I've been watching the first Season of Mad Men this weekend. I'm not quite sure that I will be able to sit through the whole series. The sexism is pretty tough to watch. I mean it seems like it's kinda the point, along with the anti-semitism and the racism. Doesn't really make that kind of material any easier to, see I want to say "swallow" here.
No wonder the feminist movement happened, is kind of what keeps going through my mind.
In one scene, the new secretary goes to get the Pill from a "supportive" doctor. As in, he is going to prescribe it to her but first he must warn her that it's not for allowing her to become a "strumpet" and that if she misuses it, he will not hesitate to take it away for her. Way for being progressive there dude. Man, it's so easy to forget how far we *have* come, I guess, in that at least today you don't get the commentary or judgement from doctors, here in Australia, I will stress. Or at least, I would imagine, if you did, you could make a complaint about the doctor's behaviour? Not sure if anyone else has had different experiences? I know my gynaecologist and one of my GPs is always hassling me that if I don't have babies soon that's it for me, but that's not like I don't know that fact for myself. And I know that women have different experiences in terms of birthing and labour.
Which reminds me to comment on that UK doctor who thinks men should not be in the labour room because they are distracting and not able to cope. I'm sorta amused by the comment (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/606813.stm
). I told my parents about it and my mother's comment was, "yes and how old was this man?". But the thing that amuses me is it's totally sexist but is so sexist it manages to offend men too. I mean, it took a long time to get men into birthing rooms in the first place and I think now, at least the men I've asked, men consider it their right to share in the experience both with their partner and for the joy of witnessing the first moments of their child's life. Men I have asked about it seem quite outraged that they should be excluded from the experience. And it annoys me that someone wants to undo such an enormous leap that we as a society have made in terms of what is "women's business" and what is "men's".
The thing that I really think is at the heart of this is that men in that situation may act as women's advocates in terms of enforcing the decisions that they wanted to make when they themselves may not be in the position to do so. This doctor referred to the "primal part of a women's brain" being required to be switched on during birth - I imagine if he had his way, men out of the room, women in a vulnerable position, he could just get on and make the decisions he wants to make.
The cool thing for me about this story was seeing how out of touch this man's opinion was with the current feeling and how special it was to the men I know that they were present at the births of their children. For all we get frustrated, it's nice to note the progress that has been made.