With the final season of Mad Men starting tonight, the world in which Peggy Olson was working in the 1960s and early 70s in New York’s Madison Avenue seems a long-way off, laughable even. The alcoholic- fuelled lunches, the casting coach promotions, the out and out misogyny are surely part of a bygone era?
Yet UN Inspector, Rashida Manjoo’s observation that sexism is more pervasive and “in your face” in Britain that in anywhere else is shocking. Having recently completed a 16-day tour of the country, she goes on to say “What is clear,” she says, “is that there’s a boys’ club sexist culture … that leads to perceptions about women and girls.”
In an interview in The Times (16 April) Jane Maas, who rose to the very top of ‘adland’ as President of agency Earle Palmer Brown, commented that “I don’t think women showed great solidarity for each other back then, and I don’t think they do today. We’re not very good at networking and helping each other up the ladder.” “… there are not many spots open for women and those of us who have almost reached the top are very, very uneasy about a woman of two who may have reached the same level at the same time.”
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