What old ads say about us, what Europeans say about us, elegant government buildings

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Again, this week we have plenty to think about.

First, a retrospective of sexist ads shows how far American society has come from the ’60s. Next, we learn what Europeans say about us behind our backs. Hopefully, we can learn something from them and dismiss what is simply cultural. Finally, a list of the most elegant government buildings in the country allows us pause to consider architectural beauty.

26 sexist ads of the Mad Men era

Flight attendants — stewardesses back when this ad was published — have taken their fair share of sexist comments over the years. Comments can still be heard muttered under the breath of passengers. And, I’m sure that flight attendants mutter about their passengers as well.

This is one of the ads that I came across while scanning this post about sexist ads from the not-so-distant past.

The rampant sexism in “Mad Men” was typical of the 1960s, when the outlook for women in America was just beginning to change. While the “second wave” of feminism began in the ’60s, mainstream America was still very much a “man’s world.”

That attitude carried over into advertising, which did little to advance gender roles and ran ads that implied women were idiots who cared mostly about pleasing their men.

Here are some of advertising’s most egregious sexist ads from that era.

10 things Europeans say about you behind your back

Some of these comments are right to the point and may be something from which we can all learn. Others are simply a different way living and different habits. However, this list should give travelers pause and may be helpful to those who strive to be a less conspicuous tourist.

– “You sound like an idiot when you imitate our accents!”
– “Why are you smiling? You don’t even know us!”
– “You eat too fast.”
– “You drink too much.”
– “You work too hard.”
– “You are a prude.”
– “Seriously? We speak three or four languages and you can’t be bothered to learn to say ‘Do you speak English?’ in ours?”
– “You don’t know the difference between ‘Baltic’ and ‘Balkan’ or, for that matter, what The Hague is.”
– “You dress like a slob.”
– “We know your history better than you do.”

The 20 most elegant government buildings

When we think about elegant government buildings many immediately consider the magnificent buildings of Washington, DC. There are the Jefferson Building that houses the original Library of Congress, The Capitol, The White House and others. However, this list is made up of buildings across the nation. Many are within striking distance of weekend travelers and are worth the journey in many cases (always for architecture buffs).

Each and every building brings us face to face with beauty. Some seem obvious, others less so. But, pondering beauty of any kind gladdens the soul.

The finalists were selected from 80 nominees judged by a jury of private-sector professionals chaired by architect Henry N. Cobb. The awards honor federal employees, architects, engineers, landscape architects, urban designers, interior designers, artists, conservationists and preservationists who work on federal facilities.

The envelope, please.

The following seven buildings were recognized for honors:

U.S. Land Port of Entry, Van Buren, Maine
Peace Arch Land Port of Entry, Blaine, Wash.
Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, Portland, Ore.
Jacob K. Javits Federal Building Plaza, New York, N.Y.
• Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C.
United States Courthouse, Austin, Texas
Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse, New York, N.Y.

  • AndTheHorseYouRodeUpOn

    You forgot the ad — “Men Only” Flights that United Airlines had LGA-ORD in the mid 1960’s.