A recent review in Forbes characterized as “feminist” ABC’s new Sunday Night show Quantico, about a new class of FBI recruits. The article, by Emily Canal is entitled “Why ‘Quantico’ Might Be One Of The Most Feminist Shows On-Air This Fall.”
“Begging the question” means “circular reasoning of the sort that A implies B, and B implies A.” However, feminists and others unfamiliar with logic usually misuse the phrase to mean “teases us into asking the obvious question.” So, in their own errant lingo women’s way of talking, the title of the new show Begs the Question: is it, in fact, a feminist show, in that it depicts feminism in a way that is good for feminism?
In other words:
- Does the show expose the horrors of rape culture?
- Does the show demonize Christian religions while supporting Islam?
- Does the show treat men and families with utter contempt?
- Does the show cater to the Male Gaze, or engage in fat shaming?
- Does the show explicitly portray feminism in a positive light?
- Does the show promote gender equality or discuss dress codes?
- Does the show reflect intersectionality?
- Does the show expose the horrors of the patriarchy or male entitlement?
- Does the show depict gay men in a positive light?
- Does the show portray men as the sole perpetrators of domestic violence?
- Does the show portray women as honest and trustworthy, and that men should automatically believe women’s claims?
Amazingly, all of these situations arise in the very first episode! However, not all of them tilt in favor of feminism. I’ll be covering each in detail below, which means that, because I care about your viewing pleasure, I must now issue a
SPOILER ALERT. The following account of the show reveals details and plot points that might spoil the show for some viewers.
The show depicts a complex series of events set six months apart, starting with an ongoing terrorist attack in New York City linked to a member of a just-graduated class of FBI recruits trained in Quantico, Virginia that started six months earlier. Additionally, there are other flashbacks to the recruits’ earlier lives.
Alexandra Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) wakes up in the rubble of the terror attack and then is tasked with investigating her old classmates to find the terrorist, of whom there are many possibilities, including herself as the lead suspect or, perhaps, scapegoat. When the bullet-riddled body of her FBI superior Ryan Booth (Jake McLaughlin, a real life US Army vet), whom she had fucked before she knew of his affiliation, is discovered in her apartment, she is arrested but escapes with the help of the head of Quantico “Miranda Shaw” (Aunjanue Ellis), a black woman bristling for advancement.
Lets go point by point to see how feminist Quantico really is.
Does the show expose the horrors of rape culture?
The show realistically depicts that the FBI seeks Mormon (LDS) recruits (often because they are unlikely to be pot smokers) but unrealistically shows the recruit to be one who raped an underage Malawi girl while he was on his church mission, knocked her up, and tried to get her an illegal abortion, which killed her. The perfect feminist storm, it seems.
Of course, Mormon men go in pairs or large groups while on their missions and are kept so busy that it would be highly improbable (I think impossible) for a young missionary to pursue a sexual relationship with a woman, get her pregnant, find an illegal abortionist, set up an illegal abortion, and then cover up her death and his role in the whole affair in such a way that an FBI background check would be unaware of it.
The show has upset the real LDS community but ABC doesn’t seem to care about that.
Of course, the show depicts no real US rape culture at all, so from a credibility or credulous feminist standpoint, it is a double failure.
The show does, however, depict a faux rape, which would count as a real rape from a feminist standpoint. Before Ryan and Alex fuck in his car, he buys her a drink on the plane where they meet. Since alcohol was involved, according to feminists, Alex was too drunk to consent, even though she was on top during the resulting intercourse. Complicating matters further, Ryan was deceiving Alex – he claimed to be a soldier, then an FBI recruit, when in reality he was an FBI agent, her technical superior, assigned to investigate her.
To feminists, sex by deception is rape (if the guy is deceptive; women lying and wearing makeup to get sex is cool with them) and sex with a superior is rape because the power imbalance makes it impossible for the inferior woman to give meaningful consent. Their hookup is now a triple faux rape: it is drunken, deceptive, and power imbalanced. Of course, the show glosses over all of this, ignoring the faux triple rape and feminist theory on rape.
Does the show demonize Christian religions while supporting Islam?
Although the Christian bona fides of Mormonism are controversial, LDS is derived from Christianity and uses Christian scripture as a part of their own, so yes, the show does take a swipe at Christians.
One of the recruits is an “ambidextrous” Islamic woman who wears the hijib in mirror-image ways. She has her own private quarters and she reacts angrily when a gay male recruit enters unexpectedly. She also appear to be a pair of identical twins with a nefarious purpose, maybe. The show goes out of their way to set her up as the fall girl(s), which to my thinking makes her unlikely to be the actual terrorist, especially in a feminist show that only shows minority women in a positive light.
While showing their hatred of Christians and love of Islam might make feminists smile inwardly, exposing these tropes openly has to set their vagina dentata on edge.
Does the show treat men and families with utter contempt?
Oh, hell yes.
Alex lies to her mother about joining the FBI. The blonde Southern Belle recruit lost her parents in 9/11. The head of Quantico accuses a man of mansplainin’ when he dares to suggest that the “glass ceiling” is a relic of the past. After she fucks Ryan in his car, Alex refuses to tell him her name because he is both too nice and a liar (PUA). She also humiliates him in front of other men when he tries to respect her privacy by not revealing their hook-up. If there is a scene with both sexes in it (no trans folk in the show yet) you can bet the women will be shitting on the men.
This is a feminist fantasy that is also a nightmare for them when their man-hate is shown so openly in the media.
Does the show cater to the Male Gaze, or engage in fat shaming?
True to the myth of the male gaze, all the men and women are strikingly good-looking. No fatties allowed. No butch women nor side-shaves appear at all – at least, not from the neck up.
Does the show explicitly portray feminism in a positive light?
Although feminist related themes are everywhere, “feminism” and “feminist” do NOT explicitly appear in the pilot. This is a huge fail, since feminists claim all “advancements” for women come from it and usually demand that all women MUST acknowledge the primacy of feminism in their lives.
Does the show promote gender equality or discuss dress codes?
The girly recruits giggle at the gender neutral uniforms as a blow for equality but ignore the feminist trope of calling for strict dress codes for men with no dress codes for women. This has to count as another feminist failure that further exposes their hypocrisy and man-hate.
Does the show reflect intersectionality?
Only for women, which appear to have diversity of origin (but not weight nor attractiveness). The men are almost all white while the women come from a lot of different countries regardless of the fact that the FBI only accepts US citizens as recruits. Of course, if the show intends to hammer men, it is important for them to only attack the right sort of men – the white ones.
Does the show expose the horrors of the patriarchy or male entitlement?
There is one explicitly “entitled” male recruit, Caleb, who is the son of two FBI agents. Only his family ties got him into Quantico; he is a hot mess. He fails at everything and triggers the Mormon recruit to go on a homicidal/suicidal rampage when Caleb tells the Mormon he knows his “secret.” Caleb is kicked out of the FBI, making him disgruntled enough – and well-connected enough – to be the real culprit in the terror attack. Although it won’t be revealed for a while, I’m betting on Caleb as the bad guy: white, male, entitled, and a loser.
Notice how the show conflates “entitled” with “unqualified” even though feminists, when pressed, deny this link (but with a wink). Exposing this trope is yet another feminist failure of the show.
Does the show depict gay men in a positive light?
Not really – when he walks into the Islamic twins’ room, the token gay male recruit is shown to be just another boorish man in feminists’ view. Yet another feminist fail.
Does the show portray men as the sole perpetrators of domestic violence?
No! Alex as a teenager murdered her father (and lies about it initially.) According to Alex, Alex’s mother physically attacks her father after he drunkenly waved a gun around, but since Alex is exposed as a killer and a repeat liar, maybe that is a lie as well.
Does the show portray women as honest and trustworthy, and that men should automatically believe women’s claims?
No – In addition to lying about her role in her father’s murder, Alex openly lies to her fuck buddy Ryan, and the Southern Belle fails a part of her lie detector test. Any depiction of women as liars violates a core feminist tenet: always believe the victim.
Although the show will be seen, at first, as a feminist triumph, I expect feminists will start trashing the show almost immediately and the trashing will snowball as the season progresses.
Which is too bad; the chicks on it are hot Hot HOT!