No More Good Girl…?

 

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MAD MEN REVIEW: Season 7 Episode 5 — Betty Draper Francis (January Jones) finally takes a stand in Episode 5 – and weren’t we all cheering? It’s 1969, after all, and the Women’s Movement is in full swing. Betty’s finally sick and tired of living under society’s expectations (not to mention her mother’s) of just what kind of woman and wife she’s supposed to be. She isn’t much happier about being Henry Francis’ surrogate Emily Post, either.

Go girl! Or, should I say – woman … because at the height of the feminism of the late 60’s and 70’s none of us would dare call each other “girls.” I’m cheering because this is a different Betty breaking through – quite a change from the pretentious Betty who lunched with Francine and savored her heightened status of being the potential New York State Attorney General’s wife.

Could this be the real Betty? I hope so – both for her sake and for Sally’s (Kiernan Shipka). Mrs. Francis is a woman divided, though. There is a side of her she can’t yet shake – and Sally’s the unfortunate beneficiary: “It’s your face!” – as if that’s all a woman has going for her. Sally, the ultimate teenage rebel (and a product of the surge feminist ideas) yells back: “That’s right. It’s my face.”

Does this retort from her own daughter actually penetrate Betty? Could Sally possibly be the catalyst for saving her mother as well as her Dad? Because – not too much later Betty yells back at Henry (no more frozen Betty!): “You’re sorry you forgot to inform me what I’m supposed to think? Guess what? I think all by myself!”

This new Betty could help Sally. Sally may have taught Betty a thing or two in this episode. But, really, mothers are their daughter’s most important teachers. And it’s never too late to change… if in her difficult teenage years Sally can be open to a different kind of mother. If Betty finds her voice and sees just how much she’s needed it – she might be able to let Sally have hers.

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