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Sexist cartoons get dada

Today, a guest post from Etelka, the blogger behind the hilarious Wretched Refuse blog, which you all should read every day.


Thanks for letting me sit in, David! As I was telling you, I recently did some rooting around in a unique cranny of pre-manosphere media: sexist vintage cartoons. In the late ’40s and ’50s there were a lot of them published in books like this. (Some of the book covers that follow have been borrowed from the Vintage Sleaze blog here.)


My investigations had a purpose: I was blogging about castration anxiety, and I thought I might find some old cartoons that had something to say about it. Not likely. The vast majority of these artworks have two themes: Young women are hot, and old women are dried-up and useless.

stags2Often expressed in the same panel.

Some dramatize the existential terror that gnaws at the core of every PUA:

022Others offer date-rape fantasies:


Still, I’ve always liked looking at these old cartoons. There’s something uniquely voyeuristic about them. After all, they were never meant to be glimpsed by women. These cartoons are as pure a conduit into the male id as the girlie mags of the period.

I find they elicit a surprising range of emotion. Some give you a smug sense of how far we’ve come…


…if not in attitudes, then in comedic chops.

Others provoke meditations on whether we’ve come that far at all — and where we’ve ended up. This one reminds me of a certain dicey scene involving a thumb in the movie Bring it On.  (That being the dicey scene in which the guy cheerleader nonconsensually violates the girl cheerleader’s nether parts with said thumb.)


This cartoon invited men to snigger at the idea of uninvited vaginal probing; 50 years later, Bring it On invited teenage girls to do the same. Progress?

Feeling queasy yet? Gird yourself for a full-on dry heave with this one, previously featured on Manboobz:

Yep, it’s definitely the undiluted male id we’re talking about here. That’s why this next group of comics is so strange. They’re from this book:

Why is the guy looking behind the painting? To get a glimpse of her nipples? Ha ha… I suppose?

But that’s nothing to what’s inside. If sexist cartoons reveal the male id, then what are these revealing?


Ha ha! I guess!


Um… ha? No. No ha.





These cartoons aren’t just unfunny, they’re downright surreal. They remind me of those Nancy or New Yorker caption contest parodies where people deliberately put in non sequitur captions. (You’ll notice that the front cover of the “French cartoons” book up there doesn’t make any sense either.) If I were a psychoanalytic literary critic, I’d wind this up with something about how repressed urges can explode into incoherent displays of hysteria. (The non-funny kind of hysteria, obvi!) Instead, let’s conclude with one more mystifying example, this one from “Satan!” magazine.

tattooWhere? WHERE? It’s a question to ponder.

281 replies on “Sexist cartoons get dada”

Akk, that reminds me of a creep I knew slightly – he was BiL to a friend. Came up and planted his hand on my back once, and my default was to pull away and snap “Get your hand off me.” He acted all wounded and complained later that nobody had talked to him like that since his first wife. (I could never fathom what my friend’s sister saw in him: he was a foul-mouthed, obnoxious, bossy creep.)

People are even allowed not to be attracted to skinny hairy English stand-ups in pirate gear!

People are allowed to not be attracted to you.

Which is probably the default state for this troll.

But yeah, the misogynists go all ooh, ick at the thought of getting attention from, or paying attention to, a woman they’re not attracted to. The thought that women have preferences outrages them, though.

At least it’s relatively easy when one’s only interested in one person: “You’re not him. Doesn’t matter how handsome/tall/rich/witty/blahblahblah you might be, you. are. not. him.”

There’s also “part of the reason he’s allowed to hug me and you’re not is that he isn’t trying to grab my ass”, but that’s a bit complicated for these guys.

I really, REALLY dislike people getting in my personal space. It’s a huge air raid siren in my head. TOUCHING me, when you’re not my system member or my husband or saving me from a rabid bear, is right out. It’s not cute, it’s not funny. Don’t do it.

I knew a guy who tried to pick me up once without warning. After the fit I pitched, he apologized and never did it again. I also knew some very touchy-feely girls but they at least would open their arms and make a, “Hug?” face, so as to give me time to say, “no.” I only wish other touchy-feely people had been that good.

And the Labor party don’t work, the Libs focus more on social conservatism, the Christian Democrats are christian don’t like democracy much at all, the Greens are mostly in shades from dark brown to ruddy pink, the Socialist Alliance don’t even pretend to like each other, and the Nationals are mostly regional.

That’s why I vote Sex Party!

(I don’t actually vote Sex Party – no real faith in electoral politics but if you have to show up you may as well vote, and I cast mine for the Greens whenever I can.)

The great thing about the open arms and question-face approach to hugging is that it works even across a language barrier. If, otoh, you walk up behind a complete stranger and wrap yourself around them like a hungry anaconda then you are speaking the universal language of the creeper.

I don’t think they’ve even heard of the Sex Party in my seat, lol. It is, alas, a safe Liberal seat. I rather wish the Sex Party would change its name, because they’ve managed to create the impression they’re all about YAY PORN THERE’S NEVER ANYTHING WRONG WITH PORN IT’S WONDERFUL, which is not a party I’d ever vote for. I know they’ve wider concerns than sex/porn but I do give ’em the side-eye. Though like I said, they’re not standing here, so it’s not really relevant to how I’ll vote. I tend to go Labor simply because nobody else can form a government, and I’m voting less for a party than against the Liberals. I loathe them even more now than in Howard’s time. Ah, what a day that was, when little Johnny’s mob lost and he lost his seat …

Consent for a hug, it is easy! When my osteo left the practice a couple of weeks ago (sob) I opened my arms and asked if a farewell hug would be inappropriate. She said no, and we hugged. So simple, you’d think anyone could manage it.


They’re actually one of the few sensible parties on social issues – no government snooping on the internet, legalisation of cannabis, which the Greens aren’t pushing for at all anymore, drug liberalisation, fixing the video game rating system, eliminating tax-exempt status for non-charitable religious institutions, vastly increased access to abortion. If they had economic/environmental/indigenous ideas (well, they’re not big fans of the NT intervention, but that’s just human decency) and a slightly less silly name, they’d be a good addition to the Australian electoral-politics left.

I’ve managed it with people with whom neither of us was capable of saying anything more complicated than “hello” or “thank you” in the other person’s language! Seriously, I love cuddles, cuddles are great, but grabbing someone out of the blue and trying to hold them still and engage in some impromptu frottage while they frantically try to push you away is not a cuddle, it’s assault.

That’s exactly what I mean – the silly name and the emphasis the media’s given to that one aspect of it (is some porn producer involved in the party, or am I completely befuddled there?) can be pretty alienating; I certainly find it so, and it was a hella surprise to find they do have some very good ideas.

“TOUCHING me, when you’re not my system member or my husband or saving me from a rabid bear, is right out.”

I keep meaning to apologize for my mother’s “handshakes are polite” thing, and I’m awkward, but now seems a good time…so yeah, sorry she’d have considered it rude not to, I should’ve warned her before hand >.<

Also, I just put down Bodily Reconstruction as I'm half done and realized I'd have a sad when I finish.

But really, it’s the “well you let that other guy do it” part that shifts my mental state from “irritated” to “homicidal”.


Not a porn producer per se, but the party’s leader is head of EROS, “Australia’s national adult retail and entertainment association”, and they’ve been accused of mostly trying to increase profits for sex shops.

There was an annoying co-worker at one point who was fun in small doses but prone to whining when he didn’t get his way who complained about how UNFAAAIIIRRR it was that my friend, who was gay, was allowed to sleep in the same bed as me when we were both getting sleepy at a party. OK, first, friend, second, gay, and third, why does he get to do that and you don’t? Because I say so, that’s why.

I’m a person who is not a toucher, and who is definitely not a hugger, but there are occasionally people whom I like to hug, and people whom I dislike to hug, and people whom I hug because if I didn’t it would be so much work to explain (Basically, “Oh yeah! I’m so excited that I just delivered your baby and you’re new parents and it’s so great, but thanks, I don’t hug.” is very awkward.) I also have a thing that I don’t like when people hug when it’s seemingly meaningless. I have friends who hug a lot, who always seem like the hug means something, and then friends who hug a lot, who do it basically as an exchange for saying hello, see you later, I’ll be back in five, ect… the people who just give them away without any attention paid to meaning, so it’s not meaningful, bothers me and I don’t hug them.

And argh on “but you let him do it”. Yeah, and I’ll let my mother see me half naked as long as my twisted back is getting sports cream out of it, and my brother is allowed to do the playful punch thing — anyone else thinks they have permission to do either on those grounds, without explicit permission, isn’t getting a playful punch. (Ok, I’m more the verbal eviseration sort, but picture the few times I’ve lost it at trolls, at a volume that the whole block can hear or in a tone that has that “keep it up and see what happens” snarl)

Lol, LBT, Biff’s talking through his teeth thing? Yeah, that’s my reaction to the randomly touching types.

I admit, the only person I can really hug unreservedly is my husband. Even the kids, it takes a moment for me to go, “right, yes, hug!” and do so.

And Argenti, it’s okay about your mom. Handshakes are about the most physical contact I’m okay with. And I’m glad you’re enjoying Bodily Reconstruction!

Ok, I’m glad she didn’t upset or offend you or anything! And Bodily Reconstruction is awesome so far, the cover art is stunning, the digital does not do this justice, and my little M.D. sketch ^.^

And love it being the “Harry Benjamin Health Center”, between my groan and my eyes nearly rolling across the floor, I’m lucky no one asked wtf I was groaning at because trying to explain that would’ve been fun!

Unimaginative: Also, I’ve been asking Pollock why he chooses to be obstruse, and he’s referring me to you.

O-0? Why is he doing that?

This is on some other thread? While you’re there ask the people we like to come on over.

On this site we see the unholy triumvirate of David F, the craven herrretic Pecunium, and Howard B, leading the monsterous regiment of women (as the intelligent but nethertheless heretical John Knox aptly coined the phrase).

He forgot about me! Hmph! ::sulks::

God bless you all and amen. Yes this is drunken rambling, I admit it, but such is life.

Hypocrite. Aren’t you at all concerned about damaging your witness? At this rate you’d be hard pressed to win your own soul.

…Go away, Mr. Al.

I’ve sort of got used to hugging all the time. Seems everyone does it as a greeting thing, so I’ll just roll with it. I used to feel uncomfortable with all this non-sexual non-intimate hugging, but as I said, I’ve gotten used to it. I felt getting used to it was just easier than trying to teach the entire world that I don’t want them to hug me, but obviously, YMMV on this one.

Yeah, Dvärghundspossen, that was always my thing about it – it’s non-intimate when it’s done for a reason like greeting someone that you see all the time. And for me touch is intimate. Depending on the reason I just do it, but I don’t like people touching me, in general, except for people I’ve determined I trust enough to not hurt me, which is not very many people.

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