The XX Factor

Roger Sterling’s License To Be Wolfish

Matt, I’ve been going all introspective in response to your analysis of my Peggy fandom , thinking about how, yes, it’s true that the frank frat-boy act at Sterling Cooper is a relic rather than my workday, but on the other hand, subtler effects of sexism seep into work and affect a lot of women , so don’t think for a minute that we’re all set on this score. But you know what, I’m going to spare you and me both the rest. Because in Peggy’s spirit, why let you take the lead in writing copy? Instead, let me put you on the couch (or the hard-backed chair that’s actually in my office). I think you pine for Roger Sterling because of his license to be wolfish. I don’t mean that you want to sleep with the Joanie in your life (she probably doesn’t exist, anyway) or marry Jane. One of the things I count on you for (and David too!) is your solid and secure marriage. But to foreclose all possibility of such transgression? Ah, that’s a loss as keen as the banished daytime whiskey. Yet to be a civilized man in our world is to take not even a step down that path. You-as in the collective you-can look, you can flirt, but you can’t have. And that changes the meaning of looking and flirting. No wonder you’re not eager for the future, which will soon go from equal-pay suits to sexual harrassment law, to arrive.