July 27, 2010

Mad Women: Any Guesses As To Don Draper’s Safe Word?

Filed under: Gender,Media — Tags: , — Rachel @ 6:19 pm

While most recaps focus on the entire aspect of a show, this one’s going to be a little bit different.  As this is a feminist blog deconstructing images and portrayals of women in pop culture, why spend an entire post rambling on about the men of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price.  Instead, these recaps will focus on the women of Mad Men – the main ladies: Peggy, Joan, and Betty, and any new additions or guest stars – hence the title “Mad Women.”

Peggy has a new haircut this season, which I think is her best yet (not to be snarky, but thank god those bangs are gone).  She has a new coworker, who’s name I didn’t quite catch, except that Peggy says in a breathy voice “John” and he returns in the same tone “Marsha.”  (Thanks to the A.V. Club for providing explanation of this.)  It’s great to see her interacting and joking around, having her own office, running things.  However, Don was still an asshole to her (annoying considering how much she’s done for him over the years she’s worked for him – both personally and business related.)  Oh right Don, she’s never bailed you (literally) out of a bad situation, right?

It was great to see the return of Joan to the workplace, and as always her wardrobe looks INCREDIBLE.  She has her own office, which I want to find out more about.  Is it because their new office space is weird?  Did she get a promotion? I really want to know what happened to Joan’s husband Mr. Asshole – I didn’t catch any mentions of him throughout the episode.

I feel there’s something weird going on with Betty’s relationship with Henry.  He was obviously uncomfortable after she got out of bed and yelled at Sally (I feel so bad for Sally this season already.)   I’m not entirely convinced Betty is over Don – something I think everyone’s come to terms with except for Betty; I think Don’s declaration of “everyone thinks this is temporary” summed up the feelings quite clearly.  Henry’s mother is obviously no fan of hers either, she described her as a “silly woman” – it’s certainly interesting that no one really seems to be much of a fan of Mrs. Draper.

Ham Ladies, a Hot Date, and a Hooker
While Peggy and Pete’s idea to have two ladies fight over a ham didn’t work out in the practical sense (but did wonders for the advertising aspect), it was great to see her taking charge and handling things on her own.  They should’ve known it was bad news once the ladies started fighting at the table in the diner.

We saw Don on his first post-divorce date, which was just weird.  We saw that even with Don Draper there is a stigma to being divorced in the 60’s, as his date tells him she’s “breaking her rules” by going out with him.  And despite how suave he is, she’s not impressed, and leaves him in the cab, with only the prospect of New Years Eve as the possibility of seeing him again.  (I hope they do get a second date, she was great on True Blood, and I’d like to see her as a regular guest on Mad Men.)

Speaking of Don, when the sex worker walked into Don’s apartment, and he pulled out his wallet, I was shocked.  But I never would’ve expected her to start slapping him.  WHAT was that about?  My theory is it has something to do with his consistent downward spiral, but the slapping explains why Don Draper is paying for sex.

It’ll be interesting to see what’s ahead this season for the women of Mad Men – will Joan finally divorce Mr. Asshole?  Will the sex worker be back to slap Don around some more?  Are the ham ladies going to ruin the Sugarberry account by coming forward for more cash?

Don’t forget to leave your guesses for Don’s safe word in the comments.


  1. Great post! I’ve agree that the ladies on this show are the most interesting part of it. In response to some of your comments:

    Peggy: Agreed. More confident and stylish than ever. I love that she tells her cute new co-worker (Joey) “chop chop” as in “get to work!”

    Joan’s asshole husband (“Dr. Rapist”) joined the army at the end of last season and said that after basic training he “may be sent somewhere.” With Vietnam picking up steam, it’s possible he’s been shipped off. My thought is that she’s still married to him – but an affair, possibly with Sterling, is imminent.

    Don’s Thanksgiving Hooker Beating – I think it had something to do with his feeling that he needs to be punished and his general kinkiness. The show’s creator speaks about this in an NPR interview if you haven’t heard it: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128770109

    Don’s safe word: Chauncey? Old-Fashioned?

    Comment by Melanie — July 28, 2010 @ 7:33 am

  2. Perhaps Don’s safe word is “love” or “respect,” as these are surely not words he would use in any other context, especially with a woman.

    Comment by Jac(lyn) — August 1, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

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