The Final Season of Mad Men: A Parade of Absentee Mothers and the Double Standard

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by Andrew Bloom

in Television

Mad Men has never shied away from exploring double standards. It traced the challenges Peggy Olson faced while rising up the ranks in the advertising industry, obstacles that men in her position never even considered, let alone encountered. It contrasted the cult of domesticity that Betty Draper was expected to maintain with the casual womanizing that had become the norm for her husband. It showed how Joan Harris had become an expert at navigating the intricate rules for a woman in the workplace in the 1960s and how the men in the office could drift along without any of the same concerns.

But the final season of Mad Men sketched the contours of one of the most persistent double standards that American society still struggles with today — the different expectations of men and women in their role as parents. Mad Men’s Season 7 presents five mothers who have each, in one sense or another, left their children behind. These women struggle with the choices that they’ve made and deal with a level of societal scorn and personal guilt that their male counterparts never have to face.

 

Margaret Hargrove

The first of these women is Margaret (or Marigold) Hargrove, Roger Sterling’s daughter, who leaves her husband and her young son Ellery to join a hippie commune. Margaret’s rejection of the role a mother in the 1960s is expected to occupy comes to light when she’s confronted by her own mother.

When Margaret’s parents venture to the commune to convince her to leave, her mother Mona first attempts to persuade her daughter to come home by telling her that Ellery misses her. Margaret replies that while she misses her son, her old life left her unhappy, and she believes that Ellery can’t be happy if his mother isn’t.

Mona tries to empathize. She says she knows how overwhelming being a young mother can be, but that she was grateful to raise Margaret. Margaret offers a retort, “I’m grateful I don’t have to lock myself in the bathroom with a pint of gin every day.”

The barb is a bridge too far for Mona, who storms back to the car lamenting the “four-year-old in Manhattan who’s crying himself to sleep.” Mona, as much as any woman on Mad Men, stands for the norms of traditional motherhood, both in the eyes of her daughter and in the way the show depicts her as a representative of an older generation that’s scrambling to keep its footing amid the tumult of the new one.

Mona tells Margaret that being a mother gave her something to live for, but Margaret has seen the kind of life her mother lived after buying into that role, and she’s quite consciously turning away from it. Margaret says that she’s “tired of accepting society’s definition of me” and recoils when she considers what her mother had to do to get through the day and live up to that ideal.

It’s clear from their conversation that Margaret felt the unhappiness her mother had tried to hide from her. It affected Margaret, and that’s what she’s running away from as much as anything — the kind of life her mother tried to steer her toward. It’s the same idea of a woman’s role in the world and the home that Betty Draper’s mother tried to instill in her daughter, and Betty similarly struggled with the same issues in ways great and small.

By contrast, Roger initially seems more at ease with his daughter exploring a New Age alternative than Mona does. After all, Roger reached an epiphany of his own under the influence of some tuned-in acquaintances. He even makes the effort to chat with Margaret’s friends, and that evening he sleeps under the stars with his daughter. But in the night, one of Margaret’s companions wakes her and leads her away so the two can sleep together, and it effects a stark change in Roger’s demeanor.

At first, I didn’t understand the shift in Roger’s attitude. Why was he initially so much more at ease with his daughter’s hippie lifestyle and yet, by the next morning, so determined that she had to come home and that this life was unacceptable?

But the explanation came earlier, in Roger and Mona’s conversation during the drive over. The two of them were trying to figure out why Margaret would run away. Mona posits that it’s because of the example the two of them set as parents and partners. She makes a not-so-subtle dig at Roger when she says Margaret probably thinks she can just go and find a new husband. When Roger sees Margaret sleeping around, he realizes that Mona was right, that Margaret’s a reflection of him and how he behaved when she was growing up. And it makes him angry, as much at himself as at Margaret.

Roger realizes that part of this is his fault. He tells Margaret that he’s taking her home. He explains that he understands the temptation and realizes that everyone her age is “running away and screwing around.” He knows those impulses because he’s acted on them. He’s ignored his own family because of them. But Roger tells his daughter that it’s not okay for her to do the same. “You can’t,” he’s says, “You’re a mother.”  In his eyes, the rules for her are different.

Roger tells Margaret that she has a responsibility to her son that she cannot simply neglect. He almost pleads, “How could you just leave him? He’s your baby.” That’s when Margaret turns the tables. She asks, “How did you feel, when you went away to work, Daddy?” adding sarcastically “your conscience must have been eating you alive.”

She accuses him of calling his secretary from a hotel to pick out her birthday presents. Roger of all people should understand how she can walk away from her family. The night before, when Margaret tells Roger she remembers him reading “From the Earth to the Moon” to her as a child, he doesn’t think it happened. “Must have been your mother,” he shrugs. Roger wasn’t there to read to his daughter, and yet still managed to shape the adult she became. “It’s not that hard, Daddy,” Margaret responds, “He’ll be fine.”

Roger appears shaken after the exchange. The ease of the free-roaming part of his life, with dalliances apace, a part of how he lived that he took for granted, is thrown into stark relief by his daughter’s sharp words. Roger has no high ground to lecture his daughter about the responsibilities of being a parent, and for once, it hurts him.

The scene underscores how a father can stand apart from his child, and the world views it as simply an accepted part of being the kind of man that Roger Sterling was in the 1950s and 1960s. But a mother cannot do the same without having shame heaped upon her head by all the important people in her life. After Roger tries to forcibly carry Margaret away and the pair topple over into a puddle, he gives up and, once again, walks away. In the end, both he and Margaret are covered in the same mud.

 

Peggy Olson

Mad Men’s final season also spends a brief but meaningful moment revisiting Peggy’s story from the beginning of the series. In those early years, Peggy unexpectedly became pregnant after sleeping with Pete Campbell and, at Don’s urging, gave her son up for adoption and moved on with her life. The echo of that story begins in the Season 7 episode “Time & Life” when Peggy and Stan are casting children for an upcoming commercial. After one mother leaves her little girl at Sterling Cooper’s offices to go pick up her son, Peggy and Stan end up impressed into service as erstwhile babysitters for the afternoon.

Of course, the little girl manages to suffer a minor injury while playing with a stapler in Peggy’s office just as her mother returns. The woman chastises Peggy and Stan for allowing the mishap, and Peggy has a visceral reaction in response, shouting back at the woman, “You shouldn’t have abandoned her at an office in midtown.” After more accusations and blame are thrown around, the woman huffs out, but not before yelling to Peggy, “You do what you want with your children. I’ll do what I want with mine.”

Peggy seems struck by these words. Later, she tells Stan that she can’t stop thinking about the woman, that she “understand[s] the entire psychological situation.” It’s already a strange time in Peggy’s life. After learning that Sterling Cooper is being absorbed by McCann, she’s evaluating her options, thinking about her career, her future, and, naturally, the path that led her to this point. The little girl is a symbol of that path, as well as the one not taken, and it weighs on her. It’s no coincidence that Peggy shares a private, almost sweet moment with Pete in the same episode.

Stan writes off the woman, saying that she shouldn’t even have kids, only for Peggy to snap back at him, “That’s not for you to say.” Stan doesn’t realize that he’s touched a nerve. When Peggy says he doesn’t get it because he doesn’t have any children himself he jokes, “Not that I know of.”

The comment only prompts Peggy to raise her hackles further as she spits back, “That’s funny to you because it wouldn’t matter if you did and you could walk away.” That’s what really infuriating about Stan’s response for Peggy — not only the double standard, but an asymmetry than nearly drastically changed the course of Peggy’s life and that Stan can take so lightly as to joke about it.

Stan judges that woman–a type of judgment that Peggy herself struggles and has struggled with–in a way that Stan will never be judged. The two of them don’t play by the same rules when it comes to children. Both biology and society ensure that he has a kind of freedom she’ll never enjoy.

But Stan is bewildered at Peggy’s rebuke and her declaration that he just doesn’t understand. He retorts, “I had a mother! And she wasn’t great, and I don’t know if she wanted me.” But Peggy demurs, “You don’t understand your mother! Maybe she was very young and followed her heart and got in trouble, and no one should have to make a mistake just like a man does and not be able to move on. She should be able to live the rest of her life just like a man does.”

Stan realizes that Peggy’s no longer talking about the woman from earlier, or Stan’s mother for that matter. She’s voicing her own worries about how her son will think of her, her own resentments for the type of judgments she’s had to face for her choices, and her justifications for the life she’s chosen and the path she’s made for herself. Peggy has to live with those thoughts and the inherent unfairness of her position every day. When Stan tells her he didn’t realize, Peggy explains that her son is “with a family somewhere.” She doesn’t know, not because she doesn’t care, but because “you’re not supposed to know, or you can’t go on with your life.” Not knowing is a luxury for Stan. It’s a crucible for Peggy.

Of all the absent mothers Mad Men visits in Season 7, Peggy is the one who seems to carry the least baggage by the time 1970 rolls around. She’s followed in Don’s footsteps by putting an unpleasant chapter of her life behind her and moving on. But in these moments, when she yells at the girl’s mother for abandoning her, when she cries while saying goodbye to Julio, when she tells Stan that if he were in his mother’s position, “Maybe you’d do what you thought was the best thing,” it’s clear that she still feels some of the sting from that decision. When she says that a woman should be able to move on from her mistakes just as much as a man is able to, she seems to be reassuring herself as much as she is trying to convince someone who will never have to make the same choice on the same terms.

 

Joan Harris

Joan also finds herself having to defend her son’s place in her life to a man. When she begins dating Richard, the retired developer she meets in Los Angeles, she initially tells him that she does not have any children. But on their second date back in New York, Richard detects something off in Joan’s demeanor when he suggests that they retire to his room for a nightcap.

He initially thinks it’s that Joan is married, but she confesses to him that she has a son waiting for her at home. Richard pauses for a moment. “Oh,” he says. But then he tells Joan that it doesn’t matter to him. Her eyes light up. Joan’s been through the ringer when it comes to romance, and when she beams back at her date after such a declaration, you can see the shadows of the less favorable responses she’s received from other would-be beaus when they learned that Joan is a mother.

But her excitement is short-lived. When they go back to Richard’s room, Joan has to bargain on the phone with her babysitter to get her to stay on the job long enough for Joan and Richard to be able to enjoy their evening. The babysitter tries to beg off. She eventually acquiesces to an extra hour, but the tone of the moment changes. Now, Joan and Richard are on the clock, and Richard finally blanches.

He admits that he doesn’t like the fact that Joan has a child. He says that he loves kids, but that he’s done with the part of his life. Kevin’s existence means that unlike an untethered man like Richard, Joan cannot change her plans at a whim. She can’t live the freewheeling life Richard wants. She has to be anchored to another life because she’s a mother. Never mind her job or the other obligations she has; it’s the presence of her son that threatens to be the breaking point for Richard at the beginning of their relationship.

The next morning, Joan’s babysitter is delayed in getting to her apartment to watch Kevin, making Joan late for work. Joan lashes out at the babysitter. Her frustrations are clearly borne less from the babysitter’s tardiness and more from the evening’s events. She’s still stinging from Richard’s rejection and struggling with the fact that her son is an unwitting obstacle to her hopes for love and professional success. As Joan walks out the door, she yells, “You’re ruining my life!”

It’s a charge nominally directed at the babysitter, but clearly meant as much for Kevin. It’s an expression of her frustration at the rock and a hard place she’s forced between when trying to balance her responsibilities as a mother with her desire to be a fully-formed individual apart from that facet of her identity.

The anguished look on Joan’s face when Kevin guilelessly says “buh-bye” in response to her shouting reveals all the guilt Joan carries not only for saying such an ugly thing, but for the hint to herself that she means it, and for even choosing to walk out the door in the first place. She is unfairly placed in position of guilt, of shame, of being less, for the choices she’s made and the life she’s attempting to lead in relation to her child, and that makes a difficult balancing act even harder.

There’s shades of Helen Bishop there, the single mother who lived next door to the Drapers in the first season, whom Betty seemed to judge, pity, and envy in equal measure. She too stood as an attempt by the show to explore the way that society in the 1960s looked at women in Joan’s position with a skeptical eye.

In the finale, when Joan reveals that her ex-husband has had twins with a new wife and that “as far as he’s concerned, Kevin never happened,” Roger assumes it’s because he knows Kevin’s true parentage. But Joan assures him, “No, he’s just a terrible person.” Again, Greg can leave for a new life and pretend his son does not exist without any ill effects beyond Joan’s quiet disdain, while women like Joan struggle to raise their children in the aftermath and women like Margaret face the stigma of having abandoned her son.

 

Stephanie Horton

In the show’s final episode, Don goes to visit Stephanie Horton, Anna Draper’s niece. The last time Don heard from Stephanie, she was pregnant, and due to deliver sometime soon. When Don, somewhat worse for wear after a bender, asks to see her little one, Stephanie reacts with anger. She asks Don if her parents “fl[ew] you in from some drunk tank to make me feel guilty.” Don is confused in his already brain-addled state. After realizing that Don wasn’t part of some parental conspiracy, Stephanie finally explains that her son isn’t there. He lives with his father’s parents. She gave him up.

More than any other character in the show’s final season, Stephanie represents the guilt of walking away from one’s child. Margaret is defiant; Peggy is pensive but determined, and Joan buckles but perseveres. But Stephanie is struggling.

When Don first arrives, Stephanie assumed that her parents had sent him to try to talk her out of her decision, to shame her into raising her son. Stephanie’s impetus for traveling to the a New Age retreat at the Esalen Institute is her hope that it would help her to process her choice, to come out on the other side without this immense sense of shame she feels laden with.

When asked how she feels in the midst of group therapy at the retreat, Stephanie pleads her case. She says that she feels like everyone’s judging her. She says it makes her feel small and insignificant. “I made a mistake,” she says, “and I just want to get it together now.”

Stephanie’s never seemed to be a character with much direction, but she seems especially lost in this moment. She’s clearly faced no end of criticism from her own parents, and whatever remains of her support system is in tatters. When she tells the group that she imagines them thinking, “You should have loved being a mother,” it’s not hard to picture those words having come from the lips of her own mother.

It has been a struggle for Stephanie to live with having given up her son, both for the criticisms leveled by others and the internal guilt she’s fighting every day. Her wound is fresher than Peggy’s, but she wants the same thing — to be able to move on. When another member of the group dresses her down for her choice, having been abandoned by her own mother as a child, it’s more than Stephanie can take, and she runs out of the room almost in tears.

Don, of course, goes after her and tries to reassure her. He dismisses what the woman said. But Stephanie tells him it’s the truth. As painful as it is, Stephanie wants to hear the truth. Don tries his old standby. He tells Stephanie that this does not have to define her, that as he once told Peggy, she could be amazed at how much this never happened. But Stephanie shuts him down. She tells him she doesn’t think it works like that, and she leaves.

And she’s half-right. It can work that way for Don, for a while at least. A man, especially a man with Don’s dashing figure and silver tongue, can have a relationship with his children that does not stretch beyond weekend visits and sporadic phone calls home and bear no ill from society for it. Don can run away from the kind of transgressions he’s committed in the past. He can, for a time, embark on a new life without the reverberations of the old one, and keep running until it all finally catches up with him.

But Stephanie can’t. Stephanie has to carry the ignominy of being a mother who gave up her child. She can’t shuffle those feelings to the side like Don has tried to do again and again. She has to live with having failed to live up to society’s expectations for what it means be a mother, expectations she’s internalized, whether she wants to or not.

 

Diana

The second half of the season begins with Don’s fascination with Diana, a waitress who catches his eye while he’s out at dinner with Roger. Don can’t quite put his finger on why, but he feels inexorably drawn to her. There’s a gloom that surrounds Diana, a dark cloud that she seems to carry around with her, and something about it calls to him.

When they meet, Diana’s in the process of getting divorced, and like Joan, she tells Don that she doesn’t have any children. After the two spend the night together, Don finds Diana staring into Sally’s room. She sits on Sally’s bed, puts her face in her hands, and tells Don that she lied to him.

Dianna explains that she left her home in Racine, Wisconsin because she had a daughter, one who recently died from the flu, and she couldn’t handle it. She breaks down, and Don comforts her.

In the days after the confession, the two continue to spend time together, playing house in Don’s apartment. In those moments, Diana still carries herself with a certain understated melancholy, but she allows herself to smile. She pulls close to Don and tells him, “There’s a twinge in my chest.”

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, when Don visits her at her apartment, she tells him that she doesn’t want to see him anymore. Don can’t understand. He thinks that Diana’s feeling jealous over the lingering threads of his relationship with Megan. But Diana shuts him down and reveals the other part of her secret.

Diana confesses to Don that she had two daughters, and that when her younger daughter died, she left her oldest with her husband in Wisconsin and left for New York. She left her daughter without a mother. That’s the other half of the gloom she’s been dragging around with her, the painful thoughts of the child wondering where she is.

She mentions that twinge she felt when she was with Don, how it felt wrong. She tells him that she still feels the pain of what she’s done and doesn’t want to feel anything else. The little joys she experienced with Don feel undeserved and shameful. Dianna wants to punish herself, to carry her daughter with her in that hurt. She says to him flatly, “When I was with you, I forgot about her. I don’t ever want to do that.” And that’s it. She never sees Don again.

I don’t think these scenes are necessarily meant to draw out the double standard between men and women when it comes to their children. But there’s nevertheless a hurt that Diana cannot move past, a burden that she labors under, that Don either doesn’t feel or is able to suppress. Obviously Don hasn’t severed his relationship with his children the way Diana has, but there’s more to it than that.

The reasons for that difference are not as simple as the fact that Don is a man and Diana is a woman. After all, Don’s entire M.O. is attempting to move past his pain rather than confront and digest it, regardless of its source. But it’s still meaningful that Diana is struggling with her decision to be apart from her daughter, and Don isn’t fighting the same feelings about being apart from his children, at least not consciously.

Part of Don’s attraction to Diana comes from the fact that she has done the very thing Don loves to do when the going gets tough — run away. While Season 6 of the show had a greater emphasis on the themes of doppelgangers and duality, Season 7 depicts Diana as Don’s mirror image — a dark-haired beauty who leaves one life to remake another. To the point, if Don’s visit to Diana’s ex-husband is any indication, Don’s not the first lover with whom she’s sought refuge from her dissatisfaction in life. Don has a knowing look when Diana’s ex-husband describes her as “a tornado, just leaving a trail of broken bodies behind her.”

Diana lost one child, and could not cope with raising the other. So she left, and she carries the pain of that with her wherever she goes. She feels burdened by her absence from her children’s lives in a way that Don has only fleetingly felt. She labors under the weight of her past, unable to set it aside the way Don has attempted to do for so long, until it finally spills out of him in the show’s final episode.

 

Don Draper

In the series finale, Don learns that Betty has terminal lung cancer. He immediately calls her to tell her not to worry, that he’ll take care of the children, only to be just as quickly rebuffed. When Don says to Betty, “you don’t even have to ask,” she responds, “I wasn’t going to.”

Don is taken aback. Betty tells him that she plans to have Bobby and Gene live with her brother and his wife. She wants them to have a woman in their lives. Betty is, in many ways, the most hidebound in her view of the importance a mother should have in her children’s lives of any character on the show. She wants to give Bobby and Gene stability. When Don objects to the arrangement, she says “What am I supposed to do? This way you see them exactly as much as you do now — on weekends and…oh wait, Don, when was the last time you saw them?”

And that’s it. The scales fall. Don can go on long personal journeys, have his kids on the weekends, and not think twice about it or suffer any consequence until he actually seeks to become their guardian. Don is always trying to escape from pain, from the less-than-pleasant parts of his past or present. Margaret, Peggy, Joan, Stephanie, and Diana are all women in different stages of facing their choices head-on instead of trying to escape them. But when Don talks to Betty, it all finally begins to catch up with him. When he tries to be the overriding presence in his children’s lives, he is not only rejected by their mother, but convincingly so. And he starts to crumble.

Don wants to be there for his kids. He legitimately and earnestly wants to support them when they’re facing something so difficult. That’s when Betty says the most heart-wrenching thing Don could possibly hear. “I appreciate your intentions. I really do, [but] I want to keep things as normal as possible, and you not being here is part of that.”

That’s the moment when Don breaks down.

It’s an appropriately devastating moment for him. The other characters on the show who discuss his absence only look down on him for leaving behind his work, not his children. That conversation with Betty makes the stray dog freedom he’s taken for granted, the limited presence he has in his children’s lives, completely unchecked by any societal disapproval, finally feel like something as shameful as what the women of Mad Men have faced.

That’s the rub. Margaret, Peggy, Joan, Stephanie, and Diana can all take flak for the ways in which their children are not at the center of their lives, or left in other hands. But Don does not. Don’s absence is expected. Don being a scant part of his children’s upbringing is as unobjectionable to society writ large as it is unremarkable. When a father does it, it’s expected and accepted. When a mother does it, it’s a mortal sin.

In the series finale, the thing that almost breaks Don is the seeming emptiness of what he’s built and the guilt of his missteps, chief among them the way in which his choices have made him an uneasy presence in the lives of his own children. It’s enough to make him accept that what’s best for them is to be raised by someone else.

“I scandalized my child,” he admits to Peggy in tears. Like Roger, he’s wounded when he acknowledges the effect his lifestyle had on his daughter. A significant part of what nearly breaks him is finally experiencing the bitter end of the double standard that he’s avoided for so long, of having to confront his relationship to his children, and having to contend with the same guilt all these women in his life have had to grapple with from the beginning.

 

* * *

 

There’s a tricky element to addressing double-standards. Almost everyone agrees that they’re pernicious on principle, but it’s harder to determine what the standard for everyone ought to be after the old one is washed away.

When we see characters like Margaret or Stephanie, let alone more prominent characters like Peggy or Joan, suffer for the choices they’ve made in a way that Don and Roger don’t have to, the first impulse is to simply be angry at how unfair the situation is. After all, the men of Mad Men can gallivant around town with none of the same opprobrium hanging over their heads.

The initial instinct is to say that these women should enjoy the same freedom as their male counterparts, or at least face no more cultural shaming than those men do, and it’s a good instinct. But once we accept that the difference in society’s treatment of these choices is unfair, it becomes more complicated to decide what mark these individuals should be measured by.

Few serious watchers of Mad Men would say that the world at large should be apt to adopt the consequence-free lifestyles or familial relationships that Don Draper and Roger Sterling have often enjoyed, however superficially appealing they may appear. We, or at least I, do not want the lives that Don and Roger have led to become the standard, only that their female counterparts should not be spurned for making the same kinds of choices that Don and Roger have often been given a pass for.

To that end, part of what makes Peggy so inspiring is how she bucked the system that threatened to hold her back and achieved a great deal in her professional life, something that might very well have been impossible in the 1960s if she had been trying raise a son or otherwise been unable to make the sort of choices that the men she worked with were afforded. Stan isn’t wrong when he tells Peggy, “You couldn’t have done all you’ve done otherwise.” She clearly still struggles with some guilt from the decision to give up her son, or at a minimum some wistfulness, but she was able to choose a life apart from her child and succeeded, at least in part, due to her being able to devote herself to her work in a way that would have been incredibly difficult with a little boy waiting at home.

In the same vein, we feel sympathy for Margaret and Diana and Stephanie as they live their lives carrying the baggage that Don and Roger don’t have to. These women suffer under a burden that the frolicking, freewheeling men of Mad Men do not. It’s hard not to feel bad for them on that account alone.

But the woman who nearly brings Stephanie to tears has a point that’s as piercing for the viewer as it is for Stephanie when she says, “What I feel when I hear about your baby is sadness. My mother left. I can tell you that your baby is going to spend the rest of his life staring at the door waiting for you to walk in.”

That confession brings the other side of this issue to the fore, not only in the sense that the situations the show explores are much more complicated than simply guilt versus freedom, but also in that Sally Draper is essentially the only child on the other half of this equation whom we witness feeling the effects of her parents’ choices.

My grandfather ran away from his family in the 1960s, multiple families in fact. Each time he left young children behind. I’ve seen the effect it had on those children. I’ve seen those feelings of neglect and abandonment manifested. And it’s a terrible, shameful thing. It gives me pause and offers a counterweight to my first sympathetic instincts when I look at characters like Margaret or Diana or Stephanie, and I too imagine their children wondering why one of their parents isn’t there.

How do you balance that sense of concern for these children with sympathy for the parents who just want to give their kids a better life? How do you parse out what’s neglectful self-interest, what’s a legitimate exercise of the right to seek one’s own happiness, and what’s simply a person accepting the fact that they’re not equipped to be a good parent and trying to do what’s best for their child? I don’t have the answers to these questions, and I don’t think Mad Men does either. But the final season draws out the unfair disparity at the core of the question, in the 1960s and today, where the women of Mad Men have to struggle with that dilemma every day, and the Don Drapers of the world rarely have to do the same.

 

Andrew Bloom (@TheAndrewBlog) runs The Andrew Blog, where he overanalyzes The Simpsons and takes pop culture too seriously. He would be happy to buy the world a Coke, but he has a work thing tomorrow so he can’t really stick around afterwards.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Janice June 4, 2015 at 4:03 pm

I enjoyed reading this. One thing that I would point out….Peggy, Margaret, Diana, Stephanie and Betty completely leave their children’s lives. Men didn’t have to do that because, as you pointed out, they could just do the weekend thing. Given somewhat similar circumstances, Joan breaks through and prospers.

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