"Wee Small Hours" - The Other Side of Sexual Harrassment

In an episode that had the civil rights movement hoovering not-so-subtly in the background, sexual harassment and orientation in the workplace was shoved into the foreground.


I was shocked, but not entirely surprised the way Sal's story ended at Sterling-Cooper. Lee Garner Jr. requesting Sal's dismissal following his come on was completely understandable, he wanted to keep his secret safe and to assert his position of power over the man who rejected him.


When Don didn't fight for Sal's job I was surprised, I had thought Sal was a valued part of the creative department, and Don always seems to stand up for his team.


I was shocked when Don had suggested that Sal should have allowed the client to have his way with him to satisfy a big client. It seems Don had assumed that because Sal is gay he therefore has loose morals and is less of a person than other men. Don seemed genuinely disgusted with Sal instead of merely disinterested which is something we would expect from Don.


Do you think that the themes of sexual and racial discrimination were juxtaposed to make a specific point? To address them both at once or to draw parallels?


Who else was entirely surprised by the way Don dealt with the situation?

Comments

1 comment
Default avatar cat
Oct 14, 2009 10:21AM EDT
I really enjoyed this episode and it is interesting to see the discrimination before the tipping point of the late 60s...and to see the parallel to our current human rights values...overall, has enough actually changed over 50 years??The one topic that was also a little underplayed (or less in-our-face), and related to gender hierarchy, was the fact that Don and Betty were both on the cusp of potential affairs, and while Betty claimed she couldn't do it because, "it was tawdry", Don jumped right in, no questions asked. He even showed up in the woman's house that was in his neighbourhood, not very concerned with what people thought and propositioned her.
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