My favorite TV show today is "Mad Men", the AMC-TV original series set around a Madison Avenue ad agency. It is so retro including orange and lime pillows, siamese cat silhouette wall hangings, constant smoking, 3-martini lunches, suave men, and women who are there only as objects.
If you haven't watched it, I encourage you to do so. Currently the series is set in 1965 so it's moving past us a little but the cultural take is so accurate. The lead character, Don Draper, said it all regarding the relative place of men and women when he said, "I won't let a woman talk to me this way!" And that is so Don Draper.
When I read that quote in a recent Newsweek I could only think of the superintendent of schools in the small town where I worked after college. One of the bus drivers, surprisingly for that era a woman, had apparently done something wrong, and the superintendent was reaming her out for it. She was a strong woman and was holding up well, but finally gave it up, and burst through the adjoining principal's office in tears, obviously now seeing the true path. (Kidding, ladies!!)
The superintendent sauntered into the principal's office behind her, stood with his hands on his penguin-shaped hips, rocking slightly, and said, "I never met a woman yet I couldn't make cry!"
To read this very interesting article in Newsweek, just click on this link and it will take you there. http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/12/baird-it-s-not-mad-men-it-s-mad-women.html.