The Good Wife
Executive Order 13224

Episode Report Card
admin: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
Look At All This Paper!

Alicia: "Hey! We're watching a movie!"
Video: "When an authority figure becomes involved with a subordinate, is that sexual harassment?"
Will: "Glad you're not going to jail. Sorry we weren't of more use, but way to take care of that by yourself. You know, when the entire government came after you the other day."

I mean, it's kind of like the whole thing with Caitlin, the storm coming there: We seem to have entered a rule-of-thumb sort of era with this stuff, where it's easier to hide behind slogans than to even admit the possibility of complications or that rules of thumb don't actually work for anything in real life. Is Will preying on Alicia, sexually? No. Is Caitlin using misogyny or something to get ahead? No. But if you asked whether a third-year and a named partner should be dating, you'd automatically say no, and impute a whole irrelevant power structure that isn't in play here.

And what I like about this stuff, what I've always liked about this show, is that it takes those things out of the equation and then looks at the real, organic, actual meat of the situation. Not the slogan, not the rule of thumb, not the hoary old received-wisdom ideas about power dynamics -- the ones that are not only obsolete but woman-hating in their own right, and yet have somehow gotten internalized under the label of "feminism" -- but the actual situation:

Is it okay, for example, for Alicia to be mad at Kalinda for sleeping with Peter and essentially lying about it? A dumbass would say yes, because that's her man. A person of average insight would say no, because Peter's the one that made the call. But the real answer is yes, on the other side of no, because Kalinda was the one that cheated on Alicia and it's not even really about Peter. I feel like that's the telescoping thing that goes on with everything in this show.

So for sexual harassment, it goes: Is it okay for a woman to sleep with her boss? And the stupid older person says no, because that's slutty. An average person says no, because somehow that's him taking advantage of her, in some ill-defined rule-of-thumb way you remember from middle school that involves Annie Potts and Clarence Thomas and whatever else, and even if a woman thinks she's a special case and making the choice for herself, really she's still a victim somehow.

But the real answer is, Let's ask Alicia, because Alicia knows what she's doing, even when she doesn't, and mostly because it's her body and her stuff to decide about, but also because the rest of them are adults: The extent of even Diane exerting her will over any of this is making them watch a movie.

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The Good Wife




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