If you thought modern women want modern men, the kind of men who want to go Dutch, split the bills and fight for women’s rights, then you didn’t read the piece in this week’s New York Post. In it, a number of women talk about the era of Mad Men — the period between 1960 and 1970 — and why they wish we could return to that age of chivalry. But they seem to be forgetting something.
The women interviewed by the New York Post long for a throwback to the age of martinis, chivalry and rampant sexism as depicted in the show Mad Men.
Ellie, 42, told the Post:
I think there was more respect for marriage and family life during the 1950s and early 1960s. I wish I could travel backward to a simpler time.
While there certainly is an appeal to the idea of living in a time when family was number one, she is also discounting the rampant amount of infidelity depicted in the show (and historically accurate) as well as the constant sexism that plagued every interaction between men and women during that time. Want to get ahead in the business world as a female? Good luck with that. Want to avoid being complimented on your breasts daily? Honey, you can forget it.
The fact is, times may have changed and we may have thrown out some of the “old-fashioned” values when it comes to relations between men and women. But look at our progress!
The Post cites statistics about women and men marrying later.
In 1960, only one in 10 adults age 25 or older had never been married. Now it’s up to one in five.
Pew also found that people are marrying for the first time later in life now than in the early 1960s: In 2011, the median age for first marriage was almost 29 for men and 26.5 for women as compared to the early 20s for both sexes in 1960.
Isn’t that a good thing? Doesn’t that mean more time for career? More time to be on one’s own? More time to find one’s own path?
As someone who did marry young (at 25) and who certainly wouldn’t take it back for anything, I can understand the desire to go to a simpler time when marriage was what people did and families started earlier. It’s a lovely thing to do. But they are discounting the pressure. Women today have choices. They have options our mothers could only dream about.
When I look at my daughters, I want lasting love for them, but I also want creativity and booming careers. I want girls who are respected for their minds over their bodies, and I want real, lasting happiness. I do not want Betty Draper’s life for them.
When women say they want to go back to the past, sometimes it seems like they don’t understand what they are asking for. Sure, it might seem easier to have fewer choices. But then… you’d have fewer choices. The abundance of options is daunting and sometimes overwhelming, but we are so lucky to have them.
Want to look a gift horse in the mouth? Want to knock everything our mothers fought to give us? Done and done. Enough with this nonsense.