Trigger Warning: Discussion of rape, murder, etc.
I didn’t want to watch this series at first, due to the sexist title and the advertising I saw about the series, which didn’t give the series it’s due merit. I personally didn’t want to watch a series that promotes staying by your man after he betrays your trust by cheating on you. I dropped my 10-year relationship because my spouse hinted that he wanted an open relationship. I’m not the get screwed and turn the other cheek kind of woman.
Someone recommended that I give the series a chance. I was pleased to find out that the television series does have many good messages, some of which I will discuss below.
Please be advised that this blog post is filled with details about the series episodes. So if you want to avoid spoilers, you may want to either stop reading here altogether or at a minimum, avoid reading the quotes.
The first message of the series is that women can reintegrate the workforce after a leave of absence without losing value. The main character, Alicia, after having spent the previous thirteen years as a stay-at-home mother, returns to the workforce as a junior litigator to provide for her two children and she is more than competent and an asset to the company. Even after being away from the job industry for over a decade, Alicia reintegrates without having lost her edge.
Accepting a settlement doesn’t stop a rapist from attacking someone else. The justice system doesn’t look at crime prevention and protecting innocent people. It is a system based on capitalism and punishment.
“He’ll know how much it cost to rape somebody and get away with it that’s all. This is about him admitting what he did this to me.” – S1:E2 “Stripped”
The past history of a victim shouldn’t be used as justification for rape or as a reason to have her case dismissed. What you have done or failed to do in the past doesn’t make you less worthy of justice.
“What’s your point? A call girl can’t get raped?” – S1:E2 “Stripped”
Even individuals who are surrounded by good people who love them can still be criminals. Often, criminals are presented as good people who just snapped or have their sentence lighten, because everyone is shocked that this particular person would commit a crime.
“Sometimes people with cute daughter and sweet little wives do bad things and sometimes they do very bad things.” -S1:E6 “Congugal”
It’s never too late to change if you do not like the person you have become. If you ever find yourself unable to look at your reflection in the mirror without disliking the person you see reflected at you, it’s not too late to start working on becoming a better person. I personally take a toll once a year around my birthday to review what I have done or failed to do and make sure I’m still happy with the direction my life is taking. If I’m unhappy, I adapt and change as needed.
“I saw myself in the mirror and I didn’t like what I saw. I’m going to change that.” -S1:E8 “Unprepared”
Saying that you are sorry for a mistake you made doesn’t automatically make it alright. Some mistakes aren’t fixable and you must live with the consequences.
“It still true that he slept with her.” “Yes, but he appologised for that.” “Maybe, but it doesn’t make it any less wrong.” S1:E9 “Threesome”
It addresses microaggression stemming from racism. White male colleague assumes that Indian coworker (Kalinda) speaks fluent Indie. She reminds him that like him, she was born and raised in the United States and speak English. He scolds her about losing her cultural identity. I would love to look into this boys ancestry and scold him about all the things he doesn’t know, but should according to his logic.
“I don’t know. I don’t speak indie.” “What do you mean you don’t speak indie?” “I didn’t grow up in India.” – S1:E20 “Mock”
The show talks about the role of political wives. Ever wondered why they are always in the public eye, yet in the shadow of their husband without any official role, per say, unless they become the first lady? Political wives have a support role that is crucial yet underestimated and underappreciated. They are expected to be at the beck and call of their political husband and make them look good.
“We women, we stay in the shadows. We smile, we comfort, we nurse, but we are always there. You are a good woman.” – S1:E22 “Hybristophilia”
The show also talks about what it is like to work for a justice system when you discover that your client is guilty and you still have to defend them. Personal morals versus job responsibility. I think it’s one of the reasons practising law never appealed to me. I wouldn’t be able to stand in court and defend someone I know is guilty. I would love to have the opportunity to talk with someone that faced that delimma and hear in their own words how they were able to make peace with it.
“Are we taking anything? She’s guilty and she will get off.” “She’s our client, it’s our job.” “And at what point is our job, wrong?” “When it fails our client.” – S1:E23 “Running”
Fighting for what is right, for justice, even when it can get you in trouble. Being a judge doesn’t mean you are above the law or able to rewrite the law as you wish.
“As long as you are attempting to circumvent her 5th amendment right, I will not shut up.” – S1:E1 “Taking Control”
The series addresses the sexism in telling what women can and cannot wear. I was told during an interview at a placement agency, when I was in my early 20s, that I would never be hired if I showed up at an interview wearing a pants suit. Women wear skirts. To this day, I have never, not even once, showed up at an interview wearing a skirt and my career is going very well.
“In my court room I require the male lawyers to wear a tie and the female lawyers to wear skirts. Am I making myself clear” – S2:E4 “Cleaning House”
The series also addresses the harsh reality of women in politics. Women who run, not only represent themselves as a person but an entire gender. Her mistakes will be applied to all women. Men in politics, represent themselves and their party. Their corruption or mistakes aren’t put on all men.
“They’ll say it’s because you are a women and not because…” “I’m corrupt.” – S2:E4 “Cleaning House”
In conclusion, I recommend anyone with a Netflix account to watch this series. It’s well written and is worth the watch.