5.17.2008

consume, dominate... decapitate?

The mind-snatchers grab another space. (Thanks to Allan.)

And some advertising misogyny: here and here. (Thanks to James.)

The tie ad is from 1939. I don't know how many North Americans were buying ties or having breakfast in bed during the Great Depression.

But the slacks-and-rug ad dates from 1970, corresponding with the re-emergence of the women's movement on the mainstream radar. Come on, men, don't fall for that shit: dominate!

I don't know about you, but I find seeing a woman's head without a body more than a little disgusting.

12 comments:

kim_in_to said...

Just when you think that sexism in advertising/marketing is a thing of the past...

Take a look at this site.

I was startled to see the slogan beside the logo. So girls are not allowed to play with these toys? What the hell is it that makes a toy sex-specific?

L-girl said...

Thanks for the link, Kim. Ugh. It's especially irritating because to me those look like such fun toys - bright and colourful, good for the imagination - perfect for all kids. Why designate it for "boyhood" to steer parents of girls away and thus lose half of your potential market???

Amy said...

Seeing the two old ads, I thought, "Wow, we sure have come a long way." Then seeing the ad in Kim's post...I had to re-evaluate. Although the underlying stereotype in the toy ad is not itself as disgusting as the two older ads, it really leads to the same thing: boys are powerful and tough. Thus, girls must be weaker. YUCK.

L-girl said...

I think it's fair to say we've come a long way - and still have a long way to go.

It would be very unlikely to see that kind of sexism (as in the older ads) in ads today.

But gender stereotyping for children is incredibly persistent. I think it's even worse these days than it was 15, 20 years ago, now that the fashion is to explain everything based on biology and genetics rather than environment.

impudent strumpet said...

[nitpicking]The Great Depression doesn't make breakfast in bed less likely. People still had breakfast and still had beds[/nitpicking]

No, the real problem with that ad is that he got out of bed, got fully dressed including a tie, and then then got back into bed to eat breakfast, which completely defeats the purpose of breakfast in bed and now he's going to look like he slept in his clothes.

And from a marketing perspective, I'm wondering if wives bought their husband's clothes less often then than they do now.

And it's weird that they made the tonkas so bright and child-like if they're trying to market them as butch boy toys. As a kid, I was disinclined to play with toys that I thought were For Boys, but I would have interpreted those as unisex but for very small children.

L-girl said...

Millions upon millions of people did not have beds and did not have breakfast during the Great Depression. It's safe to say that a very small portion of the population had money to buy ties or any occasion to wear them.

But you're right - that getting dressed and getting back in bed thing is way weird!

kim_in_to said...

But gender stereotyping for children is incredibly persistent. I think it's even worse these days than it was 15, 20 years ago, now that the fashion is to explain everything based on biology and genetics rather than environment.

Laura - can you elaborate? I'm not sure I know what you mean.

kim_in_to said...

But you're right - that getting dressed and getting back in bed thing is way weird!

Ok, taking this one and running with it:
- eating breakfast partially reclining probably means food stains on the white shirt and tie
- breakfast in bed (if you would have been able to afford it) is a weekend thing - so why the hell is he in office work clothes on a weekend?

L-girl said...

so why the hell is he in office work clothes on a weekend?

Maybe it looks like office clothes to us, but it's really his dom costume. They're doing boss and secretary role play?

Daniel wbc said...

First: ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww

next: At the office where I work now someone uncovered a letter from 1921 in the City archives. The mayor was writing to a department to inquire about a MARRIED WOMAN working there. There was a response -- she wasn't married when she was hired -- and then the mayor's office said it should be made clear to female applicants that they will leave when married. It was so weird, like an episode of the Twilight Zone or something.

L-girl said...

and then the mayor's office said it should be made clear to female applicants that they will leave when married.

This happened well into the 1970s!

Cornelia said...

While all that domination, exploitation, abuse, oppression, cruelty, degradation, inhumanity and bondage is wrong to the utmost, I think honor murder (large-scale and only the top of an absolutely torturous ideology and many other violent crimes against women in a fundamentalist Taliban or Saudi-Arabia like atmosphere full of domestic and often also sexualized violence against women in some subcultures) is the worst and most severe and most lethal kind of violence against women...