1968 Anacin ad defines housework as "a mild form of torture"

Michael sez, "From a 1968 ad in Life: 'Making beds, getting meals, acting as family chauffeur -- having to do the same dull, tiresome work day after day -- is a mild form of torture. These boring yet necessary tasks can bring on nervous tension, fatigue and what is now known as "housewife headache."'

"Housewife Headache" (Thanks, Michael!)


  1. Surely the copywriters meant to say it “is a mild form of enhanced interrogation techniques”….

  2. A ‘mild’ form of torture? Now there’s an understatement. I’ve lost so many brane cells from this soul killing drudgery I can barely typ. Or spell.

  3. These boring yet necessary tasks can bring on nervous tension, fatigue and what is now known as housewife headache.

    This is 1968! mommy should be dropping acid instead!

    1. You joke, but several prescription migraine medicines are close relatives to LSD. As a side note, some guy with bad migraines heard about this and figured shrooms had LSD (not true), so tried them. Word is he found it puts migraines into remission for weeks or months. He got his chemistry wrong, but it turns out shrooms and imitrex are in the same family.

      1. Imitrex sucks donkey doo. From a migraine sufferer. Imitrex made mine so much worse that even reading the name, Imitrex, makes me grit my teeth in anger.

  4. If you say it with a straight face, you, too, can make up a medical diagnosis.

    “Reading all the comments on this post? Clearly you face what is called ‘internet addiction.'”

  5. One pill makes you larger
    And one pill makes you small
    And the one called Anacin
    Doesn’t do anything at all….

  6. I’m pretty sure that my mother’s 50 hour work week, hour round-trip commute and still having to manage the household was more headache-inducing.

    1. Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o’clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

  7. I remember anacin – but my family used valium instead for those “housewife headaches”. Mommy’s little helper, dontcha know.

  8. Let’s see… “Anacin”… mild form of torture…

    Why do I suddenly have this mental picture of an annoying little cid and some ctonian horror called “jarjarbincs”?

    And why does it sounds so much like a good explaination?

  9. Is your life boring and empty with nowhere for you to grown and now sense of value? Do you laugh at the irony of your existence? Does your family?

    Don’t look for answers and for god’s sake don’t do anything. Kill your brain. It’s useless anyway. Drugs are the answer, you won’t even care that you’re dying!

  10. Gee have times changed. Many women still have that plus hold jobs and have the joy of being a single parent. I don’t know how the H-ell they do it!

  11. maybe I’m reading too much into the about-to-get-it-on looks between the couple in the bottom of the ad, but . . . is this advertising targeted directly at the trope of “not tonight honey, I have a headache”?

    1. Yep, I think you’re right! In the 1960’s you didn’t dare try to run an ad that would say: Take Anacin so that you don’t have to say to hubby “not tonight honey, I’ve got a headache”! LOL

  12. ‘Minutes after taking Anacin your headache goes, so does its nervous tension and fatigue’…and you can rush into the bathroom to spend two hours constructing an elaborate up-do and slip onto your best dress, before honey comes home to press in close, asking for a little ‘sumpin sumpin’, but you’re feeling fine after a long day of minding the children, drudging about like Cinderella and taking two fortified aspirin and maybe a Lysol douche, so you say ‘sure, why not? I’m soooo bored, even sex sounds good to me. Come ‘ere, tiger, let me help you with that tie.’

    ‘That, or I strangle you with it. Either way, I’m happy.’

    1. There’s a photo by Julius Shulman that has a perfect couple in their perfect mid-century home. Every time that I see it, I hear him saying, “Drunk again?” and her saying, “I wouldn’t drink if you weren’t fucking your secretary.” The secret lives of Samantha and Darrin.

      1. You should look at that ‘photo’ more closely. (I’m not suggesting that you bypass anti-downloading mechanisms, of course.)

        Some of it is a drawing not a photo. The perspectives are all wrong, it looks shopped, some looks like Ikea catalog clippings.

  13. Hence, the need for “A Room of Her Own”in lieu of the big pharma ad campaigns which go on today. 1968/2011 the more things change, the more they stay the same. Oh, and if the extreme right wing gets their way women and girls will be kept bare footed and pregnant, subservient to the man of the house whom g-d has declared the ruler and interpreter of “his” word. Read “The Handmaid’s Tale” for a chilling look at the future that has become all too close for comfort in the U.S. Palin, Bachman, et al, are the moles for the uber-Christian, male hierarchy they believe is ordained in the Bible.

    1. Are you serious? I’m ten times more scared of Sharia Law than Christianity. If we don’t watch our butts in the west, it may just happen.

      1. not likely.

        we’ll have the Christian Taliban wrapping women up in freedom-gowns long before Muslims have any actual power in our country, and keeping Muslims out and properly sequestered will be their “in” just like it has been with pretty much every single reactionary self-destructive psychotic wave of bullshit.

        1. people said basically the same thing about the Irish in the US within the last 100 years.

      2. Vondasue, you have little faith in the U.S. military if you really fear Sharia law or whatever outside influence has you shaking in your boots today. Whatever happened to “The Home of the Brave” not to mention simply unhysterical thinking? It’s sad you think we are so vulnerable and don’t get on a Tea Party rag about our president opening the gates of hell, etc. Chill, for g-d’s sake.

        1. @ blueelm and anon, Christian Taliban? I think you two are the hysterics here. I think it’s you two that need to take a chill pill. Tea Party? Nope.

  14. Doing the same dull thing day after day is torture? Actually it is the foundation of our economy.

  15. With all due respect, don’t play the “who’s life is harder” game. It’s not very becomming.

    1. I’d like to second TNGMug here; it’s really not necessary to play my-mom-was-tougher-than-your-mom. I stay at home with my two kids who are diagnosed with Asperger’s. There are days when I would trade everything I have for a ten-hour day working at something rewarding and the chance to come home to kids with whom I can a conversation that isn’t about Swedish pop stars or Tamagotchi. Or even for a freaking Anacin.

  16. There’s an easy and highly effective preventative medicine for this ailment, it’s called a condom.

    Or don’t marry/boff a lazy prick.

    Gotta go…gotta get some shut eye so I can survive all my torture tomorrow…

    1. It is torture nonetheless… And should be banished.

      As a kid I told my folks chores were cruel and unusual punishment, but someone they were unswayed by either the 8th Amendment or the Geneva Conventions. Tyrants.

  17. While all the women of yesteryear were fighting for homemaking to be considered a profession, women now do all those duties (some with help from their partner) including the cooking, cleaning, childcare, etc… while holding down a full time job, and it’s no longer a fluff job either.
    I suspect, under stimulated was the problem…

    1. Hmm, perhaps men should be doing more of the housework. Like, half. That sounds fair to me.

    1. @ Anon # 37

      Should we just have prisoners clean houses until they talk?

      Only after we give them an MRI to make sure they aren’t OCD.

  18. See if you don’t feel better all over….

    Uh-huh. Because the job isn’t over for the day until you’re lying in the wet spot.

    Having done paid drudgery for 60-80 hour weeks and unpaid drudgery with no scheduled time off ever 24/7/365, I know which one required more drugs.

    1. ‘Uh-huh. Because the job isn’t over for the day until you’re lying in the wet spot.’


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