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April 25, 2014 - 5:57pm

The Feminine Critique: Equal representation


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Today I’d like to write a love letter to “Veep.” Airing a half hour after “Game of Thrones” on Sundays, “Veep” stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the fictional vice president (or, veep) of the United States, Selina Meyer. She is a disaster. Her staff is more concerned with undercutting each other than they are with doing their jobs successfully. Meyer is interested in power; how does she get into the Oval Office? The actual policies are of little importance — viewers never even discover Meyer’s political party affiliation. The most recent episode revealed that Meyer had no opinion on abortion. She just wanted to say whatever would help her campaign. It’s hilarious and brilliant political satire.

“Veep” does not get enough credit as an amazing feminist show. It’s impressive that a woman is portrayed as the vice president, but that’s not even what makes this show so fantastic. What makes “Veep” great is that most of the female characters are power-hungry, nasty people. They don’t care about each other or the people they are supposed to serve. They care about getting ahead by any means necessary. The only exception seems to be Sue, Meyer’s personal assistant, who runs the office with precision and does not tolerate her coworkers’ behavior.

One of the goals of feminist representation in media isn’t for every woman to be powerful or every woman to be a wonderful person. The goal is to have a wide variety of representations of women: nice women, pathetic women, nasty women, power-hungry women and heart-of-gold women. The kind of varied representation that has been afforded to men on television since its inception is what women deserve. “Veep” contributes to this by having hilarious and even horrible female characters anchoring the show.