I must begin by apologizing for the uneventfulness of this post, I am currently in the warm and beautiful costa rica where internet access is limited and technology has yet to catch up, both are thing that make this place what it is in my opinion. Despite this, I would never dare miss a blog post or any opportunity to reconnect with the our class for that matter! So, in regards to our blog prompt this week and with last weeks discussion weighing heavy on my mind, I have decided to write about the AMC’s show “Mad Men,” and their disrespect of women in the workplace.
Mad Men has become a resounding success on television, as many critics enjoy their accurate representations of the prototypical 1960 advertising industry. Within this industry, there is rampant alcoholism, frivolousness, and a general, lack of respect towards women. The video clip that I must ask you to follow yourself (as the technology here does not allow me to embed the video or any links) represents some of these behaviors. In accordance to our discussion last week, this is the exact type of representation that many women resent being put out there in media. I cannot help but observe two different viewpoints for this discussion, the first acknowledges the disrespect such a program exudes towards females while the second celebrates this extreme angle for its use today.
For my first argument, one need to only look so far as their own tendencies and his or her parents’ tendencies to understand how imitation plays a role in development. In fact, imitation is our primary means of learning that helps us form a fundamental backbone towards our own decision making at any time. Therefore, as this show is broadcasted to individuals across America at different points in their lives, the implications its actors’ behaviors may have on an incoming generation of workers is unknown. While these actors are held on a pedestal for being exhibited by a prominent television show, there could perhaps be individuals believing that they became successful based on their behaviors, thus these individuals will replicate such tendencies. When these tendencies are bigotry, alcoholism, and sexism, good outcomes are generally few and far between. Therefore, this show may be teaching the incoming (or current) generation immoral, unethical, and improper tendencies within the workplace.
The second argument acknowledges the teaching aspect that media has on individuals, yet presents the opposite case. This side agrees that these actors are implicitly affecting viewers, yet the absurdity of the program and of the actors’ actions make the viewer recognize their imperfections. This, I believe, is the primary goal of the show producers. They want to present such a striking side of how advertising used to work in the ’60s that viewers should observe these actions and scoff at the improper way individuals conducted themselves back in this day. Utilizing such an approach, the producers are playing with fire, but ultimately in a beneficial way to society. As my father points out (he is an avid watcher), observing how the business world used to be allows us to appreciate and further the developments made in this generation towards respecting women and people of all backgrounds in the workplace.
Being presented with such an argument, I turn the question to you: how do you feel about this show? Do you fall into either of these arguments or do you find your own condoning or upholding the shows’ depictions?