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a woman is always to blame all about the menz douchebaggery misogyny the olden days

All About the Menz: Douchey Vintage Douche Ads Edition

unhappyman

When are women’s “problems” really problems? According to the vintage ads I’ve collected below, only when they affect a man.

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You gals may want to pay special attention to that delicate female problem that has destroyed so many marriages. And no, despite the headline for the ad below, I’m not talking about poor spelling.

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And yes, that really was an ad for Lysol. The good folks at Lysol hoped to get women so worried about the effect of their “one neglect” on the men in their lives that they would actually put Lysol in their vaginas. Evidently this ad campaign proved successful; there are a lot of these old Lysol ads floating around. Like this one:

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Lysol wasn’t the only brand hoping that women would blame their allegedly smelly vaginas for any problems in their marriages:

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And speaking of that whole lady area down there, meet this fellow:

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Once you’ve got all your female troubles under control, there’s a simple way to win men back:

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The only question is if he’s ready for this jelly.

EDITED TO ADD: Here’s one more! It does not involve the lady regions, however.

mornidine

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Gillian
Gillian
8 years ago

Seriously?!? LYSOL?!!!!

I know that when I was doing some archival work on women’s magazines of the WWII era, I found a lot of “creative” feminine uses for Listerine, but this one really ups the ante. Is it any wonder that women have struggled for so long not to see their bodies as something horrifying and disgusting?

All in the name of selling more cleaning chemicals…

Not to mention the treatments those women are going to need when they end up with damage and infections from putting things that don’t belong there into a very sensitive area of their bodies…

JR Auditore
8 years ago

My only question about that last one is: can it be used by a man to make himself happy? Or is that jam-based self abuse and unsightly before the Lord?

lightcastle
lightcastle
8 years ago

Even though I’ve known about the Lysol thing for a long time, it never ceases to amaze me reading these ads.

Andrew Johnston
8 years ago

It’s a furniture cleaner and a douching solution!

Seriously, how much would you have to worry someone before she’d even consider applying a household cleaning product to her own body? Beauty treatments are seriously horrifying…

Tina
Tina
8 years ago
AK
AK
8 years ago

I’m in the same boat, lightcastle. Every time I read it I go, “That can’t be true,” even though I know it is.

I used to use Lysol for cleaning and even diluted (and I diluted the “ready to use” stuff) it dried out my hands horribly if I didn’t use gloves. I cannot imagine what effect it must have had on more sensitive tissues.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Clean the floors and your vag! Man, that Lysol does it all.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Lysol – rids your wife of feminine odor and of that pesky libido too! Because it’s hard to get enthusiastic about sex if you’ve just put bleach up your ladybits.

Let’s not get too smug about the silly people in ye olde days though. Douches still exist. The first time I saw a Summer’s Eve ad in a magazine I was going, wait, really? This stuff hasn’t been banned yet?

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
8 years ago
katz
8 years ago

The first one is interesting. The headline is aimed at men; if it were printed in a men’s magazine, then that would be understandable as a way to sell a women’s product. But the body is aimed at women. So it probably was printed in a women’s or general magazine and the message is “don’t have nerves because it’ll bother your husband.”

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

Clean the floors and your vag!

I first read that as “clean the floors with your vag.” I was imagining a woman scooting around on the floor like dogs sometimes do… Maybe Lysol’s onto something.*

*Lysol’s not onto something.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Bagelsan: It’s the new Swiffer!

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

Perhaps the lady in the first ad is nervous because she just squirted some bleach into her nethers.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

@hellkell: It puts the “wife” in Swiffer!

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

HA!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Solve your post-bleach itching problems before they irritate your poor husband and get your floors clean all at once!

katz
8 years ago

Oh great, so if you find dingleberries on the floor you no longer know who to blame.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

It just makes the game of “Whose Dingleberry is This?” that much more interesting.

The Stepford Knife
The Stepford Knife
8 years ago
La Strega
8 years ago

Nora Ephron (RIP) wrote a great essay (I think in her collection Scribble Scribble written in the 1970s) about feminine hygiene sprays. Remember those? Do they still sell them?

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Mornidine? Wasn’t that Thalidomide?

Falconer
8 years ago

WOMEN

DOES YOUR BODY MILDLY INCONVENIENCE THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE

THE ONLY WAY TO FIX IT IS HORRIBLE HORRIBLE PAIN

YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED THAT YOU FORCED US TO HURT YOU LIKE THAT

(…Jesus wept.)

Falconer
8 years ago

@Stepford Knife: Because we all know how terrible it is when your woman refuses to cook you a humongous breakfast because your fetus is making her throw up.

(At least I think that’s what that ad is for, the copy’s so small I can’t read it very well.)

The Stepford Knife
The Stepford Knife
8 years ago

hellkell- no, according to Wikipedia Mornidine was a different and earlier drug, and it was withdrawn for causing liver damage. Shame- I’m sure everyone here will agree that a bit of liver damage is a small price to pay to ensure your man always gets his morning sammich.

AK
AK
8 years ago

@CassandraSays, I don’t think that women using douches says anything about their intelligence. Instead, it reflects the sad state of affairs that happens when women aren’t educated about our bodies, shamed for them and then exploited by companies out to make a buck. Seems like a natural reaction in that situation…if you’re only taught that your body is shameful and dirty, and then you see ads telling you how to clean it and make it good, of course you’re going to buy into it.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I don’t think it says anything about their intelligence either.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

That “Making Men Happy” book is either about drugging their jam with uppers, or is about how to give some sort of jelly-related handjobs… the mind boggles.

daintydougal
daintydougal
8 years ago

Its positively non-poisonous! SUPER!

freemage
freemage
8 years ago

Katz:

The first one is interesting. The headline is aimed at men; if it were printed in a men’s magazine, then that would be understandable as a way to sell a women’s product. But the body is aimed at women. So it probably was printed in a women’s or general magazine and the message is “don’t have nerves because it’ll bother your husband.”

My thinking is the flip of this, actually. The original ad copy was for a woman’s magazine; then they decided to get the men to pressure their wives, so they changed the headline and ran the same ad in women’s magazines.

And yes, douches are just generally a horrible, horrible product. Not only are they a solution to a problem that real women don’t generally have*, but they actually can create that problem, by damaging the body’s natural defenses against various infections (which WILL cause issues).

*: My understanding is that in a very small number of women, there are actual medical issues that can cause a genuine problem that can be aided by douching; using this to justify marketing the product widely, though, is similar to saying everyone needs orthopedic shoes.

freemage
freemage
8 years ago

Oh, and is anyone else getting the Stepford Vibe from the woman in the Nervine ad? I swear it just looks like they’ve Photoshopped out the swinging amulet he’s been using to hypnotize her…..

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

So… is Nervine essentially Tums?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

The Nervine ad is basically “Is your wife’s pesky personality interfering with your happiness? Drug her into compliance with Nervine! Faster and cheaper than a lobotomy!”.

katz
8 years ago

Freemage: That explanation makes sense, too.

freemage
freemage
8 years ago

katz: Well, except the typo in the line where I said that they switched the title and then ran the ad in women’s magazines again. Because that makes no sense whatsoever.

katz
8 years ago

Right, I figured out what you meant.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Guys, I’ve taken the pill. Was it red, or blue — I really can’t remember, but it’s that magic pill that causes those pesky feminist scales to fall from your eyes! (Maybe I just dipped my eyeballs in Lysol, since as we all know Lysol is gentle to those sensitive ocular tissues. Best side effect: My eyes no longer have that not-quite-fresh odor!)

Anywhooo, now that I can see clearly, I see that all of these ads truly ARE examples of sexism. Sexism against MEN!

Let’s take Dr. Miles Effervescent Nervine Tablets. (I’ve taken them. Have you?) Clearly some white knight mangina quack has decided to come to the rescue of ladies with nervous troubles. What about men with nervous troubles? Men are out there in the mines, dodging cave-ins and wooly mammoths, and I don’t see any tablets for them. And if they had any tablets, they sure as hell wouldn’t be effervescent! They’d probably be those big old horse pills that make you gag. But meanwhile, the ladies are treated to a pleasant, nerve-numbing sparkling beverage. Male disposability in action!

Lysol & Zonite — Men are completely dependent on a woman’s willingness to infuse her nether regions with a caustic liquid. What if she unreasonably declines? How can men ensure the complete daintiness of all of their surroundings, including but not limited to anything they want to be enveloped by? How come no famous surgeons and scientists have developed daintiness solutions for men? I’ll tell you how come. MISANDRY!

And now it’s time to talk about FEMICIN. The evidence is clear — the primary victims of menstrual cramps are men. Where’s the 5-ingredient formula for fast relief of Male Indirect Menstrual Pain (MIMP)? Where’s the rubber bracelet to raise funds for MIMP research? Where are the MIMP walkathons?

Finally, everyone knows it is not possible to make men happy with jams and jellies. This is just an example of how the mainstream media constantly infantilize and patronize men and male desires. The male gaze requires more than just jams and jellies. Men have NEEDS.

If we’re to achieve true equality, we’ll need to talk about marmalade.

Lady Stark
Lady Stark
8 years ago

And MRAs swear up and down that women were so much haaaaapier during this time. Right. I guess I would be pretty happy too if I could just pop some valium and painkillers every time I had a bad day. Or maybe not.

Moona
Moona
8 years ago

Whoa, wait, so Lysol cans aren’t for spraying up your hoo-ha? But my husband loves it when his peener smells like clean linen after a romp instead of gooey vagina! Next you’re going to tell me that I shouldn’t be taking heroin for my cough

melody
8 years ago

And MRAs swear up and down that women were so much haaaaapier during this time. Right. I guess I would be pretty happy too if I could just pop some valium and painkillers every time I had a bad day. Or maybe not.

Much happier with their best friend gin. My grandma was very outspoken for a lady of her time, but she admitted to self medicating with gin because all the ladies in her social group did it.

I can’t believe my grandma is already in her 90s. Wowzers.

melody
8 years ago

Admittedly, my grandma was privileges. Therefore I doubt she has much knowledge of what other ladies did.
My grandma is a feminist. Just not a feminist by modern standards.

baroncognito
8 years ago

Actually, you shouldn’t be taking heroin for your cough. Use morphine. It’s a liquid.

Historophilia
Historophilia
8 years ago

Oh dear lord I knew women used to advised to douche but not with household disinfectant dear god!

I can only think that so many of these poor women must have had yeast infections since they’d killed off the bacteria that keeps everything in balance and then douched even more to try and get rid of the smell, thereby making it worse!

I think Lysol is an American brand and I’ve never seen it in the UK, but according to wikipedia it is highly poisonous to fish (insert joke here) and even more horrifyingly it was used as a form of birth control!

But I can’t believe Doctors reccomended this, we laugh at people 300 years ago believing that bleeding people in a fever was good for them, but seriously, the stuff that was put out as a good medical science only 60 odd years ago beggars belief…

AK
AK
8 years ago

@Cassandra, I didn’t think you did. I just addressed you because you said something about us laughing at silly people from days past. I was trying to support what you said, not disagree with you. Just want to be clear on that in case it got lost in text-translation. 🙂

cloudiah
8 years ago

Seriously, the slogan the MRM wants to adopt is Don’t Rest Until Capitalism Kills an Equal Number of Women on the Shop Floor!

Also, More Women Should Die in Shipwrecks!

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
8 years ago

cloudiah: Good points, all. *sage nod*

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
8 years ago

cloudiah, it would be funny if it weren’t so absolutely on point…

And so, I offer this kitten who couldn’t care less about those pesky female issues, because it has discovered the true source of evil in the world!!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbbEpuL1xvc&w=560&h=315]

Karalora
Karalora
8 years ago

@gillyrosebee,

My kitty Sekhmet would beg to differ. She knows her tail is the true source of evil in the world. That or my purse. More research is needed.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
8 years ago

Lysol or anything with phenol in it is toxic to pets. Something about the liver enzymes.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
8 years ago

@gillyrosebee
That kitty bears a striking resemblance to Jumpin’ Jack Flash, my neighbor’s cat.

JetGirl
8 years ago

Apparently, these Lysol douches were also often used as spermicides. So apart from being icky women smell ads, these were also subversive ads for birth control at a time when BC was frowned upon. God bless Griswold v Connecticut, the sexual revolution and the pill.

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