Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mad Men: The More Things Change, the More Things Stay the Same

Dear "Mad Men", where have you been all my life? Seriously.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been seeing people tweeting about AMC's show "Mad Men" and I didn't give it a second thought. It wasn't until I decided to cancel my cable (thought it sounded good at the time) and watch my television on the free website hulu.com when I actually discovered the show. Last week I started watching an episode of "Mad Men", which I absolutely loved, but I couldn't really carry the story because it seemed that so much had happened in the previous seasons. Coincidentally, I received seasons 1 and 2 as a gift this week.

If you have noticed that I have been missing in action, then it would be absolutely correct to assume that I have been locked away on my computer watching all of season 1 and 2. And I'm totally enthralled with it. I love the fashion, the cut throat industry of advertising, the drinking, the smoking, the affairs, and everything else.

Right before I started watching it, a male tweeted to me, "You'll finally realize how much has changed for women since 1960". Or something to that effect.

Really though? Has much changed? The women are all in the secretarial arena (of what I've seen so far, minus the one female secretary who manages to move up as a copywriter). Many of the men are incredibly sexist, and the women in the office also perpetuate the same sexism on one another in the form of criticizing one another for how they look, act and dress and how it will have an impact on finding a husband. If you haven't seen the show, I am sure you can just imagine all the sexism.

So has sexism really fundamentally changed since then, or are men just scared that they might get sued for acting like the sexist pricks that many of them still are??! I am a female in an upper management position (the only female, by the way) and honestly what I see on an every day basis is pretty much a covert mirror of what was overtly happening in this television show. I'm called "sweetheart" or "honey" by men who are below me on a frequent basis. I watch the higher management prey on some of the secretarial staff. I have to sit and listen to men make completely sexist jokes to one another while in my presence. I have been sexually harassed by inferiors, although many men refuse to acknowledge that a woman who is above a man in position can be sexually harassed by someone below her.

In season one there is one episode where a female secretary is asked to work on an ad account for a "weight loss" device which actually happens to have a vibrator in it. She stands in front of all the male executives and has to listen to them make sexist jokes about their wives as well as sexual jokes. And she just grins and bears it. She doesn't say a word.

Oh...but that doesn't happen any more to women in the workplace, right? Ask any female executive in upper management and I will bet that she will beg to differ. I am an extremely dominant woman and it has happened to me more times than I can count. Sometimes I say something, but sometimes I don't; it depends on which battle I feel like picking on that particular day.

Read memoirs of female CEOs and executives and you'll hear all about their battle scars and how they sometimes call them on their shit yet sometimes use other assertive tactics. I once had to get in one of my colleagues face and tell him, "Oh, you want to have a pissing match, do you? Well, draw the fucking line in the sand. I can assure you that I can pee farther than your sorry ass while I am standing up. Now stop fucking with me because I will squash you". Sure I just wanted to report him to someone for being a sexist pig, but I knew that aggressive behavior and getting in his face would work better with that bully. And it did.

We've always had bullbusting women who've climbed their ways up kicking, screaming and clawing the eyes out of sexist jackasses-then, now and as far back as we can remember. Even if we don't hear about those bad ass early feminists, they've always been around putting men in their place.

Regarding the dynamics of the female workers in the show, I just blogged last week about my secretarial staff who happen to be all up in my business about whether or not I am going to get married or have children, what I am wearing, what I wore last week, my shade of lipstick, blablabla. They gossip, they flirt, and some look down on women who are divorced. I swear, to watch some of these office women back in the 1960s in the show is practically like looking at half of the women who work in my office.

And don't get me started on doctors. In one episode, the female character goes to see a male doctor to get birth control from a pervy doctor. He tells her that if she sleeps around he will immediately take her off the birth control pill because men won't want to marry a hussy. Oh, this stuff definitely happen any more, right? Well, I think one of my good friends would beg to differ. Last year she was denied birth control by the pharmacist on duty at a national pharmacy because the pharmacist told her that she was committing a "mini-abortion" every time that she took the pill. Ha. I'll save my own personal story about a certain emergency room perv doctor for a later post when I explain why I will NEVER go to a male doctor again.

So really, not much has changed since the 1960s. It's just a tad bit more covert than it used to be, at least in my opinion. What do you think?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Keep Your Mind Off of My Ovaries

I can't stand people who can't mind their own business when it comes to my fucking ovaries.

It's hard enough having to listen to a bunch of men and other right wing assholes try to control the reproductive rights of women. So it's even more irritating when people start giving me fucking unsolicited advice about having children.

It seems lately that everyone that I work with just can't stop talking about me having children. Don't these people have a fucking life?!

It all started two months ago for some strange reason when my secretary blurted out that she couldn't wait until I had children. We were sitting in my office discussing the budget and she just threw that one sideways at me. Since then she hasn't stopped, and now other people in the office have jumped on the bandwagon.

At least three days a week, I get to sit and listen to people tell me how they can't wait to see me have a kid. "It will soften me up", "Every woman should experience it", blablafucking bla. Get over it, already.

It's the most bizarre thing-they actually get together in a little circle and talk in an excited manner about how great it would be for me to have my very own screaming little shit stained kid.

I have decided not to rip their fucking heads off because I think that all the women in the office are just trying to find some way to connect with me, and maybe in some sick way they think that they are nurturing me.

Sometimes I want to be really mean by faking alligator tears and telling them that I've been trying to have kids for years and I am completely unable to have children. I have a fantasy of sobbing my heart out. I would love to see the guilty look on their faces.

I mean, really, can you imagine? What the fuck is wrong with these women that they actually think that they can sit and discuss how I'm "almost getting too old to have babies"? For Goddess's sake-I'm only 33 years old.

I even found out the other day when I overheard them talking that they all know exactly when I am on my period based on my mood, my energy levels, and apparently when I bring in a big bottle of excedrin. One clerk commented to another, "No, she can't be pregnant because she just had her period like last week". Lord almighty.

I just never thought that I would have to call female employees into my office and tell them to stop talking about my personal business.

Just stop already. At this moment I don't want children. Maybe I never will. But I can assure you that if and when I ever do decide to have children, that they'll probably know that I'm pregnant before I'm even aware of it.

Get a hobby, bitches!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sing it Sista: Rock On With Your Bad Self

I've always loved Annie Lennox since I first saw her when I was a young girl on MTV in that suit, tie and short hair cut in the "Sweet Dreams" video. I can remember being so intrigued with the lyrics: "Some of them want to use you; Some of them want to get used by you; Some of them want to abuse you; Some of them want to be abused". Bruhaha. That was probably about the time that I started torturin' the boys!!

Then came "Missionary Man", and I so ecstatic that I was born with the original sin that I went to church and told the nuns that I wanted to be a fun sinner like Annie. Um, that didn't go over very well, as you might have suspected. That was about the time that the nuns told my mom that she shouldn't have MTV.

And I'm still lovin' Annie Lennox. She's still rockin' her bad ass self all these years. This is the one her more recent songs that I'm loving.

I've always loved her unconventional beauty and gender bending. Annie ROCKS!