donald draper

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Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s the billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is okay. You are okay. -- Donald Draper, Mad Men

I’ve put together this collection of recent sexist advertisements from different companies. To be honest, it was difficult to pick the ones I wanted because there were so many of them. It was truly abhorrent. 

Donald Draper explains to us what advertising is. Its a stroking of the ego. Sexism and patriarchy are rampant within society (advertising also touches on things like race, body size, and social class but for the purposes of this post I am focusing on those two), and thus advertising capitalizes on that, makes money on it, and perpetuates it. We’re surrounded by this kind of advertising. We can’t escape it, we’re trapped. 

So when shopping or flipping through a magazine, or even driving down the high way and reading billboards, let’s all remember to put our critical thinking hats on and to identify and call out the sexism. Advertising is a significant contributor to the continued social injustices. But remember: those problems come to an end with us. If we stop responding to these advertisements the way the companies want us to, then some real reform can begin. 

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“Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia” literally means, “the pain from an old wound”. It’s a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship. It’s a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the Wheel. It’s called a Carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels. Around and around, and back home again… to a place where we know we are loved.“ — Mad Men 1x13, The Wheel