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Now that you mention it... I think Phil Donahue could be a good role for Hamm. I definitely see a resemblance there.


I don't agree that most women want a man who treats them badly. What happens is that the manipulative exploitive men know how to turn on the charm in the beginning and don't let their true colors show until later.


I think though, that chauvinist men and feminist women are often attracted to eachother for the same reason- the other represents a challence.

Chas Warren

When I was still a boy, I fantasized about things that I wouldn't have wanted in real life. Of course, I thought I wanted them, but when I finally experienced that ménage à trois (for example), it was more awkward than enjoyable.

Today, at 49, if I fantasize about it, I want to do it.


kisarita, I think the point was that sometimes women fantasize about men that they do, in fact, not want in reality. That the, rather common, bad boy fantasy doesn't at all have to indicate a true wish in real life.


I feel like you're kind of reaching in your characterization of Draper, even though I agree with your overarching point. The character is an asshole plain and simple. The way Marcotte can talk about how awesome he is and then lay into the Daily Show for supposed sexism based on hearsay by ex-employees is really a head-scratcher.

I like Mad Men, and I liked Sopranos when it was on; but I've never understood how anyone can see Tony or Don as anything other than total bastards, and sexist, racist, homophobic bastards at that. People act like they're admirable guys, and with Draper it's just getting ridiculous as real people try to emulate or even dress like him.


DA: Mis-aimed fandom. It's a depressingly common phenomenon.


Once again TVTropes has the answer: it's the continuing spread of the Draco in Leather Pants phenomenon.

Greta Christina

DA: I really, really don't agree with you. I don't think Don Draper is a great guy, I don't think he's awesome or admirable... but I don't think he's an asshole, pure and simple, either. I don't think he's anything, pure and simple. He's complicated and ambiguous, morally as well as emotionally. Every time I decide he's a total douchebag, he does something seriously decent; every time I decide he's a basically decent guy, he does something vile. It's one of the things I like best about the show. (And he's not the only character on the show like this: I love how non- black- and- white most of the characters are, and how I wind up having empathy for even the worst among them. [cough] Pete Campbell [cough] Betty Draper [cough].)

Just a couple of examples of things Don has done that were generous and kind and compassionate (SPOILER warning to anyone who hasn't watched the show but plans to):

His kindness and help to Peggy when she was in the mental hospital. (Not to mention his promotion of her career: arguably it was self-interested, but nobody else was doing it. The ability to recognize that your prejudices are getting in the way of your self-interest is one of the main ways prejudices get overcome.)

Declining to out Sal when he first found out he was gay: and not just declining to out him, but letting it slide. treating it as a non-issue, and treating Sal on a purely professional level.

Covering Pete Campbell's share of the company bail-out.

And, while it doesn't exactly count as kindness and generosity and compassion, I find his attraction to smart, independent, unconventional women who defy gender roles to be not only fascinating, but at least somewhat admirable.

Is he a perfect paragon? Of course not. His behavior to Peggy has sometimes been affectionate and supportive, and has sometimes been downright cruel. His initial kindness about Sal's gayness was countered later by his bigotry and cruelty, and his willingness to throw him off the ship when he became inconvenient. And while he does have a consistent attraction for smart, independent, unconventional women, he's also clearly afraid of them. Witness this season's closer, when he unceremoniously dropped an intelligent woman with a career of her own who's his intellectual equal and emotional intimate, in favor of a pretty sweet young thing who's good with kids and who he barely knows.

The guy is not a paragon. I never said he was (and as far as I know, neither has Marcotte). But I think he's undeniably complicated and ambiguous, with warring impulses and aspirations. And again, it's one of the things I like best about the show: the characters are so human, with competing virtues and vices, just like we all have.

David Cass

We can analyze your post to an agonizingly slow death, or. . . we can mostly agree that - once again - you've transcended all expectations of brilliance in your post of yesterday. Truly, Greta, that is one of the best analyses of our culture, as relates to male and female relationships, that I have seen. Ever. Way to go.


Just to attack you from the diametrically opposite side from other commenters (I think you're exactly right about Don), it seems to me that you're too hard on Pete Campbell. Pete has plenty of ugliness (including, yes, misogyny) to him, but he's grown a lot recently, especially in this past season. He's been repeatedly shown as more sympathetic (albeit for reasons that include self-interest) to the civil rights movement than anyone else at SCDP, unless you think Lane's Playboy Bunny girlfriend is supposed to say a lot about his political leanings. Most memorably, Pete's determined protection of Don's big secret, even under the withering assault of Roger "hypocritical lying bastard" Sterling, was positively heroic.

Pete has been doing valuable work that has been a huge part of keeping the new firm alive, and he hasn't (ahem) screwed anyone for a long time. Give him a chance.


Its always nice to read someone say we can fantasise about things we don't really want. Some people just never get that!

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