We Really Need To Talk About The Mad Men Child Rape Jokes
I must have been the only person who watched Mad Men last night instead of Game Of Thrones, because there are so few mentions of the ick factor in last night’s episode on the online recaps I feel like I am the only person who was utterly creeped out by it. Please keep in mind, there will be some SPOILER ALERTS in this so if you haven’t watched the season premier of Mad Man yet, I suggest you go do so and then you can return to this article and say WTF and over-analyze it with me. Because you are my friend like that.
I’m not going to go into Don’s drunken angst or Peggy’s awesome “I know what the hell I’m doing, annoying male client” attitude, or even Roger’s weird pompadour hair, because it was all sort of business as usual for this lot. It’s Betty Draper I’m concerned about.
Now, we all know Betty is not a great mom. She has slapped poor Sally. She has been nasty and unkind to almost everyone. She is vain. Last season when the character gained weight she lost a lot of sympathy because she has always been viewed as having her appearance the most important aspect of her, and at the end of the day it sort of sucks that the only stay-at-home mother in the series has to be such a raging mega-bitch.
Last night found Betty looking slimmer and passing on the candy.Whatever. Sally Draper had a friend over, Sandy, and this friend, who is 15 years old, played the violin and lied about getting into Julliard while her husband Henry gazes at the young girl just like his young son Bobby. Henry muses “she plays so beautifully” and then Betty, oh WHY Betty, replies: “She’s a year older than Sally, shame on you.” And then goes on to say:
She’s just in the next room, why don’t you go in there and rape her?
But it doesn’t end there.
I’ll hold her arms down.
In Henry’s defense, he replies (along with me in my brain) “Betty, what the hell?” And Betty continues:
You said you wanted to spice things up. Will it ruin it if I’m there? You know, if you want to be alone with her, I’ll put on my housecoat and take Sally for a ride. You can stick a rag in her mouth and you won’t wake the boys.
And she ends this little creepy “suggestion” with a kiss on her husband’s cheek and a “My goodness, you’re blushing.” I don’t know if they were trying to illustrate how much more cavalier people were towards the idea of adult men lusting after young girls was during that era. I’m not sure if they were trying to make a point about Betty’s insecurity. I’m not entirely sure what the point of this exchange was, other than to make all of us hate Betty a little bit more, and if that was the point than good job writers! But I do know that it made me extremely uncomfortable and I was too busy being appalled by this little exchange to enjoy the rest of the episode. The Mad Men child rape “joke” exchange really bothered me. Feel free to tell me if I’m the only one.