Did your mother ever warn that you get what you pay for when you buy cheap knockoffs? That’s my take on the litter of Mad Men clones offered by network television this fall.
AMC’s Mad Men is class all the way, a reflection of tedious historical detail and exquisite acting. I love the show, though many women, especially women of color, find that peeks at life before the Civil Rights Act and Title IX can be hard on the heart.
Next Sunday ABC makes its bid for psychedelic grooviness with Pan Am and a remake of Charlie’s Angels, a 70s show with a ’60s vibe. On the news, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy is whispering her own truths, including voting as her husband instructed. Bunnies? Stewardesses? Kickboxing angels? WTF?
Newsweek published a glorious essay by Nora Ephron who asks, “Why won’t Playboy die?” She dismisses 85 y/o Playboy founder Hugh Hefner as “popping up from his life on the D list to give interviews about his pajamas and his little blue pills and his cadre of surgically enhanced women.” She concludes, “Trust me, no one wanted to be a bunny.”
Ms. Ephron, 70, author of Sleepless in Seattle and much more is only a whisper younger than ultra-feminist and Playboy hater Gloria Steinem, 77, yet they each remember breaking away from the weight of 1960s expectations for women: Get married. Have a baby. They knew there was so much more that women could be.
And now we are here, a space far more accepting of women in all their delicious forms: Married. Single. Living together. Moms. NotMoms. Straight. Gay. From Donna Reed (below) to Kardashians, Oprah, Patti Stanger and Modern Family.
Check us out! The host of the top-rated women’s talk show is a lesbian. The 2010 U.S. Census reported more unmarried couples living together than ever before —7.5 million of them. Also in 2010, almost 60% of Americans disagreed that people without children “lead empty lives.”
Whether you watch retro TV or not, forget for minute the state of your love life, finances, wardrobe or career. Every American woman can rejoice and be grateful. We enjoy freedoms our ancestors couldn’t dream of…freedoms that are still so far away for thousands of women around the globe.