This article dissects the sexism Peggy and Joan experience in the first episode of Mad Men’s last season and overlays a similar experience of the writer to highlight and explain the subtle sexism that goes on in offices still today. To the untrained these comments might seem throw-away and not inherently sexist, but to those on the receiving end the true meaning comes across loud and clear.
The slights are usually much subtler, the kind that are hard to explain to anyone who doesn’t inherently understand. The sexism appears in everyday conversation, like last season, when Pete said Peggy was “every bit as good as any woman in this business” — meaning she was participating in some women-only side competition in advertising, rather than competing with everyone in advertising.
By casting the nature of our confrontation as one in which he said something to hurt my feelings, he’s working behind the scenes to make me look emotional and sensitive. More “female.”
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