Here's why this artist swapped women for men in old adverts

Posted by
Emily Reynolds
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Sexist ads used to be par for the course. So this artist decided to flip things on their head…

If you’ve ever flicked through a vintage magazine, or even just watched an episode of Mad Men, you’ll know just how sexist adverts used to be. Whether they implied that women belonged at the feet of a man…

An implication that women are weak…

Or implying that women can’t cope on their own…

…there was no shortage of sexism in the advertising world.

So it’s no surprise that artist Eli Rezkallah wanted to turn things on their head – and that’s exactly what she’s done in her latest project, In A Parallel Universe. 

As the name suggests, the images flip sexist ad imagery around – with men becoming the submissive subjects instead of women. 

“Last Thanksgiving, I overheard my uncles talk about how women are better off cooking, taking care of the kitchen, and fulfilling “their womanly duties”,” Rezkallah explains. “Although I know that not all men like my uncles think that way I was surprised to learn that some still do.”

“So I went on to imagine a parallel universe, where roles are inverted and men are given a taste of their own sexist poison.”

Take a look at some of the images below:

We might like to imagine that sexist advertising has been left in the 1950s, where it decidedly belongs. But that’s not quite the case. 

Sexist ads are still rife – an Audi ad suggested that buying a car was equivalent to marrying a woman, a Belvedere vodka ad made light of rape, and both Pritt Stick and Bic have been under fire in recent years for “just for girls” themed products (all pink, obviously). We’ve come a long way from images of men spanking their wives – but we’ve still got a way to go yet. 

Images: Eli Rezkallah