For ages, advertising has been a part of our lives whether we like it or not. While many of us might prefer to not see quite so many ads, in some ways modern-day advertising is much more tolerable than in the past, as you’ll be able to tell by the vintage misogynistic ads below.
Take, for example, these extremely questionable vintage ads featuring women. These are real advertisements, all depicting heavily misogynistic attitudes. Some of these ads aim to make women feel insecure about their looks or desirability, placing the highest possible priority on pleasing men. Others encourage men to abuse or dominate women in order to assert their own masculinity.
The ads are shocking to modern eyes, but they’re also a comforting reminder of how far we’ve come as a society. We may not be perfect, but most of us would never allow misogynistic ads like these to see the light of day.
1. Domestic Violence Is “Daring”
Van Heusen shirts will, apparently, give a man the confidence he needs to commit multiple forms of assault and suffer no consequences. Audacious!
2. Horror of Horrors
Here we have an example of the pressure on women to appear youthful. Judging by her expression, this is the most troubling possibility a woman could ever consider.
Here’s another “fun fact” advertisers wanted you believe — women were riddled with disease. Check it out…
3. Loaded with Disease
Because, of course, women are the source of all venereal disease in the world. We’re sure many a “loaded” gentleman saw this poster and promptly swore off pickups for good.
4. Hideous Red Hands
Look at it! How can you expect the lieutenant to tolerate these monstrous freak hands?
Hands weren’t the only thing women were neglecting — but that other item was further down south…
5. ONE NEGLECT
Like husbands who can’t cook, feminine hygiene is a common theme in these vintage misogynistic ads. It’s usually presented as an invisible source of dissatisfaction for husbands, while the actual health of women is largely unmentioned.
6. Van Heusen at It Again
Apparently, in a man’s world you wear your work clothes to bed.
7. Beer for Dinner
Men who are completely at a loss to prepare their own food were common in these vintage misogynistic ads. Here, the only solution to a burnt meal is to resort to a liquid dinner; it was the one thing the wife couldn’t mess up.
What were women constantly messing up? Evidently, it’s back to their hygiene…
8. Yes, That Lysol
That stuff you spray to make your living room or bathroom to kill germs and smell nice? Yeah, they used to market it as a feminine hygiene product.
9. Breakfast Is Saved
Again, the idea seems to be that if a woman isn’t cooking, no one in the house is cooking. Were it not for Mornidine, the poor husband would have had to fast for 9 months!
10. That Skinny Dame
This ad goes to show that while beauty standards change over time, body-shaming is, unfortunately, timeless.
11. Beware Gap-osis
If there’s one thing men can’t stand, it’s gap-osis. That face says it all. Get it together, ladies!
12. Won’t Somebody Think of the Husbands?
“I know you’re in actual, physical pain from which there can be little relief, but it’s no picnic for me either!” Yeah, guys, you have it rough.
13. More Domestic Violence
Buy the right coffee brand or your husband will be completely justified in physically attacking you!
And let’s not forget about her looks…
14. The Cuter She Looks
Working hard and looking cute — women were (and are) expected to do it all. Good thing we have a breakfast cereal to make it happen!
15. It’s Fine for Guys, Though
We swear, that model looked exactly like a pear before she put on the Little Fibber.
16. Attack of the Blemish-Germ
We don’t think that’s how blemishes work, but we don’t know enough about dermatology to dispute it. Perhaps blemish-germs really do lurk on doorknobs, waiting for the right opportunity to strike and completely wreck your romance.
17. Where She Belongs
One of the grossest entries on the list, it’s hard to get more misogynistic than this. It doesn’t help that the shoe itself isn’t exactly easy on the eyes.
And just when you thought we’d moved on, Lysol strikes women’s hygiene again…
18. Lysol Strikes Again
Lysol really pushed the hygiene aspect of their product, which probably qualifies as less than a “half-truth” about feminine hygiene. In fact, you can read the truths about these ads here.
19. Girl-Size Pen
Ladies, don’t you hate it when you pick up what looks like a regular-sized pen, only for it to transform into a giant novelty implement right there in your tiny lady hand? Well, the men who make pens have you covered!
20. Out of the Bone Age
Say goodbye to pokey bones in your girdle! You can now force yourself to have a flat tummy without all that annoying boning. The scalp pain you’ll just have to live with.
21. Look At These Losers
Eastern Airlines may discriminate based on appearance, but don’t worry, they discriminate based on every aspect of a woman’s personality as well!
Another shocking thing? These women aren’t wearing stockings!
22. Stocking Appeal
In addition to the scourge of gap-osis, men also can’t stand less-than-perfect stockings on a woman. Complete deal-breaker.
23. Curves of Youth
The good old days, when beauty solutions resembled something out of the Spanish Inquisition.
24. License to Kill
“What if I really, really want to?” What this could possibly have to do with postage meters is a mystery to us.
25. The Only Two Things That Matter
Because what on Earth else would a woman want to do with all that extra vitality?
26. It Works Every Time
Women love nothing more than having a cloud of acrid blueberry smoke huffed directly into their faces.
27. Women Be Driving
Mercilessly insulting the customer’s wife was a valid sales tactic back in the day.
28. Straight to the Point
You have to admire the honesty in this one. What the other ads on this list simply imply, the folks at Drummond Sweaters were perfectly willing to just come out and say.
29. Smeary Lips
So if we’re keeping track, men hate (1) gap-osis, (2) runny stockings, and now (3) smeary lips. Ladies, take note.
30. Keeping His Head
So the story here seems to be that this man’s nice new pants caused this woman to uncontrollably harass him, and the solution was to bury her neck-deep in sand. Women, am I right?
Looking at all these vintage misogynistic ads, it’s clear that attitudes toward women have changed a lot over the years. Still, it’s important to look back at our past and see how we can still improve!