Schlitz Beer & Sexist Advertising in Vintage Beer Ads

I think this ad found at Bored Panda is hilarious.  I wonder what this man would have done if his wife HAD burned the beer!  Again we see a beer ad where a woman is being subjugated to a cook/bartender.  He looks professional with his black suit and tie and she looks like his happy servant.  There is certainly an element of sexist advertising here and it seems many vintage beer ads play on this.  It’s as if the marketers are expecting men to drink beer and then act like jerks to their wives.  Or is it the other way around?  Were men so out of line in this era that marketers targeting their sexism?

vintage beer ad for schlitz beer

Beer Advertising: Just a Product of the Times?

After looking at a handful of vintage beer ads, I can’t find one that isn’t subjugating women to lesser roles than their male counterparts.  In fact, most vintage ads period use the same marketing techniques.  I think this is simply a product of the times.  The workforce was primarily male and the advertising of the times reflect that.  The actions of women during that era also have an effect on advertising.  Many women were happy to land a successful husband and would be a matronly as possible to appease him.  They even went to classes to learn how to be the perfect housewife.

Sexist Advertising: What Would Grandma Say?

I do wonder how women of the time viewed such sexist advertising.  Something tells me the overwhelming majority were probably unaffected by it, as it was the status quo back then.  There had to be some free thinkers who could see through these ads though, right?  I mean, the woman in this ad looks completely helpless.  She burned something in a pan, smoke is pouring from the pan, she is crying, and she cant seem to even use a tissue correctly.  I am going to show this blog to my Grandmother and ask her opinion.  What would your Grams say?

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1 comment on “Schlitz Beer & Sexist Advertising in Vintage Beer Ads


I don’t think my mother would have had issues with these ads back in the day, it was the status quo. I remember when I was a gymnast in high school, my stay-at-home mother told me that it’s a bad sport because I’ll get muscular legs and men won’t like that. Then when I took up rock climbing, she told me I should choose a hobby that was more ladylike! But while she felt I should groom myself to be a traditional woman to attract a mate, she wanted me and my sisters to have a husband who treated us with respect. I’m guessing that she was willing to continue to accept living the role of her husband’s house servant because she thought it was too late for her generation and her situation.