Who is the better 'Mad Men' parent: Don or Betty Draper?
All right, Mad Men fans, here's a good debate. This season divorce divides the Draper family. While Don puts long hours in the office and lives in a depressing apartment in the city, Betty continues to live in their former house, even though she's supposed to be out. She argues that the kids have had enough upset in their lives.
Betty has questionable (at best) parenting methods. She is old school. Children are seen and not heard, pinch an ear hard if they act up, drink wine and smoke cigarettes while pregnant to keep the weight down. But Don, despite his good intentions, is never there. She is the kids' primary caretaker and doesn't want to move them out of their house. Don has a better rapport with his youngsters, who are happy and relaxed around him, but their visits are infrequent. He's also bedded every female client and stewardess that crossed his path, which is why Betty booted him.
Which Draper do you think is a better parent?
New York Magazine's web site posted this hilarious montage of Betty Draper's guide to parenting, called Ugly Betty. It's funny how we are horrified by Betty's parenting style but people will still pine for the good ole days. That's what the good ole days looked like. Kids were told to pipe down, go watch TV and were smacked without a second thought.
I think the lesson in Betty is unhappy people are damaging, especially to young children. The era of the early '60s, in which women were so confined to their roles, was damaging. And that damage rolled downhill. So in some part, I blame Don and the other men for it because they played a part in boxing the women into a corner.
~ Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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