The writer of the article (Aviva Dove-Viebahn) tries to give a review of a television series known as Mad Men. The series setting is in the last century, the 1960’s. I actually think that the title of the article should be “Feminism in a Man’s World”. This is because there was zero level of gender sensitivity at the time. Women were not held with esteem at all. We can argue that we have come a long way since then, because Americans are now more gender sensitive.
Aviva’s remarks, in “Feminism in a Mad World”, makes clear the stereotyped activities women had and this included looking after the children, being a good housewife and taking care of the home. She introduces us to three ladies; Peggy Olson, Betty Draper and Joan Harris. “In fact, all other copy writers are men, and it’s a miracle you managed to make it this far up the slippery corporate ladder.” This statement shows that Peggy is the only female copy writer the advertising agency. This was very rare especially in the 1960’s because men were sexists, when it came to job opportunities. The men in the office had given her the job of typing and fetching coffee whenever they felt coffee thirsty. Joan worked as a manager in the same ad agency. Betty on the other hand was a house wife. The three women were merely used as accessories by the men in the series. Aviva uses her article to highlight the position women held in the society in the 1960’s, while the men were allowed to walk away with infidelity, backstabbing and discrimination, women were on the receiving end of these vices. Aviva, in her article, mentions that Betty realizes her potential and begins the process of self-discovery and that Peggy gathers enough courage to ask her boss for her own office. This is contrary to what was happening in the society at that time. Women had no voice. Adverts such as the cigarette advert painted the woman to be the weaker sex. The quote “my boyfriend told me he loved me for my mind” of the cigarette advert implies that the boyfriend thought it was a privileged to have an intellectual lady, because of the disregard they had for women in general.
The first analytical move is delaying judgment. This means that you avoid taking the side of the author or otherwise prematurely prior to having concrete evidence that backs the argument. A good example in the article is in the last page where the Aviva tries to point out that Peggy is oozing with confidence. A good reader will not accept what the writer says until there’s substantial evidence to prove this. The evidence is forthcoming in the next paragraph where Peggy refuses to join Don and her other colleagues in a new company they had formed. The second step is defining significant parts and how they are related. In the article, we clearly saw that women were treated as inferior compared to men. In the last page we it’s now clear that women can never miss in any advert. They are used as a means of marketing products. An example is when a product is morphed from a woman’s breasts or buttocks. These advertisement strategies are applied to date and this means that to date, women are still considered as inferiors. Patterns of repetition are seen in the article where all through time, women are the ones mostly used in advert. Another repetition is seen when all the 3 women reach the point of self-actualization. They become less satisfied by the role cut out for them by men. The fourth analytical move is making the implicit explicit. This means getting the hidden meaning of something. The fifth analytical move is to keep reformulating questions and explanations about the article. One would themselves the question why the writer chose the movie series mad men. I believe mad men was chosen because it showed how the society in the 1960’s was chauvinistic in nature. “Rodger, displaying his typical expectation that women will automatically serve his every whim, asks Peggy to bring him coffee.” This is a classic case of male chauvinism because he automatically expected Peggy to meet his demands without thinking twice about it. By combining this with the constant use of almost naked women in advertising, we get a picture of the social standing of women.
Mansbridge, Jane, and Katherine Flaster. "Male chauvinist, feminist, sexist, and sexual harassment: Different trajectories in feminist linguistic innovation."American speech 80.3 (2005): 256-279.