If the fictional representatives, senators, and political wannabes we've looked at so far in this series have been limited by sexist stereotyping—emotional instability, petty greed, and weakness among these ideas—some of the women who are portrayed working outside of the spotlight come off a bit better. I want to take a look at a few shows, anticipating Shonda Rhimes' new series, Scandal, debuting next month, and express some hopes for what her show may have in store if she follows form from these other narratives.
It's something of an understatement to say that politicians have spent a lot of legislative and stump speech time this year talking about women. More specifically, about women's personal lives. If anyone thought that we'd hear about jobs and the economy, or the pressing need to roll back "Obamacare," there may have been some level of surprise when decades-old settled matters like contraception came trotting out onto the national stage instead. Why so much fuss over birth control, which is employed by the majority of women in this country? And how did so many people come to rally around one law student who had her reputation attacked by a man many people already had dismissed and ignored?
Well, perhaps we've never stopped overanalyzing women's personal lives.
June 28, 2010, is a Monday. It is also roughly a week after the summer solstice, so just as the days start getting shorter here in the northern hemisphere, the United States Senate will begin hearings to confirm Elena Kagan as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Sound the trumpets and flip the play button on a rousing Sousa march.
Elena KaganWait a minute—it's probably not going to transpire that way.