Drinking Like Mad Women

In a world where feminism means a zillion different things to a zillion different people, there is really only one thing that it seems we feminists can agree on these days. That thing? That Mad Men is f#@$ing awesome. We love it. Feminist blogs that typically have nothing to do with television are falling all over themselves to review each episode, and this feminist right here sets aside each Sunday night for a little quality time with Sterling & Cooper. (You do too, right?)

That being said, in the midst of all that Mad Men love, there is a burning question that remains: How on earth do the employees at Sterling Cooper drink so much during the workday? Did people really used to do that? Well, the staff at Slate’s Double X decided to find out what happens when completely sane and sober women drink like Mad Men. Check out the video results:

It would appear that whether or not ad execs in the 60s drank like their lives depended on it, installing a cocktail bar in the office is probably not a good idea. After all, it’s hard to get any work done when you’re three whiskeys deep and you can’t seem to get up off the couch. (Freddy Rumsen would agree, I’m sure.) It makes me a little sad, actually, that this experiment didn’t result in a solid endorsement of workday boozing. They always make it look like so much fun on Mad Men!

(On a different note, if there are any other devotees of the Slate “Gabfest” series out there, isn’t it totally weird to see these people on camera? I had pictured them completely differently in my mind for no apparent reason.)

Have you ever tried drinking at work? Do you think people used to actually keep alcohol in their offices and drink it all day long like they do on Mad Men? Are there any jobs out there that could be helped by a stiff Old Fashioned? Discuss. (Over drinks, of course!)

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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6 Comments Have Been Posted

if there are any other

<i>if there are any other devotees of the Slate "Gabfest" series out there, isn't it totally weird to see these people on camera? I had pictured them completely differently in my mind for no apparent reason.</i>

my thoughts exactly. i'd wanted to see this video because i heard the podcast where emily was drinking a week or two back. i'm glad she was able to hold her own even while drunk.

...and i have always imagined emily bazelon as looking like <a href="http://westwing.wikia.com/wiki/Ainsley_Hayes"> ainsley hayes</a> from "the west wing". i can't really tell you why.

That was so fun to watch! We

That was so fun to watch!
We should keep in mind though, that the boys on Mad Men drink like that day after glorious boozey day. They've probably built up quite a tolerance. At a certain point, they probably need the booze to function, to get take the edge off and get the ideas flowing. Today we'd call them alcoholics. Back then we just called them lucky

The Answer Is Yes.

I'm only two days shy of being 27, but it hath been verified that back in the day, many people <i>did</i> drink throughout the day.

One of my many jobs is bartender. I used to work for this restaurant that's situated in an industrial part of Los Angeles. Mon - Wed I waited tables (barf!), and Thursdays and Fridays I tended bar.

That restaurant was opened during the 50's, and apparently was THE place to get lunch. Regulars and veteran waitresses told me about how there were three bartenders behind the bar and it was four deep pretty much all day, and the lunch and dinner hours were always quite crowded. Remember, this was before MADD, drunk driving laws, and 21 being the legal drinking age. By the time I started working there, it had been downhill for quite some time already, but there were about 3 or 4 regulars who always ordered alcohol with their lunch, and 3 people who sat at the bar and only drank. Two ladies who had been going there for years - one always had Smirnoff straight up (she once pinched the chef's ass), the other always had a vodka tonic. The other was a guy who always had at least three vodka and 7 Ups every day. His hands would shake.

Like it was stated, they built up tolerances over the years, and that's why they come off as quaint. They're functional alcoholics. It's no longer culturally acceptable, so even I as a bartender can't identify with NEEDING to drink EVERY SINGLE DAY, and it's probably why we don't meet so many functional alcoholics anymore.

there is really only one

<i>there is really only one thing that it seems we feminists can agree on these days. That thing? That Mad Men is f#@$ing awesome.</i>

Sorry-- I guess we can't even agree on that. I find the show boring and offensive--and I can't be the only one-- and do not understand why otherwise smart women waste hours of their lives watching this misogynist bull shite.

Mad Men or Mad Women?

The only reason to watch Mad Men is for the women because the show isn't about the fellas, it's about the ladies. The frustrated selfhood and thwarted desire to get ahead, sexual competition and male emotional unavailability, the eternal conflict in men’s minds between good girls and bad - these are only some of the issues these women struggle with. Mad Men lets us know how far we’ve come and far we have yet to go.

Check out my blog post, "Mad Men or Mad Women?" I'd love to know what you think:


Mad Women-or the alcohol in the workplace experiment

Hello: Mad Woman- I loved the video of all the woman drinking since 11:00 AM in the morning and going to lunch and drinking some more. I will always be a devoted subscriber to Bitch Magazine because you are not afraid to experiment with ideas like these. Bitch on! I will offer some feedback: 1) Mad Men is a TV show-they are not really drinking alcohol in those glasses, it only looks like alcohol; but you knew that already right; 2) in order to actually "train yourself" to drinking at this level of alcohol requires many years of experience as a regular drinker, your not going to become expert drinkers in one luncheon brain storming session, LOL but you knew that too. and 3) Alcohol in any form is a depressant, it will raise up your mood and spirits and slowly bring you down to a crashing hault, it's also bad for the liver. 4) I always thought the show was about the ladies and that's why ladies (and some caring men) watch the show. Who cares how much the guys drink, really?

Nevertheless, I imagine you will come up with great new experiences from this experiment and all I can say is, "what a fun place to work, wish I was there, but I don't drink anymore, haven't for 5 years, personal choice. Your latest issue of Bitch Magazine with the melted chocolate is excellent. Would our lives suck without a thinner Kelly Clarkson? I think it would myself personally, woman should look at themselves and not have to find a role model to live their life through...I love Krista's muscles, since I lift weights myself and found confidence in myself the same way woman can do with the strength training techniques. Kudos for Krista's article. I love feminist art and yes, I love waving hello remembering the second wave. There' more but I will stop here.

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