When The CW canceled beloved TV show Veronica Mars in 2007, I was in my last year of college, huddled around the TV with friends. We all berated The CW for canceling our favorite show about a teenage private eye only to replace it with a reality show about The Pussycat Dolls.
Welcome to another edition of Pop Pedestal, a series to honor our favorite characters in pop culture. Today, I'd like to turn your attention to an oft-unsung heroine: Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie of Veronica Mars, the Manic Panic-streaked computer geek of my dreams.
I feel like people watching the show who haven't really been exposed to feminism were internalizing some feminist messages until they got to the actual feminists, at which point they learned that feminists are bad. What's more important, the delivery of the message, or naming the ideology that goes with it? I'd rather that people be doing feminist things and not recognizing them as feminist than doing nothing at all, or doing actively anti-feminist things (and sometimes calling them feminist), but I also wish that depictions of feminists in pop culture were not uniformly awful. Few shows are even willing to call characters feminist at all and positive depictions of feminists and feminism are thin on the ground.
I don't know if Thomas really thinks that this is what feminists are like, or was trying to make a commentary with the caricatures that just didn't resolve itself, but it left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Surely, a criterion for considering a show feminist is that if it contains feminists, they shouldn't be caricatures.