Powered by i.TV
August 1, 2014

I'm glad to see Betty Draper get a backbone

by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 4th 2009 8:02AM
Mad Men - Don and Betty DraperThe assassination of JFK on Sunday's episode of Mad Men may have been the catalyst for Betty Draper's "awakening," but it's been a long time coming.

Here comes my rant: I, for one, am sick and tired of seeing the women in this show get walked all over! I know it's the way things were back then, but the times they are a changin', so I'm hoping we'll get to see more women stand up and take charge of their lives.

I was cheering when Betty stood up to her lying, cheating, skank of a husband Don and told him she didn't love him anymore. Bonus points for driving off to meet your lover, Betty. Hopefully, he won't cheat on you.

Now if Joan would leave her loser fiance who raped her at the office and then went about his business like nothing happened -- that'd be the icing on this women's movement cake. I'd say that she and Roger Sterling belong together, but she's too good for him.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

9 Comments

Filter by:
Jane Boursaw

Good thoughts. I don't always agree with EW, but was just flipping through the latest edition and see they used the term "backbone" to describe Betty and Joan. I don't think Joan's there yet, though.

November 05 2009 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John_Howard

"I was cheering when Betty stood up to her lying, cheating, skank of a husband Don"

Let's not forget that Betty is a lying, cheating, skank of a wife also.

November 05 2009 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
slutty_whore

It seems to me that the Don defenders miss the point that Betty has a reight to be angry that she has been lied to for the duration of her relationship. Her being a bad parent is not an excuse for Don to be so ruthless and cavalier with her feelings. She was just as victimized by his callousness, like Adam's suicide in Season 1 demonstrated. Don only broke down and was honest about the contents of the box when caught, so really, neither character has shown any growth, honesty, or compassion. Don ABANDONED Betty for the last quarter of Season 2, has left Betty to do the hard work of raising the family, and has routinely and sloppily cheated on her and created the brittle unfeeling woman she has become. Let's not make Don into anything other than a broken, beaten man whose web of lies has been exposed. Betty coldly stating she doesn't love him was a final, thoughtfully executed revenge on a man who thinks that he can control any environment he's in.

November 04 2009 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CParis

Now if Joan would leave her loser fiance who raped her at the office

They're married. Have been since the beginning of the season.

November 04 2009 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
charles melrose III

Angry much?

Consider an alternative analysis of gender related power issues on Mad Men: While the visible power seems to reside in the male characters, they all abuse and misuse their power at one time or another. Many of the women--the red head, the department store client, Roger's first wife, Draper's wife, Peggy, Campbell's wife--have developed or accumulated power in their respective environments, but they tend to exercise their power in a more subtle--and less egotistical--manner and without the abuse demonstrated by the men. Notice how many of them achieve their goals while the men--even those with apparent power--are frustrated in achieving their goals. To focus only on how women are mistreated in the show is to stop at the superficial level without pushing through to the essence of the characters and the story.

November 04 2009 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to charles melrose III's comment
jffm

"Many of the women--the red head, the department store client, Roger's first wife, Draper's wife, Peggy, Campbell's wife--have developed or accumulated power in their respective environments, but they tend to exercise their power in a more subtle--and less egotistical--manner and without the abuse demonstrated by the men. Notice how many of them achieve their goals while the men--even those with apparent power--are frustrated in achieving their goals."

There really are no angels or devils here, only dysfunction operating at various levels. Granted some of that 'dysfunction' is simply people operating within the boundaries and expectations of their times.

All of them women cited above have had their less than shining moments. Beyond being willing to engage in some of the same sins as Don, Betty has been petulant and emotionally abusive to her children. I would have to agree that the "backbone" she's showing is more at the level of a petulant teenager than something born of genuine growth.

Joan showed a quite healthy streak of arrogance streaked with cruelty and pride of place in her days as office manager at Sterling Cooper. And let's not forget she was more than willing to be "the other woman" in the betrayal of someone's wife. And Pete Campbell's wife plays the same type of emotional games as Betty and has shown herself to be willing to put the well being of Pete-the-Gravy-Train above that of Pete the man. Peggy perhaps comes off the best, but even in her attempts to protect herself and find herself deception and even a bit of duplicity are found in her arsenal.

But that's part of the beauty of the show. Everybody has their white hat, black hat and gray hat that they may don at any given moment.

November 04 2009 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scazza

During her tantrum I kept wanting Don to say "This is exactly why I kept it a secret, you idiot! Can't you see?" And she's supposed to be so smart? She is still and always will be a child who wants some fairytale life, and doesn't see that that is exactly what she has in common with Don. Emotionally she is not his type at all, but at least they have the same hopes and dreams. You call this backbone? Backbone for what it's worth to anyone is being able to have compassion, to listen, as well as to speak the truth & for what she wants. Otherwise it's just being cold, cruel, and acting like a child. Yes, a woman during this time can still be selfish.

November 04 2009 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jack

Yay for two wrongs making a right! Yay for apathetic parenting!

November 04 2009 at 9:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kaidez

women's movement, civil rights, the Beatles...that's where the show's headed.

November 04 2009 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners