Say what you will about Jon Hamm’s good looks and confidence or the impressive style of costume designer Janie Bryant, but the character of Don Draper is no role model. The man is a rapist.
In Season 2, Episode 3, Don is upset about how comedian Jimmy Barrett has insulted a sponsor’s wife. Don has also been having an affair with Jimmy’s wife Bobbie, so the two are already more or less sexually acquainted. But while in the lady’s room, Bobbie tells Don that her husband doesn’t need to apologize, Don sternly tells her he is not happy, puts one hand behind her neck, his fingers inside her vagina, and tells her “do what I say.” You can see for yourself in this video clip. (Embedding disabled by request of AMC.)
Some might not realize that you don’t have to violently beat a woman in an alleyway for it to be rape. But there’s nothing admirably manly about molesting someone’s genitals as a way of exerting your dominance. It’s pretty simple, really.
Let’s stop pretending that Don Draper is an admirable character. Sure, the guy is portrayed as being sympathetic to black people and sympathetic to gay people, (you gotta keep him likable after all) but apparently being a horrible woman-hater is entirely forgivable for the show’s writers and audience.
So what do you think? Is Don Draper the paragon of masculinity you aspire to emulate? Or is he a monster you love to hate?