‘Mad Men’ Smackdown: Peggy vs. Joan

Mad Men, Elisabeth Moss and Christina HendricksAMC

Now, before I get in trouble for pitting two women against each other, I just want to point out that Peggy and Joan are the most oft-mentioned favorite characters on Mad Men, male or female. As such, we must know which of the top-rating Sterling Cooper & Partners mainstays really takes the crown. Here, we’ve got two equally awesome characters, with two equally vocal fan factions: so who will walk out of this cage match alive? Let’s take a look at the categories:

Level of Badassery

Well, when it really comes down to it, let’s remember that Joan broke a vase over her rapist husband’s head, and Peggy stabbed her soon-to-be-ex boyfriend with a makeshift spear.


They’re certainly formidable opponents in this category, but it’s important to remember that Peggy learned from the very best.


Is this even a question? Though to be fair, with Joan’s recent shift into more menswear-inspired looks (think vests, suits, etc) she’s faltered more, just as Peggy’s shift into swingy A-line minis is a vast improvement over the unsightly plaid of yore. So, we’re effectively on a more even playing field these days.

Taste in Men

This one’s another tough category, though not in a good way. When you look at their dating history, you’ve basically got Dr. Rapist vs. Pete Campbell (gosh, they’re both so horrible in their own unique way), and Roger Sterling vs. Ted Chaough (better, but still generally untrustworthy).

Oh well – best of luck in future romantic endeavors!

Professional success

Now, this is truly tough. Joan just signed Sterling Cooper & Partners’ biggest account, but when we last saw Peggy she was interim Creative Director, literally wearing the pants as she enjoyed her view from her corner office. I guess what I’m saying is, I’m all for that Peggy-and-Joan-open-their-own-agency spin-off.

I’ll always have pro-Peggy leanings, but I can’t deny the awesomeness that is Joan either.  What do you think?