Here's What Happens When an Artist Reverses Gender Roles in Ads From the '60s

This is a fictional ad by Eli Rezkallah, but like the others in the exhibit, it is based on a real ad campaign — with a modern twist, of course. (Photo: Snapshot from Instagram)

Beirut-based photographer Eli Rezkallah was inspired to create his "In a Parallel Universe" photo series after overhearing a conversation at a family gathering.

"Last Thanksgiving, I overheard my uncles talk about how women are better off cooking, taking care of the kitchen, and fulfilling 'their womanly duties.' Although I know that not all men ... think that way, I was surprised to learn that some still do, so I went on to imagine a parallel universe, where roles are inverted and men are given a taste of their own sexist poison."

For his project, he looked at sexist ads from the "Mad Men" era and recreated them — with gender roles reversed. (The original ads, which you can see if you scroll forward with the arrow in the images below, are real.)

The point is not just to look at the past but to "... question modern day sexism, showing it through a humorous light to spark a conversation," Rezkallah writes on his website.

The 31-year-old self-described feminist wants to get people thinking about gender roles and how destructive they can be. How could he reach people like his uncles? "I thought that the only way to make people like them understand what is wrong is by simply communicating it visually by simply reversing the gender roles," Rezkallah told The Huffington Post.

"In a Parallel Universe" looks at one aspect of what is the larger issue of women's abuse and speaks to the larger issue through a creative lens. This project is tagged on social media with #TimesUp, which was founded by more than 300 women in Hollywood who aim to end sexual harassment in the workplace. The goal is systemic change in both the media industry, but also other businesses — they're working in solidarity with Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (the National Farmworker Women's Alliance). They came together following 2017's explosive revelations about alleged harassment, abuse and assault by powerful men in the entertainment industry like Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK, and far too many others.