Mary, Brenda & Missing Feminism

images-3images-4Sadly enough, feminism seems an archaic term. It has been simplistically defined as hating men and not respecting women who stay at home which was never the truth. Feminism was about having choices, deciding that being a woman was worthwhile and recognizing inequity. So many young women I meet seem to define themselves in terms of finding a man, shopping and making/having money. All of which seems superficial and unlikely to insure a future of substance.

Feminism was about the freedom to define yourself with unlimited possibilities. So many young women seem lost and searching without knowing who they are. Preadolescents are having sex without realizing they haven’t decided if they really want to because they’re so busy responding to someone, anyone wanting them.  They’re soothing their insecurities believing they’re making a choice. Too often desperation haunts choices for women ages 13 to the mid-60’s, so they aren’t really choices.

There are two television shows that star women who are richly defined. While it’s fun to watch Jack Bauer in 24 or Michael Weston in Burn Notice; they are one dimensional characters. While Mary Shannon from In Plain Sight (USA Sundays 10pm) and Brenda Johnson in The Closer (TNT Mondays 9pm) are totally three dimensional. They are both private, prickly, difficult and demanding. They both are passionate about pursuing truth, obsessive about their work and completely trustworthy. They are courageous, fierce and authentic.

I’d like to imagine that feminism contributed to their ability to define themselves. The depth of their characters is layered with vulnerabilities, strengths and heroic determination that leaves you wanting more and glad when they return. They struggle in life, they face their own hard truths and grow while we watch. They aren’t afraid to know what they want and go after it. It’s fun and a whole lot more to spend time with them.

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