“Mad Men” is famous for illuminating a bygone era, replete with three-martini lunches, glamorous clothing, and, of course, casual sexism.
The rampant sexism in “Mad Men” was typical of the 1960s, when the outlook for women in America was just beginning to change. While the “second wave” of feminism began in the ’60s, mainstream America was still very much a “man’s world.”
That attitude carried over into advertising, which did little to advance gender roles and ran ads that implied women were idiots who cared mostly about pleasing their men.
Here are some of advertising’s most egregious sexist ads from that era.
1953: Alcoa Aluminium's bottle caps open 'without a knife blade, a bottle opener, or even a husband.'
1964: 'Women are soft and gentle, but they hit things … She can jab the hood. Graze the door. Or bump the bumper …'
1969: Tipalet wants you to know that cigarettes are made for men, but instantly attractive to women.
1971: The caption below the ad reads, 'It makes driving as effortless as sleeping. Sleeping, Luv ... '
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