In the Special Collections department, we are celebrating Women’s History Month in a variety of ways. Our exhibit Women and the Cultural Record is on display, Steve is attending a conference this weekend to speak on the life of naturalist, artist, and author, Emma Bell Miles, and our blog posts over the next few weeks will focus on women’s history.
I have been holding on to the little jewel pictured above for quite some time. As we sift through collections, many things catch our eyes which are interesting in that they assist in constructing an image of how life was in earlier times and how much it has changed. The ad, taken from a random 1950’s era newspaper, at first makes you laugh, but then allows you to think a bit more deeply about the portrayal of women in advertising and how gender bias is still alive and well in today’s advertising and was built upon these early sexist advertisements.
Below is one more ad that I could not resist including. For an excellent analysis of gendered advertising, see the fascinating site, Gender Ads, which gives a comprehensive analysis of gendered advertising issues (& more humorous ads like the one below- taken from the GA site).