I love the show ‘Mad Men’, especially for the fashion, but it always makes me all the more grateful that I was born past that era.
Mad Men women applying makeup for “research” in advertising
Other women have already paved the way for myself and others to be in male-dominated fields and respected for it, but also just to allow us to even hold a job as a woman.
The things that those ‘Mad Men’ women went through, are quite shocking:
- Sexual harassment — calling women ‘sweetie’, ‘doll’, or touching them
- Lack of total respect for ability & talent (men don’t think you can do the job)
- Sexist jokes — “Why are you like this? Are you on your period?”
- Lack of understanding about why a woman would want or need a job
- Lack of opportunities — “You can’t be a doctor, but you can be a nurse, sweetie”
- Expected to use charm, femininity, wiles & sexuality to get their way — not brains!
All of this obviously still exists today, but to a FAR lesser extent than in the 1950s.
Women back then were expected to go to school, but not become too educated, find a man, get married, have babies, stay at home and take care of everyone for the rest of their lives.
That sounds like pure hell to me.
I still think we have a lot of problems today:
- Women don’t get paid as much as men — 70 cents to a dollar I think are the current stats
- Women get looked at funny or patronized if they try to negotiate/ask for more money — True story!
- Women STILL experience rude/sexist behaviour in the workplace and/or are seen as a threat
- Women are not expected to be assertive, or confident — so the derogatory term is ‘bitch’ for these women
… but we’ve really come a long way.
I’m perennially grateful to women who have changed such stereotypes by climbing up the ladder and proving everyone wrong.
I am able to work, be recognized for my talent and ability in a male-dominated field, and not feel any stigma for enjoying my job.
I only hope that the generations after me, have even more opportunities than I did, and it reaches an equilibrium sooner.
Check out this chart by Flowing Data: