I love her, I love her, I love her.
I keep meaning to post about this and forgetting. My summer rerun recommendation for you is The Good Wife! I think it is the most feminist show on tv. There are three female leads–Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma, and Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart. Florrick and Lockhart are lawyers (Lockhart is a partner), and Sharma is an investigator at their firm. There are male characters too but it is the women who knock me out.
For one thing, here is what they don’t do: The women on this show do not ever shop, talk about their mothers, talk about their appearance, talk about their romantic lives (except a very few times), practice family law, have sex with coworkers, wear tank tops, or go out for long lunches with their gal pals. No. Instead, they do their jobs, they occasionally discuss the sex and gender issues affecting their ability to do their jobs, they have sex and one-night stands with no consequences, one of them is bi, they make jokes about Emily’s List and it is completely rad.
Yeah, the hook of the show is that Florrick’s husband was caught up in a political scandal and that is why she has had to return to work. That continues to play out in the background but it really isn’t the most compelling aspect to the series. Ms. Florrick has to deal with ageism–she is competing against a young guy for the lone junior partner position, and with all kinds of other crap that gets thrown at her against her because of her husband, but she is also a deeply ambitious and effective lawyer.
Baranski’s character is an outspoken feminist who makes a point of supporting the other women in her field and is also shown organizing fundraisers and doing outreach to support female candidates. I LOVE HER. Archie Punjabi’s character is rather mysterious, but speaks up about racism and is quite ruthless and occasionally amoral. I love her too.
I totally went crazy trying to find the line in the pilot where the State’s Attorney tries to intimidate Alicia, saying he can tell her husband is using her to get back at him by embarrassing the police. She says, “”If you think my husband is behind this, you’ve obviously never made a woman really angry,” and it is totally BRILLIANT. Just so you know I don’t only watch the BBC and Miami Vice.
Five years after Katrina, four police officers who opened fire on civilians have been charged with murder and could face the death penalty.
But what about the numerous rapes and assaults on women that also occurred in the aftermath of the storm? There was a flurry of stories saying that the claims of widespread attacks were exaggerated because so few reports were filed, but it is now clear that the under-reporting was a result of victims having been evacuated to other jurisdictions, in many cases never to return. And why would they? One post-Katrina city planner has been charged with five counts of forcible rape, six counts of stalking, three counts of extortion, and one count of second-degree kidnapping.
However, a significant number of assaults were documented, due to the efforts of people like Houston police chief Harold Hurtt and the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault. The National Center of Domestic and Sexual Violence also has a lot of information, including documentation of the rise in domestic violence post-Katrina. A relief fund that was formed for those victimized during and after the disasters is still active, and helping survivors across the region. The people there are now dealing with another natural disaster–and we know that such disasters are generally linked to a rise in violence against women. We’ve seen it in Haiti, and numerous other places.
I’m donating to the fund today, and writing a letter to the District Attorney of New Orleans, Leon Cannizaro, Jr., to urge him to rigorously prosecute these crimes.
At the risk of sounding like those little add-ons on the “special” episodes of 90210 when Kelly would give information about the issue of hand, I feel compelled to add that if you or someone you know has been assaulted, please get help. You can call RAINN 24 hours a day.