The pursuit of power: how Shonda Rhimes uses leading female characters in Scandal to canonize ruthless acts, with her main motivations being the maximization of female dominance and showcasing the power of the vagina.
I love Scandal.
Sometimes when I verbalize my attraction to the series, I get that look from the perfectionists. How can you love a show that glorifies and advocates adultery, treachery and deception? All it does is to encourage viewers to do the same. Depending on the speaker, my response might be – I wonder which series David was watching when he killed Uriah for Bathsheba? But I get their argument.
What I enjoy is the writers’ and actors’ ability to use subliminal messages to dispense unaccepted societal truths. There is an obvious push to provoke established, assumed and accepted moral beliefs; while highlighting, false virtues, hypocrisy, pretense and jealousy of conformists.
One truth that is continuously examined is the power of human connections and the length to which we are willing to go to pursue our desires. Olivia the main character juxtaposed to Helen of Troy for the power of her beauty, repeatedly connives to achieve her weekly agenda and showcase her dominance as woman, boss and as the holder of a weapon proven more destructive than the M.O.A.B.
Despite her deleterious actions, messages of beauty, love, control and power are articulated and accepted. The measures taken though vile are excused and declared saint like, necessary for the continuation of life and happiness.
As we celebrate women; as mothers, as teachers, as life givers, as lifesavers, as sufferers, as temptresses, as over-comers, as powerful, as resilient… we see them too as Olivia – ruthless and fierce, like Mellie – accommodating and savage; Quinn – impassive and expressive and Abby – diffident and shrewd.
In spite of who she is; she still seeks that person upon whom she exerts the pleasantries of female dominance and share the power of her vagina, even if it is in pursuit of her own satisfaction.