13 October, 2009


I'm working on a post looking at Mad Men through the lens of ASD--specifically, difficulty reading people, and pulling off social interactions in a convincing manner. I read a really good post talking about Pete and Peggy's relationship as it relates to BDSM, and that just made me want to write this post more--I mean, there's so much in this show, and especially in Peggy and Pete, that it doesn't make sense to just avoid topics that aren't "period" or are related to "special interests." I was trying to convince my friend to watch Mad Men and I made her watch the hunting scene, because I feel like it's a perfect example of how the show is not period. Pete is a person of his time, but he's also way too weird to be summed up by his time.

And Peggy...oh, man. I consider myself a feminist, but every time I hear something about "women" a part of me shuts down. People use the word "women" as a code for all these things--attracted to men, mostly spends time with other women, socially sensitive, emotional in a particular way. None of these things apply to me. People use the word "women" as a code word when they are talking about abortion and birth control, which are things I support, but which are not things that personally affect me. I'm not against the people the word "women" stands for, but I don't feel particularly attached to them either.

What I'm trying to say is that I would never expect the character I identify with most to be a female character, especially if she's a character who is seen as representing something about feminism or "women's issues." But I love Peggy, so much. She doesn't do any of the things "convincing female characters" are supposed to do. She doesn't have a sense of fashion; she wears awful cardigans. She likes whiny, scrawny Pete, who is the textbook example of what guys are told not to look and act like if they want women to be into them. She is really socially awkward and always brings things up at the worst possible time. She doesn't get along with other women very well; frequently they're baffled by her, and make up dumb excuses for why she acts the way she does, so they can try to force her into their idea of what women are like.

I'm not really going anywhere with this, except that I love Peggy, and that I will be expressing my love for her more in the future.

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