Ms. Magazine….what….is….happening…here….????? (updated)

I have flour all over my hands from making homemade pasta, but this CANNOT WAIT. I can’t even wash my hands.

Did you read the Ms. Magazine recent article on Mad Men? I didn’t, because I don’t read Ms. because IT’S SUCH A STUPID MAGAZINE. I find it ludicrously out of touch and….just idiotic. But this little blog post saying that…oh god, I think it’s SERIOUSLY saying that WEARING VINTAGE CLOTHES MEANS YOU CAN’T BE A FEMINIST. I mean…I mean…I mean….

No words.

I’ll come back here and take down the breathtaking stupidity in more detail later on, but for now, here’s the link.

One thought to ponder: do you think Ms. understands that PORTRAYING something doesn’t mean ENDORSING it?


Oh god and they ACTUALLY SAY THAT PEOPLE ARE WATCHING THE SHOW AND WANTING TO BE BETTY AND NOT PEGGY. (“Thanks to its pervasive impact on pop culture, the show is crafting a whole new generation of would-be Bettys (Draper’s stylish wife) not Peggys (the show’s ambitious “career girl”).”) Um….show me someone. Seriously.






I am having heart palpitations. Orecchiette is boiling, must go. Where’s my nitroglycerine, I’m having a feminist heart attack. Computer so floury…oh god oh god.

PS three days later: Hey, Alternet has a dumb article about MM too. My god, THE LEFT! Alternet has been my homepage for 10 years or so, and…well, this is a post for another day, methinks. Again I am at work taking a 5 minute smokeinternet break, and have no time to unleash my marvellous intellect at the MM haterz. Soon, soon, someday, I will right all this wrongness…

8 Responses to “Ms. Magazine….what….is….happening…here….????? (updated)”

  1. Joanna

    I bought my first Ms. Magazine in years to read the Mad Men article. So disappointing. It read like a college essay and totally glossed over feminist issues dealt with in the show. The analysis on Jezebel is so much more insightful and relevant.

    • lagusta

      Good post, that one! Yeah, I’ve been thinking about this post and how sometimes instead of being all W!!!!T!!!!!!F!!!!! with people who really are my allies, and even (especially?) aren’t, I should attempt to have a productive, respectful dialogue. Not sure if that’s what you were saying with pointing out that link, but it fit in pretty well even if you weren’t.

      But on the other hand, that blog post (the Ms Magazine Mad Men one, that is) is still BLOWING MY MIND, and I’m STILL not sure what to say except !!!!!!!!! But I’ll give it a bit more time, I suppose.

      • Sara

        I just posted it here out of laziness, but I suppose it could fit. No, I was thinking of the feministing trans issue post from whenever.

        But, the real question is for this post is, why is Ms Magazine so baffling to people that are supposedly-maybe part its intended audience? WTF is a perfectly reasonable response.

  2. Natalia

    Hmm…I read the review, consider myself a radical lesbian feminist, and never had the urge to watch the show because I couldn’t wrap my head around wanting to watch the “bad old days” imo, especially a ‘boys will be boys’ / privileges of sexism men-tality, EVEN though I am a fan of graphic design and, sometimes, when my anti-consumerist side can be overcome, advertising (yes, I do seek out ads on youtube, etc., just for the artistry sometimes found therein). The Ms. article appears fairly correct in it’s critique, especially when coupled with the commentary…that the show is a critique of the times, but also a nostalgic approbation, no? Though I can’t speak to the betty and joan controversy. The comments by Janet seem the most strongly supportive of your viewpoint, but still why should I watch a bunch of sexist 50’s leftovers…as entertainment?

  3. lagusta

    I see your point. I feel that way about The Sopranos–I get that it’s a good show, but the little I’ve seen turns my stomach. Sometimes MM turns my stomach too, but more often it makes my heart soar because it’s just so well done. I often fall into the trap of only wanting to watch happy entertainment, and that worries me.

    I don’t think it’s nostalgic just like I don’t think Homer Simpson is supposed to be a good father figure. I think it’s hard-edged satire. I could be wrong, but having listened to Matthew Wiener, the show’s creator and head writer, in many interviews (was he interviewed for the Ms. piece? Man, I have to go to a bookstore and read it.), I truly believe he’s simultaneously pointing out how far we’ve come–and how far we have to go.

    The characters, with one or two exceptions (Peggy and Anna Draper are the only ones I can think of) are pathetic. Should the fact that America doesn’t seem the as such be blamed on the show’s creators, or on America?

    As for the fetishization of 1960s style: it does get the details right, but is this nostalgia, or just respect for telling a story accurately? As well as maybe a dash of wistfulness (OK, maybe a little nostalgia) for a time when furniture was beautiful, clothes were well-made, and people cared about what they looked like? I have a house full of midcentury modern thrift store pieces and two closets full of glorious polyester 60s A-line dresses, so maybe I’m biased.

    America is so ugly these days. I’m not going to feel guilty for proudly wearing beautiful, well-made vintage dresses, and I’m not going to pretend my Heywood Wakefield desk makes me a racist because it was made in the 60s. A peter pan collar doesn’t mean I’m a child. It means I have a choice. That’s feminism 101, as far as I’m concerned.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts after you watch the show!

  4. Natalia

    Never watched Sopranos either, and not into the Simpsons *at all* (I’ve seen like parts of 2 eps? but I dislike animation, generally). My decade-younger sister, the Mad Men watcher, is a huge fan of Simpsons too…she kinda grew up with them…might be a generational thing? Maybe those who came ‘of age’ in the 90’s are the audience for a 60’s thing, set right before y’all were born, whereas I was a child then so there’s tiny bit of a lived reality that quashes my longing?

    I have also collected the furniture…it holds up, design and construction-wise, but the clothes…”glorious polyester” is SO not a phrase I would ever use, except in jest. :) (Plus I lived in hot HOT Az for some time, and one pretty much must wear breathable fibers there, unless you choose not to go outdoors in summer)…so we have different takes on the gestalt of it. Talked to another sister, who was born toward the end of the 60’s, 5 years between myself and the youngest…she had tried to like it, had sat through the first 3 MM eps, and just couldn’t get into it. Her take was that it was about ‘who everyone was sleeping with’, and she didn’t care (her personal love-life may have had some bearing on this assessment). I told her that I heard the first 3 were the hardest to get through, which I think I saw here, somewhere?

    Also, I often do come to shows very late…ER, West Wing, Sex and the City, Moonlighting, Charmed etc., were some that I didn’t get into until the back sides of the seres’ runs…often in syndication. Sometimes though, I am at the very fore-front, and catch something from the earliest eps, sometimes by chance -Closer, Medium, Project Runway, and Xena, were all finds of mine that I told others about.

    At this point, don’t hold your breath for me and MM…not seeing a lot of time for giving MM a go currently…maybe in the future? But it was nice meeting you. :)

  5. zoe p.

    I have to say, I was losing interest in MM this season . . . and didn’t have much motivation to defend it. But the most recent episode?! The one that ends with Peggy and Joan in the elevator?!

    I think it was wonderful and your Project Rungay friends put it just right. It’s a warning to any young working women who don’t understand or care about the strengths that ye olde feminism brought us.

    Also, the only I thing I like better than swimming in old pools is looking at pictures of people swimming in old pools.


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