That’s What Wives Are For…
Super Sexist Vintage Ads

People who don’t believe that sexism towards women exists are like people who believe in creationism – you have to ignore all context and history in order to make the case for one of these ludicrous claims. Sexism today may be muted and far more subtle, but that’s because the foundation was laid in my great-grandmother’s generation and her great-grandmother’s generation. Centuries of brainwashing have created a world where women have learned to listen to a little man who lives in their heads, one who constantly judges their appearance before anyone sees them and their words before they even leave their mouths. My great-great-grandfathers made sure that women knew what their place was, and gave them role models in print advertising and on TV to look up to and be inspired by – self-conscious, obedient, insipid and stupid women. My personal favorite ad is for the “Unspeakables,” a product made to catch “Milady’s foul drippings during her less dainty time of the month,” and which looks like a fucking brick in the picture. How my foremothers managed their way through a world that flat-out told them that their sex made them worthy victims of beatings and murder is amazing to me. They flipped through pages of magazines that told them to douche themselves with Lysol after they finished bleaching their entire house in order to keep their husbands – and somehow, they persevered to produce a generation of women who can work alongside their husbands and don’t have to disinfect their vaginas with household cleaners any more. Anyone who denies the power of telling a person their whole life – and not just for their lifetime, but for the lifetimes of their daughters and granddaughters – that they are less than in every possible way, is a fucking idiot. Ask the CIA, they use these techniques all the time! Check out a collection of hilarious and sad sexist vintage ads below…

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droitfemme4

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VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

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The Author

Meghan

Meghan

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation webzine and clothing.

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María Isabel Cartagena FaytongHugo GodinPeter SharpSonia Bement CharbonneauGiancarlo Tambone Recent comment authors
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María Isabel Cartagena Faytong
Guest
María Isabel Cartagena Faytong

Oh, God.

Hugo Godin
Guest
Hugo Godin

Of course, these ridiculous ads here were offensive and not funny. Being unfair towards one sex or the other is never right. Where I live (Montréal), modern ads make men look like helpless idiots and women like superheros. Do you
hear women complain about that? NOOOOOOOO. Yet, anti-men ads are just as bad as the ones shown here.

Peter Sharp
Guest

Not much different than today’s ads. Just a lot more subtle these days. These also read like BDSM literature haha.

Sonia Bement Charbonneau
Guest

It’s great to know that we’re teachable! Finally some help with the “foul drippings.” Wow.

Sonia Bement Charbonneau
Guest

It’s great to know that we’re teachable! Finally some help with the “foul drippings.” Wow.

Giancarlo Tambone
Guest

But still.. She should know better.

Danny Summers
Guest

This is pretty off tap.

Danny Summers
Guest

This is pretty off tap.

Danny Summers
Guest

Not that long ago.

William King
Guest

What changed?

Kevin M. Deming
Guest

The one shown here even paraphrases “woe be unto the weak”…for not making fresh coffee…wow.