Cracked.com has relatively interesting lists and articles. While I can't help but be dubious of many of the more serious ones, the less serious ones can still irk me from time to time. Case in point, this list: http://www.cracked.com/article_17036_8-tv-ads-that-hate-women.html
It isn't like I've never seen lists or ads like this before, a quick YouTube search will come up with dozens of "misogynist" vintage ads. What I wonder about is what the point is of making lists like these.
Firstly, concentrating specifically on the eight ads chosen by Cracked, it seems absurd that an inanimate TV ad can maintain the mental state of hate
As for the ads themselves (specifically the old ads), while I won't try to deny that the producers of these ads didn't harbor some less than egalitarian sentiments toward women, the best approach is to look at the ads in one of two ways: They're outdated, so they serve as kitsch, or, they are an appropriate summation of their particular consumer zeitgeist – at least as examined by the company or researchers in question.
The kitsch part is easy. Speaking for myself, I've always had an affinity for these types of ads because they personify an era that I was not a part of, but that I've been able to marginally experience through the aid of Nick at Nite shows. False Nostalgia Syndrome, if you will. So, I enjoy them: the phony parochial nature of them all, the style, the transatlantic announcer voice. They're fun to watch because they're subdued, or if they're camp, they don't get near a flicker on the barometer of trash that most modern commercials easily hit.
When critiquing older ads, is the point to highlight how absurd the copy sounds when pitted against our more "enlightened" commercials of today (are there any?)
With new ads, what is the goal? What would complaining about a diamond commercial accomplish? Instead of complaining that the commercial portrays women as naïve little animals distracted by shiny stuff, why doesn't an endorser of "equality" complain about how the commercials generally show men proposing to women? Why not women proposing to men? What about couples who say, screw the expensive rings and let's instead go for something else – maybe ring tattoos? Diamonds might be forever, but so is ink, and there's no need for layaway plans with the latter.
A yogurt commercial might show two chatty women conversing about shoe shopping and noshing on sweets, but is it accurate to say this portrayal reveals a "hatred" of women? Should we instead assume that all women talk about at a spa is Shakespeare and Milton? Remember, the medium is television and the point of advertising is to move products, not show viewers how interesting some actors on a set can be.
Even though lists like these may be harmless fun, despite their flinging of derogatory labels like sexist, misogynist, etc, I have seen enough of them to ask: Why bother bringing them up?
Probably because it makes for cheap entertainment, much like most of television.