6 Vintage Videos From America’s Sexist Past!

America is nothing if not a wonderland of consumerism and self-loathing masked as self-love, all wrapped up in some good ‘ol fashioned sexism. And so, what better way to reflect on its history this Fourth of July than with a collection of misogynistic-to-the-point-of-absurdity vintage videos?

America — we still have a long way to go. But it was even worse before!

Those Women Workers Sure Are Sensitive

This 1944 video, written and produced by our very own United States Education Department, provides handy tips on how to “break in” new women workers to factories. And guess what, everyone? “Women workers can be surprisingly good producers!”

Barbie You’re Beautiful!

This Barbie ad from 1959 asks you to gather ‘round the hearth where it’s warm and safe and blond and plastic. Sidle up next to this problematically-unrealistically-proportioned-doll, weary travelers, and wish all your worries away!

Women’s Work Isn’t For Sissies!

For all of you draconian dummies who believe women are the weaker sex, wait till you see women CRUSH their housework in this PSA from 1940.

Ah The Glories of Feminism: Cigarettes Tailored For The Feminine Hand

I’m not sure what we love more in this series of Virginia Slim commercials from 1969: the smoldering yet dead-eyed stares, the frosted claw-like fingernails, or the impressive leap of logic between the suffragette movement and chain-smoking menthol cigarettes.

Short On Personality, But Darned Efficient!

Did you know that women are not only petty and defensive, but threatened by change and unable to resolve arguments on their own? Thanks to this gem from 1958 . . . now you do!


BONUS FOURTH OF JULY VIDEO! Say what you will about the disco era (Asinine lyrics! Everyone’s pants were too shiny! The falsetto voices are maddening!) — I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more moved about my country than when I discovered Patrick Juvet (a beautifully quaffed Swede!) warbling his heart out about America.

It’s an anthem to music, to the droves of immigrants who’ve made this nation their home, and of course, to very very small shorts flanked by roller skates.

“When I first came to Manhattan
I was not surprised
The stories people had told me
Turned out to be no lies
All the different people
From all over the world they’re living
A magic fills the air
There’s music everywhere
I love America”

If this is what America was like in 1978 . . . let’s make it great again, shall we?


Lead image: flickr/dana byerly

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