Gypsy Creams

“blatant sexism” Tag

Cossack Vodka

Woman / 25 December 1965

I think we can probably tell that we’re in the era of Babycham being an acceptable drink for women, with stout if it was decided you needed the iron. What is interesting is that vodka, if anything, is seen much more as a drink for women and young men nowadays, which I guess is progress, even if there’s a hint that vodka’s a good way to drink without imbibing too many calories. Still, there’s some fascinating serving suggestions here, including the now everyday ‘vodka with coke’, so bottoms up!

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Ugly Duckling

Woman / 25 December 1965

Now don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not against makeovers per se, and I’m a great believer in enhancing your best features, but *honestly*, this poor young woman.

Obviously, with this being the 1960s, the ability of this woman to get ‘boys’ to notice her is all-important, and naturally, poor Paulene had to ‘admit’ that her eyebrows were bushy (gasp!), leading Woman to advise her on a plucking method that would give her the least unnecessary pain. We’re also taken through a make-up routine to bring out her ‘latent prettiness’, which raises an interesting question; what does that actually *look* like?

The new hairstyle is quite something, too; a perfectly reasonable bob is turned into something more suited to a member of the Household Cavalry. In fact, I’m reminded of the makeover that poor Kate Middleton was subjected to when she became the Duchess of Cambridge. Still, now she’s getting admiring leers from her male co-workers, she’ll soon be able to bury any ambitions she might have had and get married. Thanks, Woman!

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From No-one to a Someone

Woman's Realm / 15 July 1961

The ‘Woman of many parts’ letter on here nearly broke my heart. What sort of messages must this woman have got from society to believe that she was a ‘no-one’ when she was a unmarried only child?

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Men Only / July 1950

What? I mean, what? It’s because of arseholery like this that cleaners have to work stupidly early, so overprivileged nobs in offices can’t actually see the hard work that goes into making their environment clean and tidy. How is this even a fucking joke? How many more questions will I ask that I well know the answer to?

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Men Only / July 1950

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Men Only / September 1951

I think the copywriters might have sunk several pints themselves in the sun, because this advert has many words, few of which make any real sense. The comment referring to ‘womanlike’ is very confused, and it’s hard to make out who is actually being sold to. Perhaps this is the sort of rambling mess these ad men offered their own wives when stumbling back from a long liquid lunch.

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Robin Starch

Woman's Weekly / 11th July 1969

Spray starch is still sold, of course, but starched clothes have been out of fashion for quite some time. It seems that the ‘easy care’ revolution of the 1960s changed attitudes forever, and I’m not surprised. Who, after all, really wants to make their life more difficult?

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Woman's Weekly / 11th July 1969

This ad captures a point in consumer camera equipment where flashcubes (disposable flashes) were beginning to be included with cameras, rather than a flash being seen as a permanently separate element. I remember my parents using flashcubes, but all of my cameras have had electronic flashes included. The references to ‘drop in’ films probably signify the start of film cartridge use for non-instant cameras, something I remember being very common in the 1980s. Digital cameras have solved this problem, of course.

The model for kids makes sense, but the model for women heavily implies that women aren’t interested in taking the best photos they can. This could all be waved away as quaint old sexism, were it not for nonsense such as this from Bic, Lego’s appalling ‘Friends’ range, or this ‘girly laptop’.

Remind me what year we’re in?

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The Gracious Art

Woman's Weekly / 30th April 1965

What woman can resist the quiet pleasure of flower arranging? I don’t have any trouble doing so.

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Soviet Miss World

Weekend / 30th January 1974

There’s plenty to enjoy here, of course, but I like the implication that Soviet men are suffering due to the lack of totty to wank over, and am curious as to whether the competitions to see which wives carried out their ‘duties’ were a regular thing in the USSR. There was a practical point being made by Soviet Sport, however, in that a competition based on looks WAS a political problem in the enormous and ethnically diverse USSR. Don’t worry, though, the treatment of women as accessories of men (albeit through their domestic work) still meant that it wasn’t all that different to the decadent West.

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