Tuesday, 5 June 2012

sexist pronouns

Waiting in a local shop today to collect our repaired vacuum cleaner, I noticed this fascinating old advertisement for a MixMaster, published in the 1950s in Woman's Day magazine.

I'm not quite sure of the date, but I think it was 1956. This next photo shows the bottom part of the page, but the print is very small.


The use of pronouns in the poster makes it clear that she will be using the machine. Not he.

I guess 'he' would the be the person who is encouraged to make his woman's life easier by saving her the drudgery of food-mixing by hand.

On the other hand, how many men would have been reading Woman's Day? I suspect no right-thinking man in the 1950s would be caught dead even glancing into a woman's magazine. So I suppose the Little Woman would have brought the magazine to him and delicately pointed  out the advertisement.

Would it truly have been what she wanted for Christmas?

I'd say, yes, it probably was, actually. We still use our old Mixmaster. It's going strong!

It would be nice to think women have moved out of the kitchen and into the world, but an evening's viewing of Australian television advertising reveals that women are  interested only in:
looking beautiful enough to snare a man;
washing clothes;
keeping the home germ-free;
cleaning stoves;
looking thin enough to snare a man;
caring for young children;
drinking the right alcohol/energy drinks so as to snare a man;
helping their man choose the right car;

Oh, did I mention cooking?

Seems like nothing has changed much in sixty years.

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