Shoot: 'Mad Men’s' first season, ninth episode

The show isn’t preachy or overly moralistic. It just tells it like it is (or, more accurately, like it used to be).


Hamna Zubair June 27, 2012

This critically acclaimed TV series has been lauded for its unapologetic depiction of the rampant sexism that working women had to face in the 1950s and 1960s.

When I say unapologetic, I mean the show isn’t preachy or overly moralistic. It just tells it like it is (or, more accurately, like it used to be).

Which is why, in this particular episode, I was saddened when Joan, the unabashedly sexy but pragmatic secretary at advertising firm Stanley Cooper Draper Price, has to decide whether furthering her career through less-than-kosher methods is worth it.

It’s a terrible thing to see this beautiful woman being used as a pawn in the cutthroat, male-dominated world of advertising, but it’s even more unsettling to know that she may never get what she wants unless she plays along.

Attention must also be paid to lead character Don’s wife Megan, who is finally coming into her own.

After watching this episode, you’ll hopefully realise, as I did, that no amount of physical and material comfort can match the visceral thrill of challenging oneself intellectually and professionally — so go after that bonus or promotion, even if it means putting in longer hours now!

If you’re looking for an expert opinion on the matter, Chin-ning Chu puts it rather well: “The next time you start thinking how nice it would be to quit your job and find a wealthy husband to support you, think again. Ask yourself whether the material gains are really worth giving up your dignity.”

Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, June 24th, 2012.

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