Lysol Disinfectant - For your daintiness.

Alert Horrified reader Joe K. horrifically alerted us to this old ad for Lysol, which wanted ladies to use Lysol Disinfectant in their private places... and no, not their underwear drawer.

Huh? Surely this must be some other Lysol product that was specially formulated specifically for ladies to use in their hoo-ha, right? Like, maybe a special Lysol douche or something? The ad doesn't say anything like "Look for this freaky product wherever you buy other Lysol stuff!". And a simple Google image search will show you that that's a standard Lysol bottle pictured in the ad. So, this seems to be regular Lysol.

So, it must be a joke, right? Somebody must have 'Shopped up this ad, swapping in Lysol for, I dunno, Masengil or something? Right?


Double you. Tee. Eff.

Soooooo, this was... real.

For those who are too lazy or (more likely) afraid to try that link, it's a Smithsonian Magazine article about how Lysol was promoted as a feminine hygiene product. Back in The Thirties, "feminine hygiene" was a euphemism for birth control, and this was the subtext of these old Lysol ads. Here's a quote from the Smithsonian article in the link above:

These ads aren’t frightening women into thinking their genitals smell badly. According to historian Andrea Tone, “feminine hygiene” was a euphemism. Birth control was illegal in the U.S. until 1965 (for married couples) and 1972 (for single people). These Lysol ads are actually for contraception. The campaign made Lysol the best-selling method of contraception during the Great Depression.
That sounds completely horrible and insane, right? But what do we know? Well, Smithsonian knows a couple of things, and apparently Lysol was absolutely NOT a thing you should flush into your private parts.

Lysol might have been corrosive to the sperm but it also damaged tissue inside the woman. And in fact the Lysol used back then was far stronger than our Lysol is today. Hundreds of people died from Lysol exposure, some of them women using it as birth control.

Here's another, more on-the-nose ad that makes clear the real meaning of Lysol's phrase "feminine hygiene".

But there's good news, citizens! The Lysol ad at the top of today's post isn't lying in every single word it says. When it points out that Lysol "is effective in the presence of organic matter". Well, that much is accurate. Your tissues and organs are organic matter, and Lysol will fry the shit out of them.

In this second ad, it's pretty clear that "intimate neglect" means she had a sexual whoopsie with a non-her-husband type of man. Also, we now know that "complete feminine hygiene" means "chemically torching unwanted sperm from your virginia'". That sentence made my uterus hurt and I don't even have one.

Thanks to Smithsonian for clearing that historical curiosity up, and to Joe for bringing this to our attention. Now if we can just figure out what Lysol meant by "ignorance".


Anonymous said...

nowhere is this more appropriate:


Michelle_Randy said...

As someone carrying two X chromosomes, this is horrifying.

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