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Veronica Mars and Feminism

by Anita Sarkeesian

This clip from the pilot episode of Veronica Mars is an example of the complex and dynamic scenes that are indicative of the wit and style that make up the television series.  In this scene you have Veronica Mars and her father Keith Mars having a typical sarcastic and humourous repartee.  Keith Mars hilariously mistakes a Bruce Springsteen song for his past while using some objectifying terms to describe women.  Veronica replies with, "I don't know which bothers me more foxy or stacked." This characterizes the simple and entertaining way that the writers of Veronica Mars are able to inject commentary about the more sexist language often used to describe women without beating the audience over the head with a hammer.  It appears that Keith is self-aware of his disrespectful words and does not scoff or dismiss Veronica's feminist critique of his language but almost expects and appreciates it.

The second half of the scene comments on economic class.  The first and second season of the show regularly exposes the intense class division where the rich are millionaires many times over and everyone else in the town merely works for them.  Veronica and her father are just getting by on the small amount of money they make running a private detective agency. The clip shows how rare and exciting it is for them to be able to have steak dinners, Keith says (while dancing) "No sac dinners for us tonight, tonight we eat like the lower middle class to which we aspire."

Both parts of this clip are especially striking when contrasting it to the majority of entertainment media.  There are very few instances when women are empowered enough to speak out against oppressive language and even in those rare times the men are hardly responsive.  The same goes for providing a class analysis because far too often our entertainment is made by and about wealthy people, money is never an issue on our television screens. It is refreshing to see a semblance of "ordinary" people who are struggling to make ends meet and seeing this forces the audience to recognize how rarely this representation occurs.

Sixty seconds of Veronica and her father demonstrate their close relationship and love for one another but it also brings together critical commentary about gender and class with all the wit and humour audiences appreciate.

More analysis on Veronica Mars at www.FeministFrequency.com

Veronica Mars and Feminism

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Examples of how the television series Veronica Mars deals critically with gender and class through humour and wit.

from Veronica Mars (2004)
Creator: Rob Thomas
Posted by Anita Sarkeesian
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