Sunday, October 4, 2009

Judging Betty

I have just got around to watching Mad Men, and I have to say - I really like it. I like Don Draper and all his tight-lipped mystery. I like that he has the suburbanite lifestyle with the kids and the house and the pretty blonde wife, yet he pursues other women. Darker, emotionally complex women who have their own lives and their own interests; independent women who are their own bosses and don't sit at the table waiting for him to arrive at the end of the day.

I really don't like the character of his wife. I think she is meant to be a character for whom we are supposed to feel sympathy; it seems as though we are supposed to like her and feel angry that she is taken advantage of. Her feelings are dismissed, she is accused (wrongly) of lewd behaviour, and she is generally ignored and mistreated. But really, I just hate her.

She is lonely, and sad, and extremely insecure. Certain not the personality faults of the century, but she expresses it by being snide and judgmental towards others. She is passive aggressive. I look at her character and I see a doormat.

Is that what others see? Do you look at a woman who concedes to her husband, raises his children, keeps his house, and entertains his friends and feel sorry for her because her husband is such an ass? Or do you see her and hate her?

I like to think that if I were a twenty-something woman in the 60s that I would sooner be at a dirty little bar in the Village, smoking clove cigarettes and listening to bad poetry than be married to a man who left me alone with his children to keep company with the trollops in the Village.

Really, I just wish I had January Jones' hair.

1 comment:

MargauxMeade said...

I've been both the dark, independent woman who's pursued as well as the wife sitting at the table. They look like different characters, but, trust me, when you strip all the accoutrements away, they're the same woman. They're both passive aggressive and insecure.

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