The Feminine as Law Enforcer

The more I think about it, the more I am disturbed that Grace Hanadarko (in Saving Grace, reviewed yesterday) is a member of the police force.

If she is in indeed a model of how a woman of the 21st century can be — tough, compassionate, comfortable with her sexuality, more than the equal to any man — why is she enforcing the laws of an unjust society?

There is a scene in the second season when Grace and her police detective buddies are watching TV in a bar (a usual hangout for Grace) and cheering as the newscaster announces that a bad guy is about to be executed. Really? This is a good thing?

I spend a lot of time in prison, evaluating bad guys. Many of them have severe trauma in their background, mental illness, brain damage, parental neglect and mistreatment. Where is the compassion for thy neighbor? As long as we split off the shadow and project it on to others, we are not much different than those folks who drove the scape goat off the cliffs to rid the tribe of evil.

Saving Grace is still good drama, and the opening scene with the tornado still sends chills down my spine. But if Grace is representative of where the culture is presently, she needs some serious rehabilitation.


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One Response to The Feminine as Law Enforcer

  1. I like this post. I like Grace but I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about compassion and rejecting the ‘shadow’ because we all have them. This is the whole problem with our culture, probably most cultures. I think the Christian religion (not their actual philosophy or ideology which is based on compassion) also supports this idea and is very destructive. It splits off the bad from the good when they really need integrating.

    My reservations about the character of Grace are these: it is as though she is ‘allowed’ to be this wild, flawed feminine but only as far as the ‘patriarchal order’ lets her be. This way it appears that women have freedom to express themselves but really upholds the same destructive values – and maintains the existing order. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but a lot of ‘women’s liberation’ is really just lip service. I don’t accept that we have achieved ‘equality’ because in actual fact women have not been respected for what a lot of them still want to do and biologically do really well, which is be mothers etc. They have had to take on paid work as well. This isn’t equality, they have twice as much to do and kids are just thrown into creches so women can continue building their careers. I am all for women having ‘careers’, I chose not to have children myself because I wanted to be an artist and not do the child raising thing, but choice is really important. Society needs to be flexible enough so that individuality can be respected ie if men are happier staying home that is good too, and that leaves room for same sex couples and all sorts of other arrangements, as long as kids have a stable environment. It comes back to sexuality and gender….there are feminine and masculine women, feminine and masculine men – if we are both sexes it shouldn’t really matter should it?

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