September 21, 2009

Peggy Olson's Heiress

Jessica Grose of Slate's Double X would like to see assumed gender roles in journalism go the way of the three-martini lunch.

Michael Gluckstadt

Part of the allure of AMC's Mad Men—if not all of it —is that it convincingly whisks us into another era that is wholly different from our own, yet inextricably tied to it. There is a thrill in watching Peggy Olson ask her boss if he knows about "this new law" that mandates equal pay for men and women in the same job, and it stems from seeing the gradual gains that brought women's rights to the place they are today.

But seeing those gains is also a reminder of the challenges that remain. While women have flourished in parts of advertising, there are certain roles in journalism where their contributions are limited—something Jessica Grose would like to see change. "In media specifically, I'd like to see more women writing about 'hard news' like science, business, technology and politics," she tells Gelf. "Certainly there are women who write brilliantly on these things, but they are in the minority."

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Article by Michael Gluckstadt

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