October 27, 2009
This interview with Christina Hendricks in New York magazine is really worth reading. I thought this bit at the end was important:
It’s slightly troubling to me that people seem to regard Joan as a straight-up superhero.
Yeah, I get a lot of this sort of “you go, girl!” attitude. If you pulled her out of the sixties, people wouldn’t feel the exact same way. But I think there’s so much mistreatment of women, and the fact that she’s knocked back is powerful for people: She holds her head up high and works through it, and I think it makes people feel good that she’s not whimpering in a corner.
I think part of the reason people like Joan is because her resistance to being the chaste, submissive housewife seems somewhat equivalent to what she’s up against. In other words, it’s not intuitive to imagine she’d be as resistent to what’s considered okay for a woman to do today even though we don’t really know that. I’ve always thought of Joan as someone who needs a bit more freedom than was okay at the time. Now I’m starting to wonder whether she’s naturally rebellious. There is a difference.