Whlep. Shonda Rhimes and the writers for Scandal have done it again. They use the hell out of their platform to communicate realistic issues, but they take it a step further with monologues that seem to sum up an entire issue in 30 seconds. The theme of tonight’s episode was feminism and women’s empowerment. If you are not familiar with Scandal and the cast, then stop reading, get a Netflix account, catch up, and then come back.
Now that that’s out of the way. I have to talk about the two monologues that stood out on tonight’s episode. One monologue was spoken by Abby. She talks about how a woman is defined and identified with her male counterpart, and how our physical appearance is dissected regardless of what our actual purpose is. Abby acts as the press secretary, and although she does her job well that is often eclipsed by her relationship and her appearance. This is something that we see often in real life. It seems to me that a woman’s worth is very closely tied whether or not there is a man in her life. Additionally, we have observed that women are questioned about their vanity on red carpets and in interviews, whereas men are mostly interviewed about things of substance like their work. This was additionally visible in the #AskHerMore campaign this past awards season. I wholeheartedly agreed with Abby’s viewpoint, because it is one that I live and identify with.
The second monologue that stood out to me was from Sue, a character played by Lena Dunham who is very well known as a feminist. Sue penned a tell all book about her sexual exploits with various men in the political arena, and set out to extort money from those men in exchange for her silence about their sexual proclivities. I was left with so very many questions following her rant about how she should be able to be as openly freaky as she wants to be without being judged. This really struck a chord with me, because this past week in pop culture Amber Rose has been promoting her Slut Walk movement, and again I just have questions.
If you are a woman who genuinely enjoys having sex with lots of men, then hey that’s your business. But why exactly do you feel the need to broadcast it as if to show that you are proud to be promiscuous? By no means am I saying that you should be ashamed, or that you should be more harshly judged than a man who does the same, but I’m trying to understand why your sex life is a source of pride for you? I think that there is a stark difference between being ashamed and being private. Why can’t your sex life just be your private business? What purpose does it serve to expose such a personal part of your life? I suppose you can make the argument that this somehow helps to defeat double standards about men and women and sex. However, I just don’t think this is the way to go about it. Far be it from me to tell another woman what should make her feel empowered, but I genuinely do not understand how this movement helps to end double standards. It honestly seems to me that these women are looking for validation for their sex lives. In my experience if you are comfortable with your decisions, then you don’t need anyone to rally behind or alongside you to say “hey what you’re doing is ok.” So I question who you’re trying to convince here. And I ask these questions in the least judgmental way possible, because I really want to understand the logic and the plan behind exposing your sex life to the world.