Sexism in The 1950’s Is the time of sexism over? Are women actually treated equally by all? Do you think that woman will ever be treated as true equals to men? The ad is for Alcoa Hytop Closure in 1953, and it depicts a surprised woman holding a ketchup bottle saying, “You mean a woman can open it? ” The ad was placed all across America (considerably in sub-urban areas) for women to see.
Looking at this through a historical and feminist lens, this ad was sexist towards women because it depicted that women could not do simple tasks such as open a ketchup bottle, yet it was also considered appropriate at that time because in the 1950’s sexism was a normal thing. Woman in 1953 were considered to be inferior to men and had to do all of the work around the house, especially in the kitchen, but could not do simple tasks like opening up ketchup bottles by themselves because they were thought of as too weak to do it.
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By asserting the feminist lens, it is obvious to see that women were not treated equally at that time, they were thought of as being inferior to men, and people thought they belonged in the kitchen. A good example of this would be from the show “Leave it To Beaver” and the dad says to Beaver, “There’s sort of a tradition, I guess. They say that a woman’s place is in the home- and I suppose as long as she’s at home- she might as well just be in the kitchen. ” This accurately shows how men thought that women were only good for cooking and doing things around the house.
Another example is from a Kenmore Chef ad, placed in the 1950’s. It depicts a happy husband and wife behind the Kenmore Chef and the wife is wearing a chef hat. Next to them it says, “The Chef does everything but cook – that’s what wives are for! ” This again clearly depicts that men thought women back then belonged in the kitchen. The last example is from an ad for Drummond Sweaters which says, “Men are better than women! ” This is a very obvious example of how men thought they were superior to women.
So using all of these examples, it is easy to see how men thought women were only good for cooking, cleaning, and doing things around the house, and that men though they were superior to women. By applying the historical lens to the ad, it shows that there may have been obvious sexism in it, but it was appropriate at that time. To show this is true, a good example would be, again, from the 1950 Kenmore Chef ad. By saying that, “The chef does everything but cook – that’s what wives are for! and then displaying it to the open public proves that not only were people ok with sexism, but it appealed to some men and women and made them want to buy certain products if advertised with sexism. A second example is from a radio program show in the 1950’s called, “What Makes You Tick? ” During one show, they interviewed a woman about how she felt about “career girls” and commonly referred to men as “your superiors” and she did not even care that he did. That means that at that time in history, women were fine with sexism and men thought they were superior to women.
The last example is from an ad from the 1950’s which says, “Keep her where she belongs…” and shows a picture of a woman staring at shoes. This proves that at that point in history, men thought women belonged in the kitchen/in the house because when they say “where she belongs”, they are referring to the kitchen/in the house. All of these examples prove that in the 1950’s, it was normal for men to think of themselves as superiors, and that women belonged in the kitchen or in the house.