By now you’ve heard all the hoopla around AMC’s blockbuster show “Mad Men.” It’s the story of the 1960s Madison Avenue advertising executives (nicknamed Mad Men) and all the shenanigans that revolve around their lives (women, booze, smoking…and more women and booze and smoking) while working at Sterling Cooper, a fictitious advertising agency.
I wasn’t born in the 1960s, so I’ve only heard stories of the definite line between men and women in that era. Mad Men puts it all out there. The beck and call housewife who must entertain her high powered husband’s business associates by fixing a scrumptious full course meal in a pretty dress and pearls and keeping the kids quiet as to not “ruin” the dinner. The agency secretary who is called “girl” (as in “just tell your girl to hold all your calls”) and is treated like a servant fetching coffee, briefcase and coat and addressing the boss as Mr. MadMan. The girl is also only good for typing and answering phones, because she doesn’t have any “real” thoughts in her pretty little head.
I’m so glad there are more options (both personally and professionally) available to women now, and most are encouraged to do and be anything they want, just as a man is encouraged to reach for the stars. And I don’t think there are a lot of men who want a “barbie wife with no brains who I can boss around.” I know my husband would get bored real quick if I agreed with everything he said, had a steaming dinner on the table at 6 pm sharp, and the boys sat quietly at the table. If that were the case, he wouldn’t get the satisfaction of playing devil’s advocate just to see if he could get a rise out of me, inducing a spirited conversation. There would be no creative dinner plans and we definitely wouldn’t have the interesting and sometimes inappropriate dinner conversations with our five and six year old boys.