BACK in the day, men were in charge. Well, so they wanted to be. The trick was to make women believe that they were born to serve the male. Helping needy, insecure men achieve this goal was a full-time occupation for the Mad Men. Don’t blame them. They were only obeying orders, coming up with the adverts that the clients thought worked. Theses creatives were responding to a brief.
Of course, sexism never went away. It’s been lampooned. But it’s golden age was in the mid-to-late 20th Century, when straddled massive computers, women gave you balls, men had period pains, drinks based on primary sexual characteristics, were brain dead fools, a helping hand to Santa, knew how to market the penis, worked the muff(ler) and a darn good spanking.
Mitch O’Connell has leafed through his old copies of Ms. magazine, picking out reader submitted examples of sexism in media “where the general assumption was that woman couldn’t figure out much more than looking pretty and having kids”.
He’s picked our the top 50 ads. These are our pick: