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Photographer switches gender roles in sexist vintage ads from the 1950s and 60s

Eli Rezkallah created the series titled 'In a parallel universe' to challenge sexism in daily life.

Photographer switches gender roles in sexist vintage ads from the 1950s and 60s
Image Source: Eli Rezkallah

Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 15, 2021. It has since been updated.

The society we live in is a patriarchal one where the power is overwhelmingly held by men. The world is structured in a way that men are at an advantage and gender roles ensure that women are always at their service. This continues to be enforced through stereotypical ads where women are expected to be the perfect wives who cook and clean for their husbands. While the sexism in ads may be a little more subtle today, advertisers in the past did not hold back. The ads from the mid-20th century forced the idea of gender roles violently.

Visual artist Eli Rezkallah noticed the sexism in daily life one Thanksgiving. "I overheard my uncles talk about how women are better off cooking, taking care of the kitchen, and fulfilling 'their womanly duties.' Although I know that not all men 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," he stated as the inspiration for creating a brutally honest representation of what it would be like if women wanted revenge instead of justice. 



 

The series is titled In a parallel universe and is a "series of fictional images, recreated from real ads in the Mad Men era, that question modern-day sexism: showing it through a humorous light to spark a conversation through role play." The images will make you think twice about how far we have to go for equality and freedom. 

1. When being "tie"d down to gender roles should not be entertained.

Source: Eli Rezkalla

2. A woman's place is where she wants it to be.

Source: Eli Rezkalla

3. Maybe she should have burnt that too.

Source: Eli Rezkalla

 

4. Maybe if she was given a hand, she would not have to be in there for so long.

Source: Eli Rezkalla

5. Someone didn't have their cuppa Joe...

Source: Eli Rezkalla

6. Maybe she can't open it, maybe it's a product design flaw.

Source: Eli Rezkalla

7. Do not touch anyone without consent.

Source: Eli Rezkalla

8. You can't just walk all over people.

Source: Eli Rezkalla

9. Maybe the slacks are not the problem. 

Source: Eli Rezkalla

10. No vacuum cleaner can clean up after the mess patriarchy leaves behind.

Source: Eli Rezkalla

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