“Girls are not much better either”

I’m briefly stuck in the 1970s, before I get back to jellying a salad in the 1940s, because I’m fascinated by this advertisement for Savlon from Woman’s Weekly Magazine of 5 September 1970:

Savlon - The Hall of Einar
Girls are not much better – Savlon 1970

“Because boys are boys they get cuts and grazes and scratches more often than you’d thought possible.
Girls are not much better either.
Nor is Dad.”

[I recognise this boy’s life: I’m always scratched to pieces by hiding from birds in Gorse bushes]

There’s no mention of a woman getting cuts, grazes or scratches, because that wouldn’t be right and proper would it? A woman doing anything physical or rough in 1970? Perish the thought! So it got me thinking: The casual sexism of 50 years ago is shocking now. So what from now will be shocking in 50 years time? In 2070 will they shake their heads in wonder, shock and disgust at how many women were killed by their partners? I hope today will seem a strange place in the future.

Here’s a tube of Savlon now:

Savlon - The Hall of Einar
Savlon Antiseptic Cream

Interestingly we now tell people (who we refer to as ‘consumers’) the following:

Hazards and Cautions


Do not use if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. Cetostearyl alcohol may cause local skin reactions. Parahydroxybenzoates may cause allergic reactions (possibly delayed).
Keep out of the reach and sight of children.
Do not store above 30ºC.
Do not use after the expiry date shown on the end of the tube.

Age Restriction
You must be at least 16 years old to purchase this product.

This is a medicine; Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have an underlying medical condition, are taking any other medication or complementary therapy, or if symptoms persist.
Seek advice before using if you are breast feeding, pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or suffer from allergies.
Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.

Also contains: Cetostearyl Alcohol, Liquid Paraffin, Methylhydroxybenzoate, Propylhydroxybenzoate, Perfume, Purified Water.

I wonder what was on the label 50 years ago and whether we’ll still be putting Savlon on the knees of girls and boys in 50 years time?

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