This is a woman’s point of view.
Since I’ve started working, there are few pleasures I can look forward to on a weekday. Painfully few, to be honest. However, I do have Mad Men. My weekly Draper fix…fixes me. I began watching the show, because as an advertising graduate, it was show I felt I had to watch.
One episode. It took me one episode to get hooked. To mechanically reach for my cigarettes and I wish I was one of those people who enjoyed Scotch. It is a tribute to storytelling at its richest. Five seasons in, and I haven’t spotted a flaw. And I enjoy spotting flaws. Like in Titanic, where the use of teabags was blatantly exhibited. Seriously, Cameron? Such a rookie mistake. Mad Men, on the other hand, is creative and historical perfection.
This week’s episode of Mad Men however, “The Other Woman”, trangressed mere perfection. It kept me up till midnight, drained and invigorated. There were the moments I felt waves of disgust and nausea. The moments that washed remorse over me. Then there was that one scene that is sure to be nominated for (yet another) Emmy. The scene where wordsmith Don Draper has no words. He shows his love, his regret and his regret wordlessly, and to Peggy Olson. The one woman in his life who has ever been able to challenge him intellectually.
But best of all, there was the ending. The ending that must have had feminists over the world whooping in cries of “Yes! Finally!” As for me, I laughed out loud, shivered in yayness, tucked my knees under my chin and watched the ending again. And again. And again.
This week’s episodes follows the theme of feminist theory (a subject the S.O, after one of my rants, insists I should have studied instead of media. Go figure.) and that age-old topic: The objectification of women. Women as beautiful frivolous things. Wanted, craved, desired for their beauty. Their bosoms and the swish of their hips. The batting of their eyelashes rather than the workings of their mind. Its the reason men almost always refer to their cars as women; its “something beautiful you can truly own.”
Ah, but then theres Peggy Olson. Who is now a stranger from the meek secretary we met in Season 1. A woman who was also wanted and desired this week. A woman who ultimately had a price and could be bought. But desired for her mind, her creativity, her ideas. A woman who was wooed in the business world just like a man would have been. A woman, who this past season has been continually referred to as a girl, or even worse, “a little girl”. Choosing ambition over love, like most men would, Peggy makes us feminists proud. Breaking our hearts and healing it ten times over in a few minutes.
It is a tribute to the show, that I can feel so much for a fictional character and a storyline. While Peggy’s future on the show is uncertain, the connect I feel towards to her character means that frankly, I don’t care. Peggy’s sense of assertion and self-worth needed to thrive, and if that means she won’t be a series regular, then so be it. Thrive Peggy, thrive.
This week wasnt about the mad men, but the women. Who proved, yet again, that with less fanfare (and much less alcohol) they are far more than just beautiful things.