Sunday, June 3, 2012

Color Story: Mad Men's "The Other Woman"

the widest chasm in the world
I was arrested by this image when it hit the screen last Sunday night: the men in their dark suits on one side and on the other the lone woman in vivid color. We all know what ol' Joan was asked to do for the firm. And worse, we know that none of the partners truly tried to stop Pete Campbell from pressuring her. If any of them were truly her friend - or even a decent man - he would have called her into the meeting and had an open discussion that mostly consisted of confirming who said what and explicitly shutting down Pete's pimp game on the spot. And then they'd have made him look her in the eye and apologize. 

But they didn't.

No one made absolutely sure this proposition was dead in the water. So Joan bought herself a share of the business by the only means anyone would allow her. This woman is a college graduate with years of work experience, but she is most valued - by far - for her sex appeal. And so Joan gets a seat at the table by the road less (or most?) travelled...

wait- wtf?!
but i told you not to...
took you long enough
dichotomy: suits of conformity and the flaming peacock
couldn't have done it without you
kings of madison avenue and their new queen
deal with it, bitch
One more thing: there's a lot of argument out there that the other partners have performed various forms of prostitution, if only figuratively, in the course of business. I submit the difference is that none of them had to strip off their clothes and allow a stranger to invade their bodies. This was every bit as foul and degrading as being raped by the doctor she eventually married. 

The indignity is in being forced/coerced to allow someone to touch you in so intimate a way without being invited by you as an expression of intimacy. It's the fact that you don't want it. And it's a violation of the sacred. 

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