The Good Wife
Rape: A Modern Perspective

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 4 USERS: A
Look Me In The Eye & Tell Me

Alicia: "Ugh. What is this now?"
Dylan: "Easy, lady. You said to leave your kids out of it and you couldn't use digital stuff, so here. A folder containing a near-hilarious amount of liberal dog whistles, like the guy went to Baylor for General Obstetrics, and while there he wrote an unpublished paper on how duck and therefore human vaginas -- you guessed it -- have ways of shutting that whole thing down."

Alicia smoothly introduces that shit real quick, and after another gloss on that situation -- the defense claiming that the expert's attitude toward rape has nothing to do with testimony on rape -- gets the guy thrown the hell out. Even then, he can't see over his ludicrous privilege:

Doctor: "I wrote that when I was very young! I was positing intellectual theories!"

Which, as long as there aren't any women in the room, that's okay. But the second women became people, "theorizing" about shit like whether rape even really exists stopped being okay. And for a lot of us, we still don't really notice that the world has changed outside our heads, so we get angry and hurt when it comes up: All of a sudden, you're calling this guy a jerk, just out of the blue, for reasons he still doesn't understand and in a way that seems and feels like a vicious attack. While outside his head, what's really going on is that the whole world just got a stark reminder of the men we accidentally left behind, and how they still have power, despite not really having a clue.

Of course, that small victory comes just as the judge takes note of two -- for now -- Fawkes masks, and throws a fit about it. Which fits nicely into the "determining power of extant structures" theme in this episode: They are being really disrespectful wearing hoodies and masks into a court of law... But only insofar as they recognize that authority.

A court of law is just a room in a building; it matters because we all agree that it matters, so while the judge is rightfully angry about them treating it so cavalierly, that's only from his angle. From their angle, they're just in a room that's no different from any other room, except today it happens to be a room where the legal system everybody holds in such great regard somehow managed to take a man who thinks "legitimate rape" is an okay topic to concentrate on, and call him an expert.

Lockhart/Gardner is a family, it's a proud institution, it's a dream they built with their hands, it's a force for good, it's beaten the odds again and again... But it's also just a couple floors in a building surrounded by oil companies, or pharmaceutical companies, or lobbyists, or whatever. Its peers are not Legal Aid, its peers are other corporations that do not do good works, or even care about looking like they do. Honest companies, I mean; I don't think anybody would argue there's anything inherently wrong with any of this. Evil is not the absence of good, business is content-neutral, Diane's allowed to be over the moon that she got her second floor back.

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The Good Wife




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