I’ve started watching Mad Men on Netflix for what must be the fifth time. Everytime I’m sucked into the series I become immersed or fixated on a certain theme in the script, this time being the role women played in the 1960s. Judging from Matthew Weiner’s series womens main role back then was to have a cocktail and slippers ready for their man the minute they walked through the door. But that’s not all. They had to convert into a sexpot once the kids were asleep. I may be exaggerating a little but in the series set in the 1960s and 70s it’s clear, especially from the Betty Draper and Joan Harris characters that your number one role in life is to look good for a man. How else are you going to find a husband?
In the series the women in the marketing office where it’s set are constantly whistled at or slapped on the butt by their male colleagues. The only time they’re asked to speak is if it’s in answer to a pickup line or more likely a bedroom proposition. In one episode a guy jokingly chases a young woman around the office, then wrestles her to the ground to see what colour of underwear she’s wearing. It’s called “the underwear game.” The girl just laughed.
How amazing is it that thanks to movements like #MeToo these acts of “flirtation” are no longer acceptable. No longer is it acceptable to look a colleague up and down instead of in the eye or comment on how “great” her body looks lately. The older generation may still consider these moves “compliments’ but that’s because they’re well…old thinkers. Women simply, are’t putting up with it anymore. No I won’t fetch you coffee for your business meeting. No I won’t have a casserole ready everynight as I too work full time. Womens voices are finally just as strong as mens. It’s just too bad it took decades of silence and sadness to get here.