Gender Roles In Mad Men

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Many of the major blockbuster TV shows of the past decade could be accredited for their uniqueness in terms of the setting and story portrayed. This idea is evident in shows like the medieval story of Game of Thrones, or through the controversial life of a United States CIA agent in Homeland. This was not the case for when the TV show Mad Men first aired in 2007, and even the New York Magazine’s review of this season was quoted as saying that it was “like a fifties leftover, chock-full of unimportant secrets” (Leonard, “Mad Men”). What Mad Men did instead, was bring viewers back in time to New York in the 1960’s, where sexism and racism was unpleasantly pronounced in the workplace. The shows creator, Matthew Weiner, did this unique endeavor…show more content…
He is only to be reminded that they are not only unsupportive but also dysfunctional. (Ultimately his frustration is compounded when his wife is able to acquire the money from her parents.) Weiner does a good job of lightly presenting an aspect that sits in your subconscious - that perhaps the women in this show are the smart ones and the men are to be pitied and disrespected. Despite their patriarchal positions within the company, they repeatedly are shown up by the women and rescued by them. All of the main female characters, despite being in subordinate positions, repeatedly end up saving the day (Betty carrying off the birthday party despite Don’s absence, Peggy coming up with the good ideas at the Lipstick meeting, Joan running the office, Trudy getting the money to buy the apartment). In the first season of Mad Men, the creator does a good job of foreshadowing the internal struggle that will carry through the seasons for both Joan and Peggy. They both stand apart from the other women working at Sterling Cooper in that they are both very bright and very ambitious, for instance, when Peggy sees some of the women on staff crying in the washroom and decides to be strong and not do the
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