The Splendor of Domestic Servitude: 7 Mid-Century Sexist Adverts

domestic sexist advert (5)

As a woman, your entire purpose on earth is to please your chain-smoking, Scotch guzzling husband, and bear him children.  If perchance you suspect your unabated devotion to his every need is not enough to keep him around, whip-cream-in-a-can should do the trick.


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“Try it today when the dishes are done, beds made, clothes in the washer.  You’ve earned a break.”

Notice the vacuum cleaner behind the chair and her smiling husband’s photograph on the table.  No doubt he’s enjoying a martini with the fellas at work, while she enjoys domestic bliss.  If only she were allowed outdoors.


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 “Whether your dish is a sizzling steak or a chilled, garden fresh salad, your favorite cook would have a hard time preparing it without these three makers-of-homemakers – her refrigerator, freezer, and range.”

Notice the appliances are hers.  Isn’t that generous of him?

“Home appliances are outstanding examples of the benefits of efficient business management to every American family: keeping prices of the good things of everyday life within the average man’s budget…”

Whereas the appliances are hers, the budget is most certainly his.


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The Housewife Commandment: Thou shalt deliver unto thine husband food which is pleasing; She who breaketh this vow, shall have her husband flee from her.

This San Francisco hotel understood marital obligations perfectly…


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Even the dog is treated better.  At least there’s shuffleboard to dull the pain…. oh, wait – that’s for men only.


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Life was no cakewalk for women at the midcentury office either. Work was just a long continuous string of sexual harassments.


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“When there’s no man around, Goodyear should be.”  Because replacing a tire requires a combination of physical prowess and mental acuity that only men possess. Women stand powerless and dumbfounded before the enormity of the task.

In the years to come, Goodyear would stick with this sexist ad campaign; however, the women looked a little less befuddled…

domestic sexist advert (1)

At least she’s giving it a try. True, she’s absolutely helpless and incompetent, but this “modern woman” is at least making an attempt at being as good as a man.
The Good Year TV spots were even better…

Without a man, a woman isn’t just a confused idiot, she’s also helpless prey (which is ironic when you consider the predator is most assuredly a man). Man is savior and savage in the dark, fearful world of Goodyear.

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