We keep our television in the basement for many reasons. Our living room has our bookshelves in it. Having the TV in the basement means we are very selective about what we watch. One of the few shows we watch is “Mad Men.” We enjoy it for its unique view on the world of the 1960’s and how in reality some things still haven’t changed. Also, as a small business owner, it serves as a reminder of what not to do and how not to act in many situations.
This particular episode struck home for a variety of reasons. First, the whole concept of male versus female ambition. Harry can walk in and stand up for himself and get the money for his work while Joan is still relegated to earning her say behind the scenes and in ways, as seen in previous episodes, many people shudder at but has been done. Had Joan done the same thing as Harry, the other partners would have had a few choice words for and about her. Next, the scene after Joan’s “night out” with her sister and her sister saying she was interviewing with Avon because she basically envied what Joan had accomplished: she wanted to be like Joan. For the writer of this, this has been something heard a lot from many people over the years: I want to be like you. Then the response is based on the person and the situation the comment is made in. A third way in which this episode struck home is the scene when Don Draper’s secretary talks about the corporate culture with her girlfriend at the diner. Anybody who has worked as a secretary in an organization like Sterling Cooper can relate to what she was talking about. Being a secretary is one of the toughest, most underrated, sometimes most underpaid and most put-down jobs in the world.
Hopefully “Mad Men” will continue in this vein. It will be interesting to see where Joan ends up in the organizational structure and if Harry will continue his demand for equal compensation. Does anyone agree?