Sexual Harassment in the Workplace was Hilarious! Secretaries in Wildly Sexist Mid-Century Comics

Was spanking your secretary really a thing back then? 

Back before the days of human resource departments and politically correct behavior existed in the workplace, there was a lot of funny business between bosses and their secretaries.  Undoubtedly, it was more hopeful fantasy for men than a reality.  Still, the trope of the uninhibited office assistant and the pervy boss, more than willing to take full advantage of his position of authority, was ubiquitous in comics back in the 1950s-1970s.

Sure, they were insanely sexist in their depiction.  But, we shouldn’t be judgmental – it was a different time, right?  Not all secretaries back then were victims of sexual harassment.  Still, it’s interesting to have a look back at the humorous (yet, often mind-blowing in their inappropriateness for today’s sensibilities) secretary comics of yesteryear.


Gee Whiz magazine, 1967


Was spanking your secretary really a thing back then?  This might get you in a fair bit of trouble today.


Adam magazine, May 1968

This comic from Adam sums it all up beautifully, doesn’t it?


Caper magazine, 1969

From Bill Ward, one of the prime purveyors of adult humor back in the day.  His style was unmistakable.

From GRIN magazine, dated 1940 – demonstrating the trope wasn’t at all confined to later decades.  The gag was in full effect pre-WWII.

(Above and Below) From a 1975 German adult magazine – just to demonstrate it wasn’t just an American fantasy.


Note: We touched on the topic of the “Secretary Behaving (and Treated) Badly” trope in a previous article from a few years back: Swimming in the Steno Pool.

From a late 1960s issue of Sex to Sexty magazine

Chicks and Chuckles magazine, 1958

Ha, ha! Isn’t mauling the staff and sexual harassment in the workplace hilarious?

“Pass the word – Miss Dillman is having another attack of hiccups.”

Gee Whiz magazine 1967

It should be said that not all these secretaries are hapless victims of harassment. There was fun to be had on both sides of the desk, I’m sure.

Jem magazine, 1963

Hustler magazine, 1974

I saved my personal favorite for last.  The longer you look at it, the sadder it gets.

Cavalier magazine, August 1963


Now we’re off to bury these in an unmarked grave.

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