Monday, November 14, 2011

Mad Men and Feminism

In this clip you see character Joan Halloway having to entertain guests when she doesn't really want to (the clip has been cut up so it's hard to tell that's what's up). In the second part her fiance is referring to himself not being able to be a surgeon, something he went to school for, listen to how he talks to her and assumes she can't understand what it's like to want something for herself. Assuming that she is perfectly happy because she has him and a home, that's all a woman needs right?

Have you ever seen the show Mad Men? If you have and you are familiar with women's studies and feminist theory, then you already know that the content of this show goes hand in hand with what we are learning about. Mad Men is about ad men in the late 50's early 60's era. The show exemplifies in nearly every episode some sort of sexism, homophobia, or racism that was common during this time. It shows how advertising in this time period is extremely gender targeted and not designed to work with how the consumer thinks but how they want them to feel in order to get the consumer to buy more of whatever product. The main character, along with most of the other male characters in the show, is an alcoholic womanizer. His wife who they think there is something wrong with (she is suffering from "the problem with no name") goes to a psychiatrist who is in link with her husband, no confidentiality, this is common for this time period. I consider this show a must watch for anyone diving into women's studies and feminist theory, because it so accurately portrays a time period which is usually over glorified. You will see how women are treated in the office place, sex objects who are easily replaced. You will also see how a woman who works her way up into a career woman is perceived and how hard it is for her living in this "man's world". Mad Men shows how sexism and oppression effects not only women but men as well, in this time period. My feminist friends and I love this program, but sadly more ignorant people can't see what's in front of their face and seem to perceive the show in a different light. Obviously I don't want to spoil anything, so go watch Mad Men and form an opinion for yourself, it's on NetFlix!

Here's a cool article from the Washington Post, Why 'Mad Men' is TV's most feminist show

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