Watching the first season of the AMC series Mad Men (a recent birthday gift) I’ve reflected a lot recently on a pre-Civil Rights; Women’s Liberation Movement; and Gay Rights Moment. The necessity for all of these movements was interrelated because they respectively pushed for equal access for all people to be afforded the opportunity to pursue the happiness that our founding document guaranteed.
In Mad Men wives and secretaries labor in obscurity confined to home and desk. They attempt to explore other avenues of their humanity but are prodded and sometimes pushed back to the positions in which men are comfortable seeing them. Black people serve as elevator operators and other servants and pop up to utter a line occasionally while the Civil Rights Movement is bubbling on the periphery. A closeted gay character fights his sexual urges while living the lie of a heterosexual.
My reflections on the early 60’s time frame the show depicts makes me pause, and thank God for progress.