Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thoughts on Mad Men and Sommers

Are any of you watching Mad Men?

I recently started watching it on Netflix and wow, like 99% of the men on it so far are total assholes to women.

Yet, I can't stop watching it in a similar way that I can't stop reading certain conservative dude blogs I read. There's something I find so compelling, not in a good way, of men who are certain about their intellectual supremacy in comparison to women - whether they make that belief explicit or whether the belief crops up mostly in how they engage women's ideas and arguments. Compelling in that I think it's in my defensive self-interest as a woman to know what some men really think about women, and of themselves in relation to women.

Anyway, you know those parts of Mad Men when one of the men will say something totally slimy and sexual in the office, usually about a woman while the woman is within earshot, and then how they all smarmily laugh, basking in their supremacist brotherhood of thank-god-we're-not-women-ness?

Internet should have a montage of the clips in which all of the men are engaging in their douchey chortling, and a link to it should be left in the comments of every cesspool blog that's dominated by sexist dudes.

Just throwing that out there.

In any event, I'm on Season 2 and it's also compelling to see how the writers are showing women's various responses to working in such an incredibly sexist workplace.

Earlier this month, conservative "feminist" Christina Hoff Sommers assured everyone that the gender wage gap is a myth, because women - for reasons she fails to adequately specify - are Just Interested In Low-Paying Jobs Compared To the Jobs Men Are Interested In, Because of Biology Reasons.

Now, I don't take Mad Men to be, like a super rigorous historical account of life in the US in the 1960s. But, it's interesting to be watching that show whilst reading accounts like Sommers', that mostly seek to affirm a status quo, rather than to question it, and that largely treats disparities that still exist as, well, there used to maybe be unfairness toward women but then some stuff happened and now, well, now everyone has equal opportunity so if women make less money these days it's entirely because of their individual choices and their biological essence.

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