Now that House of Cards Season 2 has been around for a week, we have all seen the entire thing and have had time to muse on all the deepermeanings of what it all means (One Week. Remember when this sort of bullshit took like six months? I love living in the future).
Please note that there is nothing super spoilery in this blog, there are hella spoilers in the links below. And this won't really make sense until you watch all of Season 2 anyway.
There has been all sorts of talk on the character of Claire Underwood. Here. Here. There. And then Here again. It was the last link that got brought to my attention and then sent my brain spinning all day (because once the USA hockey team lost, it was too sad to do real work). After reading all of it, and mulling over a large glass of wine, I am still at the very same conclusion I arrived to this afternoon (and I hate that I cannot think of a better way to say it, because this is going to sound like a Woman's Studies 101 thesis) -
We are only mad and happy and talking about this because she is using mens' rules to play a woman's game.
Ugh. Kill me twice for not being more creative.
But hear me out.
First things first. Claire Underwood is a fictional character on TV. This means she is not an actual person. She is a really good looking personification of an ideology. She is a bundle of theories and opinions with a killer wardrobe (and if a dude could rock an asymmetrical collar like that, I'd give him props too. Equal opportunity applauder over here) and that is something that should be remembered as we talk about things she did (that she didn't actually do, because she is not real) or said (that she didn't actually say because none of it is real).
The essence of Claire is she is going to get what she wants (in fact, that is pretty much the essence of all humanity, it is the reason we exist, why we have laws, why we break laws, why we do anything, really).
And the way she gets these things is by praying on people's weaknesses. Guess what guys, we all do this too. Some of us have better intentions than others and go about it in better ways, but we say what people want to hear to get what we want (like jobs, and engagement rings, and bills brought to the senate floor).
The thing is - women TEND to do this in a passive way. They tend to find a way to get what they want with positive reinforcement (men, to a certain extent, are also pretty good about knowing that girls like being told they are smart and beautiful).
HOWEVER, the reason Claire is such a B.A.M.F. is that she knows the real way to get you to do what she wants you to do is to by going for the weakest point, the pregnant lady's, the first lady's, and the American peoples'.
And we hate that because we are scared of it. We are scared of being "not nice." And men are particularly terrified of women who are "not nice." The word nice kind of makes me crazy. Shouldn't we want to be considered strong and powerful rather than nice?
I like this character because I have constantly felt boxed in by the fear that someone will think I am not nice. I don't do things that I want to do because of how it might make others perceive me. I would often rather hurt myself than others and I have hard time believing I am alone in this.
Claire Underwood is a role model because she lives without that fear. She has courage to put those fears aside and recognize that you can have both and it may come as a detriment to others, but like I said before - her job is to get what she wants and she does it flawlessly.
Except, please remember, she is not real - so she is not actually anything except a writer's imagination in Louboutins.