


Lets have some modern sexist ads.
posted by Saddo at 4:05 PM on May 27, 2009


As a devotee to the genius of madmen, these ads totally fit in that my "how insensitive we were!" tone of historical irony.

Then again, not a lot has changed.

It seems advertising has just found ways of coding or subverting the ad language in order to capitalize on the same kind of feelings of inadequacy, lust, etc.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:05 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not news to anyone... This is simply rubbernecking at the past
posted by spicynuts at 4:07 PM on May 27, 2009


That Mr. Leggs advert must be a joke.
posted by fire&wings at 4:07 PM on May 27, 2009


There's probably something that inspired this kind of sexism in these advertisments, back in "the day." I wonder what it could be? Read your bible, folks.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:08 PM on May 27, 2009


This is simply rubbernecking at the past

Well, yes?
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on May 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Douche with 'gentle, non-caustic' Lysol!" is possibly the most misguided ad campaign since "Cigarette Suppositories! No more constipation for you!"
posted by mudpuppie at 4:10 PM on May 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


I am not as disturbed by the sexism in these ads as I am by the new knowledge that women used to put Lysol in their vaginas.
posted by waitangi at 4:11 PM on May 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


It seems advertising has just found [new] ways of coding or subverting the ad language in order to capitalize on the same kind of feelings of inadequacy, lust, etc.

yes, creating a feeling of inadequacy that can only be solved by buying product X is one of the main techniques that advertising uses.

in these cases, i think that because men were seen more often as the ones making the important purchasing decisions, the inadequacy-feeding subtext in many of these ads is actually aimed at men, along the lines of "everybody else's wife is a compliant, submissive, mealcooking sextoy bimbo - why isn't yours, limpdick?!?? well, don't worry; we have the answer for you..."
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:11 PM on May 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


A lot of them seem tongue-in-cheek to me; plays on sexism more than the real thing. This is truer with the more recent ones.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 4:12 PM on May 27, 2009


"everybody else's wife is a compliant, submissive, mealcooking sextoy bimbo - why isn't yours, limpdick?!?? well, don't worry; we have the answer for you..."

You should smack her around and tell her to get some bleach up her!
posted by Artw at 4:15 PM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


yes, you see how subtly the psychology works?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:16 PM on May 27, 2009


That sweater one is awfully subtle, innit?
posted by Sys Rq at 4:18 PM on May 27, 2009


Yeah, the Lysol as douche caught me too. Might as well use Drano.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:22 PM on May 27, 2009


Something even more interesting is attached to the Lysol ad. In an ad claiming douching with lysol is recommended by doctors 'to preserve female daintiness' you may send away for a booklet of female hygiene facts. I think it's about there the ad stops being funny for me.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 4:26 PM on May 27, 2009


Thank god for the Lysol advice...putting down the Tilex now...
posted by futureisunwritten at 4:28 PM on May 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


The old ads are a hoot but the most fun I've had w/ this blog is reaching an actual ad inbetween "If he ever finds out" and "THIS is a computer?" and trying to figure out how a Socially Awkward Tee of Pee-Wee Herman could be sexist. Took me a minute to figure out why I was confused.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:29 PM on May 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Now 89, she started douching with Lysol when she was 17!
Good morning,

I happened to be checking the 'Net just to see if good old Lysol would be safe to use on some new Pergo floors my hubby recently installed in a couple of rooms.

I'm going on 89 years YOUNG . . . LOL . . . and was very amused by the Lysol douche ad. I don't know if I'm "still the girl my husband married" as I have pretty bad osteoarthritis (could it have been the Lysol?), but used Lysol as a douche and contraceptive ever since I married at age 17!! I had two children, both sons who turned out very well, in spite of the Lysol!! LOL

It's rather funny as I used it every day for many, many years because back in the early days, we didn't have the "Pill" and Lysol was used after "the act" to prevent unwanted pregnancies by just about every lady I knew, including my mother and grandmother who had just ONE child each.

Oh, well, we must have been TOUGH as I don't recall any problems!! LOL. Just thought I'd drop a line as I got a big kick out of your site and the old info.

Sincerely,
****
But not all of her peers were so enthusiastic.
posted by maudlin at 4:31 PM on May 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


What's wrong with being sexy? /addBritishAccent
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:38 PM on May 27, 2009


billysumday: What's wrong with being sexy?

…said the short little man under the bridge just before coming out and gobbling the billy goats whole.
posted by koeselitz at 4:42 PM on May 27, 2009


I think maybe the first one needs zoom or something.

Oh! Blowjobs!
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey! Check out this awesome news from the sidebar in Lacking Subtlety's link!
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:47 PM on May 27, 2009


Pretty darn glad society doesn't ask ladies to put lysol in their va-jay-jays anymore. Yep.
posted by sararah at 4:54 PM on May 27, 2009


"Hey, baby, come dip your wick in my bowl of Lysol."

Hm, needs work.
posted by palliser at 4:58 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]



"blow in her face and she'll follow you anywhere"

holy shit.


Cultural context, Ubu-- "Blow in my ear and I'll follow you anywhere" was a late 60s meme from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, a comedy sketch show. It gave the world Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin, as well as the aforementioned catch phrase and a few others ("Verrry interesting", etc.) which you could hear all over the playgrounds at school, something like Simpsons catchphrases today. So the ad riffs on that meme. [/feels old]
posted by jokeefe at 5:04 PM on May 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


"Bitch you better be store testing brands of coffee for freshness!"

I think I could come up with better reasons than that to spank my wife.
posted by graventy at 5:04 PM on May 27, 2009


Oh yeah, and speaking as one who saw many of these ads in their original context, they're not making fun of sexism at all. They're supposed to be funny because women, in all their flighty and brainless glory, were funny. Ha ha.
posted by jokeefe at 5:05 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


LOLTHEPAST
posted by jabberjaw at 5:09 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think I could come up with better reasons than that to spank my wife.

yeah, but sometimes when you're just not feeling creative & run out of role-playing scenarios, it's handy to be able to fall back on "bad wife, such lousy grocery-shopping choices! *spank* you should've printed ten coupons and got ten boxes practically free! *spank*"
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:27 PM on May 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


spicynuts: It's not news to anyone... This is simply rubbernecking at the past

Artw: Well, yes?

Madison Avenue has never exactly been the seat of wisdom for the greatest minds in America. It's not even rubbernecking at the past—it's rubbernecking at a few vapid buffoons who believed that the best way to separate a generation of males who were born and raised into unfair privilege over women from the money at their sole disposal was to appeal to and even reinforce their privilege-inspired arrogance and sense of superiority.

I'm with Garak on this one, really.

It's no skin off of my nose, I guess, but a lot of people make the mistake of reading these things and assuming that they represent some societal consensus and accurately indicate the ideas that men and women in general had about sexuality and gender. There's certainly been a sad amount of sexism in the last century, but taking advertisements as the significant societal indicator leads us into trouble in two ways. First, it gives us a pretty faulty picture of a past when advertising itself was denigrated and despised much more roundly than we imagine today; we're talking about a time when people could still muster actual anger at the growing presence of advertising, when people had the luxury of mustering that anger because they could imagine a time when we weren't bombarded by consumerism. That's a bad thing because sexism took many forms, still takes many forms, and often didn't look as casual or as ridiculous as it does in these ads. Second, when we assume that advertisements reflect absolutely the attitudes and predilections of the society which produces them, we're giving those responsible for advertising all the power they're hoping for. In our era, we've already all but given ourselves over to the idea that advertisements form the central feature of our society, a reflection and expression of all of our hopes and aspirations. But as long as there are any general differences between the people who have money and the people who don't (and it's likely that there will be so long as there is money) there will be advertisers eager to appeal to humankind's low qualities and to encourage arrogance by playing one group off of another, stirring up racism, classism, sexism, and every other kind of bias. In my long lifetime of looking at advertisements, it's hard for me to remember even a single one that didn't at least imply that one social group was superior to another.
posted by koeselitz at 5:36 PM on May 27, 2009 [17 favorites]


I wonder if the people answering the Lysol 1-800 number can tell you anything about feminine daintyness.
posted by dr_dank at 5:39 PM on May 27, 2009


hurfdurf lardeaters
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 5:40 PM on May 27, 2009


In my long lifetime of looking at advertisements, it's hard for me to remember even a single one that didn't at least imply that one social group was superior to another.

Can't we all just get along?
posted by found missing at 5:52 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Please imagine that the first line my prior comment is in italics.
posted by found missing at 5:53 PM on May 27, 2009


"Douche with 'gentle, non-caustic' Lysol!" is possibly the most misguided ad campaign since "Cigarette Suppositories! No more constipation for you!"

Be careful what you wish for.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:14 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it bad that it took me a couple of seconds to realize that there's a real banner ad in there which is not part of the collection?
posted by ymgve at 6:14 PM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]



Is it bad that it took me a couple of seconds to realize that there's a real banner ad in there which is not part of the collection?


I did the same thing, I was trying to figure out what was so sexist about "Seinfeld Live!"
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:23 PM on May 27, 2009


From the smoke enema wiki: "In the 1780s, the Royal Humane Society installed resuscitation kits, including smoke enemas, at various points along the Thames.[2]" I can only imagine if we still lined our beaches with safety enemas.
posted by kaspen at 6:48 PM on May 27, 2009


"Often a wife fails to realize that doubts due to one intimate neglect shut her out from happy married love."

The real douche here would appear to be Dave, not Lysol.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:54 PM on May 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm surprised that so many people are surprised that Lysol used to be marketed as a feminine hygiene product. I thought that was pretty common knowledge, if for no other reason than the fact that old "douche with Lysol" ads like this are mocked pretty frequently on the Internet. In fact, from what I can tell, in the 30s/40s/50s Lysol was sold mainly as a douche, not as a household cleaner. Douching with Lysol was the most popular form of birth control in the US at that time, despite the fact that it totally doesn't work.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:13 PM on May 27, 2009


To anyone here, does the copy in the This is a Computer? ad mean anything? Are they real technical specifications, or more of an ad writer's flourish? I know ads from the eighties and back had the large grafs of text at the bottoms of pages, but this seems like a lot of detail for a mainstream ad.
posted by Tufa at 7:28 PM on May 27, 2009


Shakesville has a whole "assvertising" series that tells you all you want to know about modern day sexist ads. Did I mention it's on post 66 now? Yeah.

There's an equally depressing series on Women's Body Parts as Disembodied Things that they have to keep adding to, also.
posted by emjaybee at 7:58 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Weird, I have the Kenwood Chef from the second one. Wonder if I could print out a high res version of it and hang it up in the kitchen.
posted by primer_dimer at 2:12 AM on May 28, 2009


To anyone here, does the copy in the This is a Computer? ad mean anything?

It looks like it's an ad from a trade magazine (notice the reader response card note in the lower left hand corner), which would explain the level of detail. From what I can tell from this page (first table, rightmost column), the things they're going on about are more or less legit. That's about all the information I could find. There's apparently a box of old Clary Datacomp literature stored at the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota, though, if anyone's interested enough to go digging.

(Incidentally, I found it surprising that there was that little information on the Datacomp 404 to be found online. Usually you can find pretty much any arcane bit of technical information you could ever want. Clary Datacomp must have been really obscure.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:20 AM on May 28, 2009


So, next is a link to a shitty article from listverse or listopia or list(insert amazingly crude, yet witty, partial word here*)?

*please help me: there must be a term describing these sorts of conjunctions. Also an appropriate end to that drawing of a blank would do well. Where's languagehat? Damn.
posted by converge at 3:36 AM on May 28, 2009


"Douche with 'gentle, non-caustic' Lysol!" is possibly the most misguided ad campaign since "Cigarette Suppositories! No more constipation for you!"

Be careful what you wish for.


I thought it would work, but then I realized they were just blowing smoke up my ass.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:51 AM on May 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


Weird, I have the Kenwood Chef from the second one.

Kenwood Chefs are awesome - my parents have roughly the same model. 30+ years for a kitchen appliance? Unheard of these days.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:11 AM on May 28, 2009


Can't believe somebody at Quiznos thought this was a good idea: Two Girls, One Sub
posted by LordSludge at 9:07 AM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


"*please help me: there must be a term describing these sorts of conjunctions. Also an appropriate end to that drawing of a blank would do well. Where's languagehat? Damn."

Portmanteau.
posted by klangklangston at 9:32 AM on May 28, 2009


Two Girls, One Sub; followed by Portmanteau.

god, i love this place.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:19 PM on May 28, 2009


"They're supposed to be funny because women, in all their flighty and brainless glory, were funny."

Nowadays, they're just old and scary.
posted by markkraft at 2:29 PM on May 28, 2009


I like how in all modern advertisments featuring a family unit the dad is a drooling moron.
posted by Artw at 2:32 PM on May 28, 2009


Unsightly garden?!

Mow the lawn!
posted by markkraft at 2:34 PM on May 28, 2009


I like how in all modern advertisments featuring a family unit the dad is a drooling moron.

"What else does the box say, Steve?"

Worst ad ever.
posted by blucevalo at 9:12 AM on May 29, 2009


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