Playing Her Cards Wright

Brilliant. Well done. Talk about lemons and lemonade. House of Cards did it. They turned Kevin Spacey’s sexual-harassment death (i.e. Netflix had the strength to fire him) into a great piece about women and the humiliation of intimate-partner violence, misogyny, and sexism. Robin Wright and Diane Lane gave powerful performances as women who like being extremely powerful and even in charge — the oligarch and the president. They are bitter rivals and — spoiler alert — both of them are going to survive, and the strongest will kill the embodiment of the system of misogyny, sexism, and intimate-partner violence.

To be sure, Michael Dobbs wrote a three-part play out of real life in Maggie Thatcher’s court and Netflix turned it into 70-odd episodes; still, it was quite masterful in that it went from being your typical inside-the-court White House drama to one that tries to slay misogyny. I could not help but wonder about the chicken and the egg when it came to the choice of Robin Wright and Diane Lane, who themselves had to fight for their own dignity in real life as they both were married to men who were accused of intimate-partner violence.

This was obviously timed to try to influence the election. New seasons used to be released in the spring, but now it’s the fall, for all those people who dive into fiction rather than watching CNN or Fox News or daring to read a newspaper that contains all the evidence that we live in a rape culture, i.e. the Trump presidency.

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About Ruth O'Brien

Professor Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY) & Honorary Unaffiliated Academic Book Series Editor for The Public Square, Princeton University Press & Heretical Thought, Oxford University Press, USA Last book: Out of Many, One: Obama & the Third American Political Tradition (U of Chicago 2013). Nickname: Professorette by Rush Limbaugh (see