Bringing Together Conservative Voices

Whitlock: America does not owe ‘Mad Women’ reparations

We’re living in the “Mad Women” era. Hillary Clinton is Don Draper. Megan Rapinoe is Roger Sterling. Stacey Abrams is Pete Campbell.

You watched “Mad Men,” the critically acclaimed AMC series about the sexist and entitled men who ran Sterling Cooper Ad Agency? Draper, Sterling, and Campbell drank heavily, bedded their employees, and came up with catchy slogans to justify and promote smoking cigarettes, eating fast food, buying overpriced foreign cars, and smothering food in ketchup.

“Mad Men” cleverly demonized the 1950s and 1960s by simply shining a light on the sinful behavior of men in the workforce. Don Draper was the anti-Jim Anderson, the fictional insurance agent in the show “Father Knows Best.” Draper cheated on his wife and ignored his children while chasing career success.

Most culture critics would say “Mad Men” exposed more truth than “Father Knows Best.” The critics might be right. But I would argue we’ve learned nothing from our past mistakes. We’re not evolving. We’re simply repeating our failures.

We’ve replaced “Mad Men” with “Mad Women.” The entitled emotions of women currently rule America. Women believe they’re owed a debt — reparations. They’ve been collecting that debt for the last 50 years through emotional blackmail.

This era reminds me of the Virginia Slims ad campaign: “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby.”

You can see it in the sports world. It started with the 1972 passing of Title IX legislation. The feminist movement cast women as black people in need of civil rights protection. Title IX piggybacked on the 1964 Civil Rights Act that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, and sex. The history and treatment of women and black people in America are not analogous. Nor are they linked.

Feminists, particularly white feminists, portrayed themselves as the new black so they could benefit from discirimination they did not endure. Let me give you an example of how this manifests itself.

Megan Rapinoe, Brittney Griner, and other female professional athletes believe they should be paid the same as their male counterparts. WNBA players complain that they are grossly underpaid because of America’s history of sexism. Griner, one of the WNBA’s best players, earns $221,000. Meanwhile, LeBron James earns more than $40 million from the Lakers. In the minds of feminists, the enormous disparity can only be explained by America’s sexist history.

How wide is the disparity between LeBron’s skills and Griner’s? The WNBA is just 26 years old and has never come remotely close to turning a profit. The NBA is 76 years old. Was there ever a time in the NBA’s history when the league was annually losing millions of dollars and paying its players $221,000? No.

The WNBA is a charity subsidized by the NBA. The WNBA exists out of the goodwill and benevolence of men.

We hear constant complaints about WNBA “stars” having to play overseas during the off season to earn larger salaries and supplement their income. American male professional athletes used to work as mailmen, construction workers, or factory laborers during their off seasons. In the infancy of the NFL and NBA, nearly all of the players had off-season jobs, and some of them worked second jobs during the season.

No one is asking Brittney Griner to do anything male athletes haven’t done. It’s what you do to build a business.

But we’ve been convinced that women are owed a debt, that women were mistreated for generations and generations, that we must fast-track their success and pay because we undermined it for hundreds of years.

It’s not true. I’m not arguing women faced no unfairness. I’m arguing that the customs and roles formerly played by women were a result of necessity, not unfairness.

Let me explain. Let’s go back to 1776 and the founding of this nation. There were no cars, no airplanes, no grocery stores, no DoorDash, no Instacart. If you wanted to eat, you had to farm and do really hard labor. If you wanted to feel any measure of safety in your home, there needed to be a man in the house. Just like now, women and girls – generally speaking – came out of the womb smaller and weaker and with less capacity to make up the size and strength deficit between the sexes.

Men were necessary for the survival of women. Plus, men and women at that time used the Bible as a guide for the roles of men and women. The Bible teaches that God created men first and instructed men to seize dominion over everything that inhabits the earth.

The men of that generation took note of the Bible, acknowledged the physical differences between men and women, and factored in the realities of what it took to survive in their era and developed customs and roles that made sense for what they knew and what technology was available at that time.

What we now call sexism was just a reflection of the reality they knew. As reality changed, as technology advanced, American men adjusted American customs and roles.

Feminists look at history and see evil men. I see men who reflected their reality. I see men who accepted the responsibility of manhood and the sacrifices that went along with those realities. I see men who sacrificed their health and lives to advance America and women. Here’s an example. During the Civil War, the disparity between the life expectancy of men and women increased sharply. Men died young during the Civil War. Our life expectancy dropped to around age 35. Women lived to around age 41. In the years before the Civil War, the life expectancy of men and women was about the same.

The tradition of men dominating the workforce started because work used to be really, really hard. Women could not do and did not want to do much of the paid labor that was available in the 1800s and at the start of the Industrial Revolution. In 1776, an attractive woman did not have the option of reading words on a teleprompter for millions of dollars. There were no assembly lines, no executive vice presidents in charge of diversity, inclusion, and equity, no social media managers.

Sexism did not keep women unemployed or underemployed. Reality did that.

Men do not owe women an apology. We do not owe reparations.

Out of necessity and reality, America was originally designed for families consisting of man, woman, and children. Men voted because a vote represented a united family that believed the Bible’s instruction that men were called to be leaders of their families and marriage represented the unification of man and woman into one.

This whole feminist movement is a rejection of a biblical worldview. I’m not arguing that women should return to or stay in the kitchen. I’m arguing that women should quit pretending American men executed a diabolical plot to deny them freedom, agency, and happiness.

This entire “Mad Women” era is built on lies and distortions of truth even more preposterous than the lies and distortions of Black Lives Matter.