It’s no secret that lots of women love Mad Men, and not just because Don Draper is such a handsome devil. Sure, the show focuses mostly on the swaggering Don. But it also depicts the struggles of numerous female characters as they bump up against the obstacles and issues faced by women at the time, most notably those of secretary-turned-copywriter Peggy Olson as she tries to make it in the boys club that was the advertising world of the 50s and 60s. Meanwhile, the show’s happy homemaker, Betty Draper (now Betty Francis), is about as far from happy as you can get, her life a perfect illustration of Betty Friedan’s critique of the emptiness at the heart of the lives of many middle-class stay-at-home moms of the time.
It’s no wonder that historian Stephanie Coontz has described Mad Men as “TV’s most feminist show,” and no wonder why the show is so popular with the feminist women in my life.(Not to mention with me.)
Just don’t tell any of this to Uncle Elmer, a regular commenter over on The Spearhead. He’s evidently never seen the show, but feels confident he knows why feminists love it so much:
Feminists … have a huge forbidden woodie for the “50s”. They simply cannot get enough 50s imagery and its thinly veiled implication that women should stay at home, know how to run a household, and lavishly support their man so he can go out and bring back the bacon.
I’m betting a lot of lez-couples have a secret “50s room” in their McMansion (or remodeled Brownstone) where they can act out these suppressed urges. The props must be breathtaking.
Uh, yeah. As Amanda Marcotte recently observed,“[w]hen you believe that we live in a female-dominated world where straight men are the most oppressed class, it tends to make you wrong about pretty much everything.”
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