Thursday, June 17, 2010

Is Mad Men Policy Relevant?

I wonder if the timing of NY's new effort to move to no-fault divorce might just be slightly inspired by Mad Men?  I blogged that I was surprised by the depiction of divorce law in the 1950's and 1960's on Mad Men last fall.  I was told by a native New Yorker that these laws did exist back then and were still largely on the books today.  Betty Draper was last seen flying to Reno to get a divorce because she could not get one in NY. 

Well, times are a-changing, and I do wonder if that episode of Mad Men might just have demonstrated how retrograde NY's laws still are.  Yes, there are tradeoffs in no-fault divorce, but as this op-ed shows, the freedom to leave without litigation can reduce suicide and spousal abuse.  Having watched a relative spend more than a year getting divorced under no fault and paying a steep financial price despite residing in a no-fault state, I can hardly imagine what it would be like to have to prove fault.  Nice to see NY finally moving into the 1960's or 1970's.

1 comment:

Steve Greene said...

Damnit! So, I'm guessing the divorce is the big surprise at the end of Season 3 I've heard about? From what I've seen so far, you could teach a Sociology of Gender class solely with Mad Men.