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One vintage ad warns women, "Don't let them call you SKINNY!" while another promises that smoking cigarettes will keep one slender.
Whisper campaigns---she's got acne, dishpan hands, middle aged skin, a mustache, grey hair, feminine hygiene problems, and she causes men to suffer from mentral cramps and she uses the wrong deodorant...
Vintage ads are often terrible, but these holiday ads take terrible to a new low. Whether it's Santa as a sex object or a cigarette carton for a sleigh, these ads are festive, fun, and totally inappropriate.
Yup..they're bad, bad, bad
"Score one for the Internet. Not long after Bic launched its new line of “Bic for Her” ballpoint pens—boasting an “elegant design” that “features a thin barrel to fit a women’s hand”—women and men alike hopped on Amazon.com to bombard the product page with hilarious and brilliantly snarky reviews.
Thanks to the women’s movement, consumers today often are quick to poke holes in such absurdly gendered products. But this wasn’t always the case. In fact, less than 50 years ago, many Americans believed that women did, in fact, need everyday objects to be more elegant, delicate, and pink."
"In 1996, an election year, Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) board member Margie Goldsmith noticed an ad for Wonderbra which appeared in a woman's magazine. The ad was a photo of three sexy women "candidates", each one wearing only a lacy pushup Wonderbra. The copy headline read "SURE BEATS VOTING FOR PRESIDENT". In small print, the ad encouraged readers to go into any department store and vote for one of the three featured models in the photo. Goldsmith, who at the time was the Board advisor of AWNY's Public Relations Committee, walked into the meeting holding up the Wonderbra ad. "Look at this," she said, "It took us as women almost a century to get the vote and now they ask us to vote for a pair of boobs? We ought to have an awards ceremony for ads which denigrate women."
The Public Relations committee took up the challenge - to create an awards ceremony that would celebrate advertising that depicted women positively, and embarrass those advertisers whose ads denigrated women. The only judging criterion was, "Would you show the ad to your daughter or son?"
The awards ceremony was called "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" Awards, and was held in September 1997. Surprisingly, the Wonderbra ad did not receive an "Ugly", as there were so many more ads that were even more degrading to women.
The overwhelming success and positive press encouraged AWNY's PR Committee to make the event an annual awards ceremony."
Fortune.com publishes a favorite story from our magazine archives.
selected quotes from 1956 article:
"And when one woman does a good job in a corporation that has been skeptical about women, promotion comes a little easier for the next woman.Some companies are beginning to allow women to take their management-training courses"
"But women's progress in the professions is mixed. While the total number of women in the professional group has risen substantially, the ratio of women professionals to men professionals, and to all women workers, actually has declined a little."
Equal but special
"The "special" qualities of female executives have been subjected to examination by Social Research, Inc., of Chicago. In a study of sixty successful women, it was found that their common attributes were day-to-day practicality ("somewhat greater than a random sampling of men"), organizational skill, sensitivity to people, and adaptability ("much more than a run of successful men, they show a flair for moving with the situation . . . for changing when they find a particular approach unrewarding"). They also had unusual energy and confidence, and they took pleasure in achievement."
Attiudes that women were up against:
Westinghouse, Pittsburgh: "We look for women to get more and more into everything, especially in consumers' specialties, where they could be really helpful."
National Steel Corp., Pittsburgh: "Women are found just where you'd expect to find them, as heads of stenographic departments and the like. Steel is traditionally a man's game. We never gave women much thought."
Ruth Fair, president of R. Fair Co., Dallas designer and manufacturer of women's sportswear: "Few women are in top executive jobs because it's too tough."
Annette Ducheon, vice president of Spartan Mills, Spartanburg, South Carolina: "I definitely think women can get top executive jobs if they want them, but comparatively few have made the decision in their own minds that they want to take on that kind of career."
An executive of a Detroit automobile company: "Women aren't able to stand up to the stress and strain of the business."
An executive of another Detroit automobile company : "Women are not top executives because they are not interested enough in the business to devote thirty years to working their way up through the ranks."
Mrs. Lee Worthington, secretary and advertising director of Tranter Manufacturing Co. (refrigeration and heating), Lansing, Michigan: "I run across many young women with the ability to get ahead, but they refuse the responsibility that is offered to them."
Lillian G. Madden, president of Falls City Brewing Co., Louisville: "I've found that men are very fair. In many cases women aren't willing to make the sacrifices necessary to work up. They just won't stick it out like a man."
Margaret Divver, advertising manager of John Hancock Mutual Life, Boston: "Progress depends largely on the initiative of the individual woman--with a willingness to make a sacrifice. Women just don't want to pay the price."