A month or so ago I overheard my mother catching up on Scandal episodes as Olivia Pope’s voice roared through the speakers like an Amazon among women asserting, “If you want me, EARN ME!” to her fictional lover, the President of the United States. I dropped my book, threw my hand up, stomped my foot and shouted, “You GO Girl!” In that moment I just knew that my dating life was about to get a dash more sassy and assertive. Then I regretfully remembered that Olivia Pope is a mistress on the show, and the oxymoronic desire to be earned when she’s already tolerated the role of being sidelined and loved in secret threw me. I’ve noticed that the media increasingly portrays a dichotomy of women in which they can be strong, powerful, and fierce in many facets of their lives, but only when juxtapose to a romantic moral confliction or subservience to a male partner’s requirements.
I haven’t really kept up with Scandal since season 1, but I have heard and read conversations about how much empowerment a woman in Olivia Pope’s position can truly exhibit when she has and continues opting to sleep with a married political figure that requests and expects her presence at his beck and call. However, from what I saw in season 1 and hear about now, it sounds as if Ms. Pope doesn’t let her relationship with the president affect how she does her job or who she helps. How can this woman who champions and stands up for others not stand up for herself with intolerance for the sloppy seconds of affection from a married man? I know this plot is for entertainment purposes because my news feed is continually exploding with posts of 'Olivia and Fritz' on Thursdays, but I would like to see Olivia Pope hair flip this whole mistress role behind her and keep taking care of business.