These 8 Vintage Car Ads Are Grossly Sexist

by Kathryn Hensch

It’s not news that advertising is pretty damn sexist. Women are seen as objects. By that, I mean they’re portrayed as if they exist only for men’s pleasure. But also, they are literally made into objects. As bad as it is now, ads back in the day made women out to be ridiculously dumb. Car companies were some of the worst culprits in this trend because, you know, a woman can’t possibly know anything about cars.

Here’s a few examples that will drive you insane:


Image via Jalopnik

1. If you’re a “man who grabs life by the cuff,” you’re also a dude who thinks women and cars are one in the same. We just gotta be tamed. It’s a good thing those seats will cradle you because with sexist ideas like this, no woman will.

Image via Ms. Magazine

2. According to this ad, I am but a lowly woman who does not know how to stop a car without crashing. Thank goodness my husband can replace everything. 

Image via Jalopnik

3. “440 Magnum, whatever that is.” No, really, what is that? I’m a lady, I can’t possibly know what that means! RIGHT?!

Image via Street Legal TV

4. Another gem from Dodge. Ralph sounds like a swell guy. He lets you pick out the stereo tapes AND clean? What a man.

 5. Blame your economically sound decision on your wife until it impresses your neighbors. Then you can say you picked the car. 

6. Right…because were it not simple to drive, the sheer complexity of operating this vehicular device might implode my tender female mind. 

7. Note to self: Must not allow the sense of personal agency I feel while driving to interfere with my higher purpose as a woman – sewing. And laundry. Because washday is more important to me than fresh air.  NOT. 

8. The vomit-worthy selling point here is how a Mercury will “gently” boost your husband’s ego and feed his “need for power” while also keeping your marriage intact and indulging his desire to feel “in control.” 


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