In last week’s Throwback Thursday post, we showed you a bunch of sexist advertisements from the 1950s and 1960s that chastise women for not properly fulfilling their prescribed gender roles. This week, we would like to highlight some ads from the same period that show women’s changing roles and/or flip gender roles around altogether.
Check out this commercial for Ajax Liquid Cleanser where a husband offers to clean the kitchen floor for his wife. The wife comes into the kitchen, tells her husband that he is using the wrong product, and rolls her eyes when he questions what she is saying. He eventually agrees with her and uses Ajax to clean the floor. Unlike most of its contemporaries, this commercial is actually quite similar to many of today’s ads that portray men as incompetent around the house (see, for example, the Swiffer “Man Up, Clean Up” ads, such as this one that “teaches” men how to clean a kitchen floor). Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever searched the internet for television commercials and print ads from the 1950s and 1960s? Sometimes what you find brings back memories and excitement over something forgotten with the past. Sometimes what you find is genuinely funny or interesting. Then again, sometimes what you find is this:
The message in this advertisement is “woe be unto” the wife who does not taste test coffee in the store before bringing it home to serve to her husband – an act that clearly deserves a spanking. This is an ad for Chase & Sanborn Coffee, just one of many sexist vintage ads that chastise women who do not perform their wifely duties up to their husbands’ standards and/or reinforce domestic gender stereotypes for women. Coffee companies, in particular, used this theme in many of their advertisements from this period. Take also, for example, this Folgers commercial from the 1960s, where the husband tells his wife that all he wants for his birthday is a “decent cup of coffee” before he leaves the house for work, disappointed. He compares the better coffee the “girls” at his office make to his wife’s, which causes the wife to discuss the matter with her friend and take her friend’s suggestion to use Folgers coffee to impress her husband. The husband returns from work to the new, “great coffee” that the “girls’ at the office” “can’t hold a candle to.” Read the rest of this entry »
Disclaimer: Content on nwhm.org is updated regularly and provided as a resource for the general public. Our website reflects the dynamic nature of women's history and changes over time. Please join us as we move towards an even better and more diverse representation as we look toward building a physical museum in the future.