Comments on: Betty Draper is a bad mommy History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 07:56:15 +0000 hourly 1 By: Historiann Fri, 25 Mar 2011 14:17:17 +0000 Heh. Great points, Rosie. Only, perhaps you should have added SPOILER ALERT at the top of your comment?

(S’okay, though–I don’t know if anyone else will see your comment at this point.)

By: Rosie Fri, 25 Mar 2011 10:17:41 +0000 What I don’t understand is why Betty is the only major character to receive such deep contempt from the viewers. Here we are at the end of Season 4 and no one has really evolved. Not really. Although Peggy has become the career woman, she continues to chafe with frustration from being the only female copywriter in the company. She is STILL trying to earn Don’s complete respect, instead of considering the possibility of moving on. Gratitude can only go so far. Don has remarried a woman who seemed like Betty used to be in the previous decade. He has become engaged to Megan without revealing his deep, dark secret. Like Peggy, Pete has allowed his desire for Don’s respect to remain with a company that is frustrating his professional satisfaction. Roger dumped his wife for a young bride and is STILL not happy. In fact, he and Joan ended up having a sordid one night stand, which resulted in Joan’s pregnancy. And Joan’s life is a world of shit . . . from decisions she had made. She is still married to Greg. She’s pregnant with Roger’s baby. And she still believes that the road to happiness is marriage and a child. Sally is fast becoming a bully – at least with her younger brother, Bobby. And she is using her parents to express her anger at their divorce.

And everyone believes that only Betty is screwed?

By: Suz Fri, 15 Oct 2010 03:22:00 +0000 Betty Draper is a product of her undiagnosed manic depression, yes she should never have had children, she is not mentally equipped to raise children.
She is living in another world and reacts rather than acts.
She should be hospitalised and medicated, not left alone with innocent children in her care.
How do I know this? She is a cartoon character of my mother , Yes I was raised but this mother only worse.
I wont go into details. but believe me sally will be in serious emotional danger and is suffering neglect.

By: melissa Tue, 31 Aug 2010 19:45:49 +0000 I don’t know whether to envy or pity the viewers who go on about how terrible Sally and Bobby’s childhood is, and how scarred they’re going to be.

I could envy them, that their childhoods were so idyllic that the very idea that a child might receive a scolding or a punishment is worse than anything they experienced.

Or, I could pity them that they were such emotionally fragile children that being scolded or punished hurt their feelings so badly.

By: Historiann Mon, 23 Aug 2010 12:04:16 +0000 But lha, you’re doing the same thing (“blaming it on the times”) that you accuse others of doing. You write, “that’s the way it was,” implying that no one attended their children’s school events or church performances. When, of course, that’s not true, otherwise there would have been no events scheduled.

Either historical context helps explain people’s behavior, or it doesn’t. You seem eager to use “the times” to let your parents off the hook, but not Betty Draper.

It’s continually fascinating that so many people are so eager to hate on Betty, and to insist on her essential corruption rather than seeing her as a person trapped in history. All of this seems to underline my point that women’s liberationist movements are never understood as human rights movements: so much energy devoted to denying that feminism was a necessary and helpful movement!

By: lha Mon, 23 Aug 2010 04:19:57 +0000 Wow, some of you people apparently had really bad childhoods, but don’t blame THAT on the times.

I was born in 1952. Yes, women were repressed and I’m sure my mother felt it, though to me as a child, it felt kinda normal. But my mother never treated me like Betty treats her kids. Dads certainly tended to be less involved. My dad never came to a school event and I can count on one hand the times he came to a church program I was in. But that’s the way it was. I’m not defending it..just saying it was what it was. He did show love in ways that were in keeping with the times we lived in. But my mother was always, in spite of busyness of her life, interested and involved in my life and would never has said and done things Betty does.

She is a bad parent in any era. Of course, so is Don.

By: Historiann Thu, 12 Aug 2010 21:38:37 +0000 Yeah, way to miss the point, both of you. Betty has a “character problem,” and Peggy is a despicable character? She’s not the one who was planning to take vows to someone else. That’s all on Pete.

Whatever. But thanks for playing!

By: thePoint Thu, 05 Aug 2010 07:09:07 +0000 The article views Betty Draper through the lens of social mores rather then looking at what makes her despicable, her character. It is not that she is a trapped house wife, a model bride or any other of the conditions society of the time placed upon her. These circumstances certainly contribute to her poor temperament but they are not the cause. Rather it is simply her childish and self centered nature that drives her into the loathing that the audience feels for her. As others have pointed out, her children are afterthoughts relegated to the television. Many have failed to mention the disastrous luncheon she manipulated her riding partner into knowing full well that no good would come of it. Indeed Don describes her in an argument during season one, calling her a child in her mentality. She is self centered to an extend that goes beyond suburban apathy, in her dealings with her brother over their father’s death, her treatment of Carla, and her unswerving dedication to putting her interests paramount before any other.

By: DRush76 Tue, 13 Jul 2010 19:17:03 +0000 Some women should never have children, but yet know that’s what expected of them.

No, some women shouldn’t. Betty is not mother material. But this does not make her a bad person. At least she is a better parent than Don, who turned out to be unreliable. And at least Betty stepped up and dealt with the consequences of her decision to be a wife and mother. I cannot say the same about Peggy Olson. By avoiding motherhood in the manner that she did, Peggy also managed to avoid paying the consequences of her own actions and decisions – namely sleeping with an engaged Pete Campbell. I found nothing admirable about that.

By: DRush76 Tue, 13 Jul 2010 19:11:15 +0000 One of the show’s themes is transformation (for better or worse — although the audience demands better), and she doesn’t want to transform, she wants to be that princess doll protected from the world.

I don’t really agree with that assessment. The S3 episode, “The Fog” made it clear in a dream sequence that Betty resented the way her parents – especially her mother – emphasized that she should try to achieve the image of the perfect upper-class wife/mother. The so-called “princess doll”. Whenever Don took her on one of his business dinners, she seemed excited at the prospect of helping him or being a “partner” in his work. This doesn’t jibe with the Betty who wanted to continue being a princess doll. And judging from the look she gave Henry Francis in the S3 finale, when he suggested that she reject any settlement from Don; I got the impression that she did not look forward to being financially dependent on another man.

Will Betty take up Henry’s suggestion? Chances are she probably will. I don’t think Betty is at the stage where she is brave enough to make a bold decision to be on her own. But to expect her to make that decision when the series still has three seasons to go strike me as unrealistic. Will she ever make that decision? I don’t know.

But I don’t think it is a good idea to make an assumption on how her future story will turn out.