I don’t want to get into semantics, Fred. Advertising has gone through many transitions, some good, some bad. Agencies were mostly formed by men. They took lead rolls because it was their agency. They hired men because they understood men. As advertising grew and diversified, more women were able to climb the ladder. It takes time, even in the 21st century. I’ll relate one story — not about advertising. My aunt was general manager of Upjohn Drugs during the war here in Toronto. Long after she retired, I asked what it was like being “the boss” in an otherwise male-dominated industry at the time. Did she feel like a trail-blazer, opening the way for more women? “I hate feminists,” she said. “During the war, so many men went off to fight. There were positions, some just packing, some like mine in management. I was a good manager. It had nothing to do with my gender. When the war ended and men returned, I was still a good manager. Demanding something based on gender is ridiculous. This idea that women have been subjugated is ridiculous. Opportunity knocked, I jumped. Others (women) were happy down in the shipping department. You MAKE it happen. I wish Gloria Steinem would stick it in her ear.” That’s one woman’s take, but at least it’s another side of things. My aunt was quite the character. In her senior years, living down in Laguna Beach, she developed a love for Johnny Cash and attended his concerts in her very proper outfits.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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