From the Stacks: Only Virgins Need Apply

This charming little notice from UC San Diego appeared in the June 1974 No Comment section of Ms. It’s outrageous to think that just 36 years ago non-virgins were banned from becoming homecoming queen. But have we really come that far? Just last month a Michigan trans boy was stripped of his homecoming king crown. […]

From the Stacks: Follow the Leaders

This ad for Newsweek appeared in the pages of the April 1984 issue of Ms.: a roundup of “leaders of the world” without a woman in sight. It seems an unusual ad for a feminist magazine to take, but Ms. was going through a struggle concerning whether to accept paid advertisement (see Gloria Steinem’s article “Sex, […]

From The Stacks: More Miles Per Gal

Want “More Miles per Gal?” Look no further than this brilliant cart, “designed to allow your housekeeping system maximum efficiency and service.” Your two-legged housekeeping system, that is. This ridiculously offensive ad manages to demean and  dehumanize women and people who provide cleaning services at the same time! It was reprinted in the No Comment […]

From the Stacks: A Typical Operating Environment

“In a typical operating environment,” reads this 1983 organizational chart, “the system accepts data and inquiries from work stations…” And apparently, a “typical operating environment” meant that every “management” or “operator” position was held by a man. Leave it to the “girls” to deal with order entry, invoicing and accounts receivable. This ad was reprinted […]

From the Stacks: Does She Really Have Everything If She Doesn’t Have a Bidet?

“She’s rich, she’s beautiful, she’s smart. She has everything…but does she have everything? Not if she doesn’t have a Rusco American Bidet!” This ad was reprinted in the June 1978 No Comment section of Ms. It goes on to explain that “a woman’s femininity comes from the assurance that she’s always fresh.” Apparently you’re not […]

From the Stacks: Our Maids Are Just Like Slaves!

This gem was reprinted in the No Comment section of the June 1978 issue of Ms. Seriously?! Oh, for those good ol’ days of the Depression, when maids were humble, washed windows, scrubbed floors, wore such cute outfits and loved their jobs! And this particular maid service was licensed by New York City–which makes us […]

From the Stacks: Heavy Where She Has to Take the Strain

While we’re not exactly sure what this was advertisement was for, (some sort of construction equipment?) but it’s still ridiculously offensive no matter what you’re selling. Featured in the No Comment section of the March 1975 issue of Ms. Caption reads “from an advertisement in Construction News, submitted by Anita Schnee, London, England.”

From the Stacks: He Plays With Dolls

This Ann Landers column was featured in the No Comment section of Ms. in December 1974. It may be OK for girls to act outside of their stereotypical gender roles, but boys who do need psychological help. Gee, thanks, Ann. Fun Fact: Ann Landers (Esther Lederer) believed in 1973 that homosexual behavior was unnatural: “I […]

From the Stacks: Keep Her Where She Belongs

This ad for shoes was featured in Playboy magazine and reprinted in the No Comment section of Ms., December 1974. Aside from the fact that the footwear looks curiously androgynous and fit for a Pilgrim, what can we make of the slogan, “Keep her where she belongs…”? She belongs naked on the floor admiring your […]

From the Stacks: Dewar’s Man and Dewar’s Woman

This 2008 Dewar’s ad (right) is a timeless example of how ad campaigns market to men using sexist gender stereotypes. Because we all know that men do the proposing and are deathly afraid of in-laws! There’s also the troubling suggestion that instead of experiencing real emotion, men should numb themselves with this bottle of Dewar’s […]

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