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Sexist Advertising

The Daily Mail ran an article on advertisements from a time when no one gave a second thought about portraying women as weak, stupid, and in need of a man to lead her through life. I can personally recall how people used to laugh if anyone took offense at ads like this. Link -via the Presurfer

Funny, but I would have described a lot of advertising these days as showing men as weak, stupid, and in need of a woman to lead them.

Is this a genuine ad? This woman looks like she's enjoying it a little too much.

(he's just testing her for freshness, I think)
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a german gasstation is nowadays running a radiospot with a woman ordering a coffee at their "bistro" in a tone so flirty that i could pass as a sexhotline commercial. in the spot, her friend comments on her being so flirty, the woman replies "maybe he is as good with other things as with making coffee ..."
the times of sexist advertising are not over. is it the coffee? :-)
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I agree with Ted. Today's adverts have a lot of female to male sexism with women telling their Slow,Sluggish cave men how to do everything, so they don't get lost or confused. A lot of people don't even think about it, and just think its funny.
If men say anything about such advertisements, they're "over-reacting" or are being "pu$$ys".

But... thats humans for you. We do it with racial sensitive things as well. Black people can have exclusive clubs,orgs,tv channels, and make fun of white people (honkey, cracker,etc) ...but if a white person even looks at someone the wrong way... OMG RACIST.

Why is it that we can never figure out the concept of "middle ground"?
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Miss Cellania is right. The ad is offensive, not funny because at the time, it wasn't meant to be funny - it was presenting a woman in her place.
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Actually, while the ad does reflect a generally patronizing attitude toward women, it does not depict common practice. It was actually meant to be humorous and possibly even a little "naughty" (hence the conspiratorial smile on the woman's face).

Yes, there have always been abusive spouses. But from what I've seen, a loutish husband is more likely to slap his wife around or punch her. Spanking was a punishment reserved for children (and that is what's being referred to here). If a man spanked his wife... more likely that was a "kinky" bit of sex play, not discussed in mixed company at the time. (If you were aware of this little bit of "deviant" behavior, it made the ad spicier; otherwise, the sexual connotation went right past you.) There was more of this raciness in women's magazines than a lot of people nowadays realize.

We tend to have a rather distorted view of the 1950s, shaped by old TV shows and "stodgy" older relatives. Admittedly, today's TV shows and movies tend to be more explicit than those of the '50s, which were restricted by heavy censorship rules. However, a look at (usually print) media aimed specifically at adults reveals that there was already a lucrative market for sexually-oriented products and fiction directed at both men and women. The TV soap opera began in the 1950s as a means of entertaining hausfraus with stories of illicit affairs. Ladies' magazines included similar stories, but with greater detail. Their purpose was to entertain, and perhaps to provide some sort of gratification so these stuck-at-home-all-day ladies would be in fact LESS likely to cheat on their spouses (but still be "in the mood" when he got home). A perusal of magazines in the checkout lane at the local supermarket shows us that not much has changed except the language and amount of visible skin.

As for whether it's funny or not, that's pretty subjective. Societal attitudes have changed enough that fewer people nowadays would find this as funny as it once was. More people today either misconstrue it, or need it explained, or "get" it but just don't personally find it funny (that would be me). My parents were both in their late teens when this ad was run. It's possible that, had they been a little older, they would have found it funny --- back then. Remember, just because someone was alive in the 1950s doesn't mean they're stuck there (and not everyone in the 1950s had the same attitude either); both supported the Women's Lib movement, and found corporal punishment vastly inferior to constructive communication. By the 1970s, they probably would have found it dated and rather embarrassing.
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nicholas-- what a great analysis. if nobody else commented on this, it would be ok because yours justifies the very essence of this post. kudos.

this would have been perfect to bring in to my women's studies class last spring. they would have torn it APART! of course, they tore me apart when i said slutty girls have it coming... but that's an entirely different story.
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I'm glad genders are treated equal in today's media. Now I guess I'll go watch my favorite sitcom. It's that one where the husband is a stupid, overweight, alcoholic, blue-collar oaf and his wife is attractive, witty and holds everything together and he's lucky to have her. You know the one.
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Miss Cellania and Jess are dead wrong. They are too young to understand this ad or the era in which it was produced. I was born in the early 1950s, and I can assure everyone that the ad WAS meant to be funny -- and not to convey the idea that it was OK or common for a husband to spank a wife. The ad was a sort of exaggeration/caricature. The fact is that, collectively speaking, men were MORE respectful of women prior to 1960 than they have been since that year. There is FAR MORE hatred and disdain and objectifying of women by men in our day than there was in the 1950s -- primarily because of the availability of (1) no-fault divorce, (2) hormonal birth control and abortion, and (3) a bad strain of "women's liberation" that masculinized many women.
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These ads get me in the mood to go and buy some coffee and make my man a steam cuppa. LOL Very sexy advertising to me!!! Not offensive at all.
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I know I am coming in late on this since I see the last post was over 2 years ago, but I feel I must comment on this ad. I am in my mid-60's. I was almost 8 years old when this ad appeared in the August 17 1952 edition of Life Magazine, then one of the largest periodicals in circulation at that time. The Chase & Sanborn Coffee ad picturing a husband spanking his wife who is fully clothed (though you can see portions of her slip or slips and petticoat as he has raised her dress) OTK because she had not purchased fresh ground coffee to me is serious in that if you look at her pained expression since this picture is taken during the course of the spanking and look at the husband's look at her you know it is serious. In addition, he is seated in a dining room chair which probably indicates that after taking one sip of his coffee and realizing that it was not made from fresh ground coffee (because at that time you could tell the difference immediately between fresh ground and instant since instant coffee at that time could be terrible tasting)he asked her if it was fresh ground and when she responded that it wasn't he took immediate action by taking her over his knee and giving her a sound spanking. Whether he had spanked her before or not we do not know, but wife spanking in the 40's and 50's was not uncommon. Lucille Ball was spanked at least 3 times otk fully clothed by her then husband Desi Arnaz on the famed "I Love Lucy" and Patricia Breslin was spanked one time by her TV husband Jackie Cooper OTK fully clothed on the show "Peoples Choice" which in the next scene following Patricia Breslin's spanking showed a man being spanked OTK fully clothed by a woman. So wife spanking was not totally uncommon at the time the ad appeared though it is interesting that the ad appeared only once in Life magazine and never in any of the other popular periodicals including Look and Saturday Evening Post. You have to wonder if Chase & Sanborn received a number of adverse comments on the ad and pulled it immediately so it only appeared once in Life Magazine. If you have to wonder if there is someone still living that was either employed by Chase & Sanborn or the advertising agency that promoted the ad if this is the case.

For me personally I have been fascinated since I saw the Chase & Sanborn Coffee ad with a woman wearing a slip and being spanked OTK by a man. Before I met my wife over 40 years ago I was engaged to a woman who allowed me to spank her OTK on her slip covered bottom as in the Chase & Sanborn ad. In my 40 year marriage though, this has never happened and never will. I think the spanking of a woman has to by conscent of the woman and to me anything less than the woman wearing a slip is a humiliating experience for a woman.
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