And let the show’s female characters shine.
Cronkite, arguably the most trusted man in America of his time, had a candid discussion about the need for safe abortion care even before the procedure was legalized in Roe v. Wade.
In Mad Men, the tough women are branded sexless wet blankets, while those who use their wiles and sexuality to advance themselves can have those qualities turned against them. Meanwhile, a sense of sisterhood is hard to find.
Even a glance to the past from Hollywood can remind us that access to abortion and to reproductive health care in general should be the priority of the pro-choice movement.
Mad Men fans were shocked recently as Betty gave birth in a “twilight sleep” while hallucinating and tied to the bed. This once common practice was ended through the kind of advocacy we need to expand birthing choices today.
The Family Research Council wants you to be manly. So the Values Voter Summit, the annual confab of ultra-conservative political and religious leaders, tried to be hip with a fundamentalist-inspired reenactment of “Mad Men.”
Even as we anticipate watching the women who work at Sterling Cooper struggle with changing gender roles, we are watching that struggle take place in a privileged world.
“Mad Men” is all about the hard truths, and the hard truth is that being a woman forging her own path in the early 60s was very lonely indeed.
Hold on to your hats: the 60s are coming to Sterling Cooper! Will Don Draper and his ilk go from icons of cool to losers holding back the tide of progress?
Mad Men presents an exploration of race, class, and gender in the not-so-distant past that challenges the notion that all was well back in the day and keeps this fan coming back for more.