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Posted in twenty_four

I’m not a fan of feminist rhetoric, but I don’t know what other word to use in order to describe Day 7’s treatment of female characters.

There was one moment in particular that struck me as significant…

When Chloe is called into the FBI by Jack, she begs Morris to take their son and leave the city. She wants to know that they are safe. Role reversal time? Chloe is in the “protector” mode. Usually it’s the male character who wants to keep his family safe (See Jack in Day 1).

The writers must have been watching Battlestar Galactica, which came about as close to gender equality as I think is possible. 24 has been supplying us with strong, interesting woman this season. The woman are no longer in supporting, “Helping” roles, but are running the show and moving the plot. To quote Liz Lemon, the woman are the “Deciders”

Even the Evil Group of Corporate Masterminds has some women. I almost expected to see Nina.

President Taylor is an obvious example of the powerful woman-in-charge. I can’t help but make comparisons between Taylor and the short lived show Commander In Chief which aired for one season in 2005: It stared Geena Davis as a rather glamorous Lady Pres with a First Gentleman who wandered around feeling emasculated. There was also a member of the Sutherland family who created mayhem. Indeed, Donald as the scheming Speaker of the House was the most lively thing in the show. But I digress. The fact that there was a * gasp * Lady Pres was the show's main conceit (we were all hoping for Hilary Clinton back then) and source of all the plot points, such as they were.

24’s narrative, is, by comparison so complex that A Woman President is almost (But not quite) besides the point. Cherry Jones has made Taylor a full, complex character with a ginormous set of metaphorical balls.

Also in possession of an impressive set of meta-balls is Renee, now running the FBI. Hope she is wearing sensible shoes. I can’t tell.

The male characters, are, by contrast, a sorry lot: Jack is sick. Tony is either very evil, very deep under cover, or very confused. Bill is dead. Senator Mayer is dead. Larry is dead. Henry Taylor is recovering from a gunshot wound, Kanin has resigned, Vice-POTUS is a total dick, Hodges is Stark Raving Mad, and our beloved Aaron has the thankless task of being Olivia’s man-servant. The poor thing.

And what’s up with the man showers? Not that I’m complaining. Are the writers acknowledging that many 24 fans are woman who want some eye candy? Or something else? Jack’s hosing down in the middle of the street with the Christ-like pose and the scars was beautiful and profound and sad. Tony in the motel, not so much. Bleeech.

Also worth noting are the number of female characters who are concerned about Jack: Renee, Chloe, Kim, Dr. Macer, and President Taylor. Don’t know how significant this is, but somehow this fills me with hope.

God I love this show.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 28th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
You posted this over in twenty_four, right? Because you should. :D
Apr. 28th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
That's your site, right? I will scurru over and post it now...

ETA: Just put it in the mod que

Edited at 2009-04-28 08:57 pm (UTC)
Apr. 28th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
President Taylor's metaphorical balls impress me. :)

And now that you mention it, I rather have noticed this phenomenon on the show as of late. They really are the "deciders," here. From President Taylor, to Renee, to the two super-stealthy ladies from the Evil Group of Corporate Masterminds.

Things that make you go, "crikey."

In other news, totally not pleased with the angle they're pinning on Aaron Pierce. Beginning to greatly dislike Olivia, especially here recently. I can has Kanin back naow plzthx?
Apr. 28th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
I kinda like Olivia. That scene with her mom ROCKED. But MAN is she skanky.

Poor, poor, Aaron *pets*
Apr. 28th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
Sisters doing it for themselves! Okay, maybe not, but 24 has always been pretty good about giving women more of a role than some other shows.

This season is so gender reversal that yes, you have all these strong women and completely broken men.

I loved that Chloe was all "you have to go away and be safe" because yes, that's so the man's job on 24 usually and it was wonderful to see it in reverse. Taylor is so strong. She wants to uphold the constitution *loves*.

Renee does need to tell Jack that he's not in any mental shape to be continuing to lead. She does, even if she doesn't want to hurt him.

Man showers, it's like they read my emails *giggles*.
Apr. 28th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
Renee does need to tell Jack that he's not in any mental shape to be continuing to lead.

I thought of that too. Renee will have to remove Jack from the action and confine him to Medical if he continues to be disruptive. That will be hard to determine, as Jack seems “Fine” one moment and not-so-fine the next. Also, Jack is now all belligerent. Yikes. So not fun to deal with. (Fun for us to watch, thought)

Man showers, it's like they read my emails *giggles*

Yes, it is if the writers are shamelessly pandering to us!

Dear writers: Please continue with the shameless pandering. Love, M.
Apr. 28th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
WORD. I live for Teh Shallow.
Apr. 28th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)

I have much more to say in agreement of this, but can't right now. Will elaborate more later. But yes. So much word to this.

Oh and with Aaron, I wonder if the whole thing with Martha is going to play into this, as he's dealt with the crazy before and he knows how dangerous revenge can be. I wonder if they just set it up so that he was there to hear Olivia's words so that when Jonas does to die (speculation of course, you know what a spoiler phobe I am), Livvy will get the blame for it, regardless of whether she did it or not. That or he was there to give Taylor a heads up.

Also, now you've put a plot bunny in my head and it won't go away. Damn you and your smart brain.

Edited at 2009-04-28 09:30 pm (UTC)
Apr. 28th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
Damn YOU and your mesmerizing icon. I can’t stop staring at it…

Glad they gave Aaron a life in Day 6. Makes him so much more than Super Reliable Secret Service Dude. Also love that he gets to do actiony-stuff even though he must be kind of old (In Day 1, he says something about serving in Regan’s Second Term. So there was a Regan in the 24 Verse? My head hurts)
Apr. 28th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
Death awaits you with nasty sharp pointy teeth
Yeah I love that toy. Monty Python FTW!

Apr. 28th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Death awaits you with nasty sharp pointy teeth
I Started a song-fic:

He was brave Jack Bauer,
Set forth from CTU,
He was not afraid to die, no, not Jack Bauer
He was not afraid to die and be killed in nasty ways
No, no, not not Jack Bauer

He was not in the least bit scared to shot with Penthathol…

At that point, my brain shut down and refused to co-operate further

Apr. 28th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Death awaits you with nasty sharp pointy teeth
OMG, now that song is in my head. And your new lyrics rock.
Apr. 28th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Death awaits you with nasty sharp pointy teeth
Thanks, but my good-taste perimeter won't let me finish!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )