This post has been buzzing around my head since February's season two debut of Netflix's House of Cards, but somehow I haven't been able to properly articulate what I've wanted to say until today.
The House of Cards premiere generated a lot of discussion regarding Claire Underwood's "credentials" as a feminist, specifically in regard to a plot line wherein she gets revenge on (and supposedly justice from) the man who raped her in college, (now a decorated military man) by invoking him as the reason for her (several) abortions in a live television interview. In one fell swoop, Claire is able to forever demolish the reputation of her attacker, and deftly explains away her childless marriage in a way that secures sympathy for herself and her husband witin the political arena.
For this, Jezebel declared her a "feminist warrior anti-hero."
If you've actually watched the show, you know different.
While the desire to hail Claire's actions in that scenario as a kind of feminist triumph is completely understandable, (especially as it is the beginning of a longer story arc in which Claire attempts to tackle reforming the handling of sexual assault and reporting in the US military), it too conveniently forgets that earlier in the same season, Claire threatens to revoke a pregnant former employee's health care in a ploy to strong arm her into dropping a(n admittedly fraudulent) wrongful termination suit.