Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Advantage of the Ducking Stool

I watched Season Two of Dexter and found it, from an anti-feminist point of view, quite an improvement compared to the first one. Why?

Mainly because the show refrains from foisting one of the "tough and strong but oh-so-sensitive and vulnerable" paragons of female virtue on us. The whiny, whishy-washy girlfriend ("Reeda") got her comeuppance when she forced Dexter to join that "Narcotics Anonymous" group because she (SHE SHE SHE!) knew what was best for him. Predictably, he found somebody more attractive there. Problem is, Ms. Whiny Whishy-Washy always gets bossy for the wrong reasons and is thus a perfect, and perfectly obvious, image of the typical female mixture of inaptitude and conceit. I don't think the scriptwriters intended to make it a point, but I thought it was priceless when she got ver' ver' angry at the "Bay Harbor Butcher" not because he murdered 18 people, but because he frightened her (HER HER HER!) "kid". And, OH BOY, DO I hate this Americanism. (What must go on in peoples' heads who equate their children with little goats?)

The new "love interest" of the protagonist was depicted in every way exactly as irresponsible, hateful and aggressive as such "liberated" women tend to be, a remarkable performance by the English actress Jamie Murray. I searched for information on her at YouTube and she actually looks quite normal. I wonder how she managed, as "Lila", to form that gigantic duck bill and how she does those amazing movements while operating it. In fact, I searched for her because I wanted to know whether there is really somebody with such a grotesque "British" accent, and there was Murray, explaining in a perfectly ordinary English voice with a mild Cockney inflection, that the producers sent her to a "voice coach" because her own accent wasn't "British" (I guess that is "Briddish") enough. I wonder how anybody can listen to that grotesque twang without wanting to kick the cat. Clearly, Americans deserve what they are getting.

"Reeda's" awful mother was perfectly credible in all her power-hungry monstrosity either, and Dexter's hard-to-bear, aggressively insecure sister developed into something almost human under the influence of a mature, much older man. She even went so far to add "fuck" just to every third and not, as before, to every single word. Quite an improvement! As the age gap between Carradine and the actress who plays "Deb" is not, as stated in the series, 20, but 30 years, the bedroom encounters between them are something I'd prefered rather not to see, but that is beside the point here.

I was amazed as well that somebody like the Keith Carradine character, who, in spite of his "cool", showed some clearly macho overtones, was not depicted as a total jerk, in fact, not as a jerk at all.

In a somewhat different way, this applies to Sergeant Doakes as well. He is over-aggressive and only too trigger-happy, but at no point the impression is created that he is a jerk. He comes across as a good man caught in a tangled web somebody as straightforward as he is unable to escape. It was a very good thing, too, that it was shown what a false accusation of rape does to a decent man like Angel, who loves and worships women.

The decision of Captain Matthews to replace the lovely Lieutenant Laguerta, who clearly failed because of some X-chromosome related deficiency (she overstepped her authority and embarrassed her superior) with another, sickeningly unprepossessing, aggressive and, so it turned out, even much less self-controlled woman, is clearly in line with what I have seen men do. It is a fact that men are unable to deal with women in the workplace in a matter-of-fact manner, and no, not always, in fact rarely, a sexual relationship is involved. But then, men oughtn't to have to deal with women in the workplace in the first place.

Watching Season Two, I felt encouraged in the somewhat irrational fondness of Laguerta I developed during Season One. She clearly abused her female charm to get what she wanted, but she showed extraordinary panache in doing so. Instead of throwing her hapless successor under the bus, as a dumb bitch doubtlessly would, she calmly watches her self-destroy and she has much too much style to crow when she gets her old job back. When she shakes hand with the captain and thanks him for reinstating her, it came, at least to me, across as a wonderful and wonderfully subtle show of (deserved) contempt. She shows, too, that she is able to stand by her man Doakes. The lovely Lauren Velez gives this character amazing depth.

So lets ask the question of what would have become of those fictitious women in a healthy and functioning society where women had never been "sexually liberated"? My answer:

"Reeda" would have made a man of modest means and low expectations at least not unhappy.

Her awful mother would have been probably quite manageable after a couple of encounters with the ducking stool.

The potty-mouthed sister would have made a much older man, who had the guts to control her, very happy.

The crazy English bitch would have been sent to a nunnery or burnt as a witch at the stake.

Pascal, the hapless lieutenant, would have remained unmarried and, with proper training and supervision, made quite a good chambermaid or cook.

Laguerta would have made a king, or at least a prince, extremely happy.