Gather ’round, Mature Adults, for another moment in Aunt Mary’s Advertising Storytime! Fluff the cushions on the fainting couch and prepare to clutch your pearls, because we are about to get personal.
From roughly the turn of the century to the 1960’s the makers of Lysol touted their product to not only clean your house, but to also save your marriage.
Ladies, are you having issues with your husband? Is he staying out too late? Withholding affection? Perhaps that last pregnancy made him a bit jumpy? Lysol is here to help! Not only does it clean your sinks, but is the key to marital harmony if used as a feminine douche. (I’ll let you take a moment to breath through that)
Yes. The folks behind Lysol told women that the problems in their relationships are likely due to pregnancy and/or the crotch rot. The language used in the ads was a brilliant combination of negging and subtext. Evidently everybody knew the term “feminine hygiene” meant birth control, but thanks to strict moral laws prohibiting even the discussion of contraception, they couldn’t just come out and say it, but boy howdy did they get close!
“We can’t tell you it’s birth control, because birth control is illegal, but…yeah…it’s birth control.”
Forget that most of these men were suffering from shell shock due to two world wars and a crippling economic depression. You are obviously the problem and if you really cared you would hose acid where the sun don’t shine.
The makers put out years of print ads encouraging women to use it as a spermicide, and (in my opinion) a combat to STIs. This practice was likely worse than nothing. Used as a contraceptive it was useless and obviously also harmed women’s bodies.
It all ended when the pill came out.