Don Draper. He's the charismatic lead character in AMC"s "Mad Men," a TV show that takes place in the sixties when women mostly stayed at home, and men brought home the bacon. Draper is a suave "ad man," who cheats on his wife, but supports her financially. And who treats most other women like dirt. Women we talked to who watch the show – LOVE him.
“Don Draper. He’s just so mysterious,” says one 26-year-old. “It's a very particular type of magnetism – he is just so confident, and he never doubts himself,” says another young woman. One young woman summed it up best when she said, “You know he's not good for you, but like oh my God, you know, I have to have it!”
Some female viewers love Don Draper so much, they didn't blink an eye when he went beyond "bad boy" behavior to, um, sexual assault in a clip from season two .
Even Jezebel, a feminist women's blogsite, gave him a pass for this because "...sometimes assertive women get tired of always being so damn assertive ... sometimes they like to be told what to do."
Just sayin' – Are women secretly yearning for a bad boy?
Psychiatrist Gail Saltz says, “I think that women have throughout the ages ... yearned for the bad boy” and that women love the idea of Don Draper because, today they feel overwhelmed in a down economy with work, the kids, and the needy husband.
According to a study by the Wharton school, called “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," ...women's happiness has fallen both absolutely and relative to men's…”
The 60's world of Mad Men is, what Dr. Saltz calls, "a fantasy solution." “The idea that the knight would come in and scoop them up and make everything easier is also very appealing, but it's a fantasy that doesn't include the being suppressed, you're not having anything of your own, it doesn't include those things.”.
But there's even a TV show about a wife who's loyal to her cheating politician husband – called "The Good Wife."
And in real life women have scorned "cheaters" like former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, South Carolina's Governor Sanford and John Edwards.
Yet they've given some cheating men a pass like Bill Clinton and now, seemingly David Letterman. Want the real life reason why? Dr. Saltz says it's "very much a function of how much you identify with the woman who's been hurt. Feel sorry for her – hate the man. Think she can take it – his cheatin' heart might be okay.”
What do you think? Why do women love the cheatin' Don Draper? Do we now yearn for that old-fashioned, bring home the bacon kind of guy?
Filed under: Just Sayin'
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