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Veep in a Man’s World

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Though this is not news, I am totally in love with HBO. The subscription-based network has premiered two female-driven shows within the month: Girls, which I wrote about recently, and Veep, the return of Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Thanks to HBO, the first episode is streaming here. Basically, the gist of the show is the life of Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as the Vice President of the United States. The premiere did a wonderful job of setting the plot and showing its humor. (I am a big fan of Louis-Dreyfus from the Seinfeld days.

When Sarah Palin was in the running for Vice President, there was obviously a big splash on the political scene. I remember that the media covered her personal life as well as her politics, which ought to be covered when running for political office. However, it was interesting to see how the media honed in on her looks and femininity.

There is no doubt that Palin was viewed as a cougar and a sex symbol by some, and was always objectified. As far as my knowledge go, there were not many Presidents who were sexualized in the mainstream media, besides perhaps JFK. But when a woman had dreams of the White House, there was no shortage of judgment based on her looks. (To clarify, I did NOT agree with Sarah Palin’s politics, but she makes a wonderful example.

From a feminist standpoint, there are a few things that I noted as interesting:

  • There was a moment when Meyer’s press team noted that someone continuously hacked into her Wikipedia page to change her weight.
  • When giving a disastrous impromptu speech, she mentioned filling the President’s shoe, but didn’t realize he wore a ‘kitten heel.’
  • When she asked a member of her team what her biggest mistakes on the campaign trail were, he replies: “You looked tired a lot and the hat—the hat hurt us. Your head looked weird in the hat”
  • When a U.S. Senator dies, it is noted that Meyer had been molested when he grabbed her breast when she took office.

So far, I am digging Veep. The wit shines through while still creating drama and cliffhangers which entice me to watch this week. I’m really interested on the small jokes that will be incorporated because Meyer is a smart, independent woman who holds a great deal of power.


5 responses »

  1. SynthesistChronicles

    I’m really looking forward to seeing this now. Thanks for the recommendation! I might have overlooked it otherwise.

  2. This is a comment more about women in politics having to be attractice, i read an article maybe on Cracked a few weeks ago and it was about the comments on Digg or Reddit or 4Chan or some other male dominated site about the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, all of the posts focused on her looks and none about her policys or stance on important issues. It’s really hard for women in the public eye

  3. This remnds me of an article I read a few weeks ago, maybe on Cracked, it was about when Elena Kagan was nominated to the Supreme Court. All off the replies in the thread were about her looks or her weight and if they would have sex with her, not one comment about her stance on important issues or the fact that she was the dean at harvard law school! Its really sad that a woman’s value lies in if shes hot enough to sleep with

  4. No problem. If you get a chance to watch it, let me know your opinion, too.

  5. Maureen- Hi! It’s a disgusting truth in our society, but a trust nonetheless. It’s weird though, that if a woman makes a poor political move, people are more likely to call her a bitch or other derogatory names, whereas a man would just be judged by his poor performance. If NJ had those politics, Christie would never have made it into office…


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