Hey! I am finally getting a Mad Men post up! And soon I will try to explain exactly where I went and what I am doing and the prospects of bringing human rights cases against corporations, BUT.
That last scene in Mad Men, with Peggy, Faye, and Joan all not speaking in the elevator? Woo.
I have to wonder if they weren't all wishing they could throw a temper tantrum like Sally Draper.
Here are three women who feel constrained by their roles all the time. Joan has had to only be a glorified secretary her whole life, when she is clearly more capable than everyone around her. After she plays by the rules and gets married like she's supposed to, she sees her husband shipped off to Vietnam. Peggy plays the Oppression Olympics, being able to see her own oppression without being able to understand her white privilege, but we've seen in previous episodes how frustrated she feels that she doesn't like what she's supposed to like. And then Abe, her closet smoocher, comes around and says things which devalue how hard she has had to work to make it in an industry which looks down on her, and patronizingly tells her she shouldn't want the job she's worked to succeed in.
And I really sympathize with Faye. Women, especially then, were defined by their ability to be mothers and nurturers; Don just assumes Faye will be good with Sally and deal with her properly. But Faye doesn't like kids, she is awkward with them, and she has made a choice to be successful and follow her career rather than become a wife and mother. That leaves her feeling like a freak, like she has failed. As someone who is 99% of the time happily wedded to her cause (namely: saving the world), there is still that 1% of the time when I feel like a freak, like I too have somehow failed at life. It's hard to leave the narratives of what you are supposed to be behind, and this is so true for Faye in the 60's, when she sees no other narratives, has no idea what her storyline could be because she is offered no others than the one she is sure she doesn't want.
It was funny (only because now we have hindsight) when Abe (who essentially is kinda a silly git) laughed about a civil rights march for women. But it's easy to laugh at - look at those three women in the elevator, silent, staring ahead. They have all had to fight so hard for what they have achieved, but have never been allowed to throw Sally's tantrum; they've had to suffer silently and alone. And they are still suffering silently and alone. If they turned to each other and spoke, think how much they could connect on, how much they could encourage each other, find commonalities, realize it's not just each of them but all of them that sexism is hurting.
And eventually, women will turn to each other, and tell their stories, and find common threads. Consciousness raising will begin, and the Second Wave will crash over even SCDP. But until then, it's just Peggy, Joan, and Faye, a little shocked at having seen Sally Draper fight for what she wants, but maybe wishing they could scream and run away and hit back, too.