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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.