One of the craziest things I noticed watching Mad Men for the first time was the sheer amount of sexism in every episode. It was a major theme of the show and one of the reasons why the AMC series was such a hit is how it handled such complex social commentary.
It's also whacky because none of the dialogue or prevailing thoughts that male characters had in the show about women, at the time, were out of the realm of reality.
All it takes is to look at some of the old school advertisements from back in the day to see how true that is.
I mean, they're pretty terrible and share the same theme.
Like, what the heck?
To highlight just how problematic these ads are, photographer Eli Rezkallah tweeted out some altered images of some classically sexist ads with men as the objects of idiocy and subjugation.
The result: images that turn old school sexist gender norms on its head.
What really shone through for me were feelings of isolation.
And the infantilization of the women in the ads.
"Golly I can't wait to just clean for you!"
Some people joked that the gender norms of the '50s and '60s didn't seem like that big of a deal.
Idk Im too down to stay at home to cook and clean all day and be spanked by my husband when he came home🤷♀️ and normally I don’t burn beer— Lakota Laine (@LakotaLaine) January 18, 2018
While others seriously thought there was nothing wrong with the original ads.
Those arent really sexist thats just how people got along back then and it was better. Whats your agenda?— Ezekiel Enoch (@ZekeDaFreak313) January 18, 2018
And got steamrolled for it.
Hahahahahahajahahahahahahaha— trump is a buffoon (@Wrecksdart) January 18, 2018
"thats how people got along back then"
This false light has malfunctioned and is incapable of thought. He must be sent back for reassignment— Ezekiel Enoch (@ZekeDaFreak313) January 18, 2018
Rezkallah's pieces got a lot of people talking about the role of sexism in advertising.
And people were pointing out that although these ads are old, not much has changed. As one person put it, "Sometimes when I see retro ads I cringe, but just how far have we come?"
Objectifying women = profit, apparently.