Good Girls: True Women Empowerment
Our society has really changed perspectives when it comes to treating women. That is we now have learned to give them the respect they deserve. It is no doubt that media has played a major role in doing so. It’s a two-way street. The culture and the media simultaneously influence each other and are influenced by each other. This long process ultimately gave us a master piece that talks about true women empowerment in such a layered way that you understand the depths of the problems in our society.
The story revolves around three women facing financial problems and they want to do something to support their families. Each character faces unique problems of their own and what connects them is their friendship and care for each other. Two of them are sisters but it’s the bond between the three is strong and on an same level. All three of them are also mothers who are willing to do everything for their children.
It would be an injustice to not comment on each of them individually. Beth Boland, played by Christina Hendricks, is the housewife we normally see in our daily lives. The caring and organized mother and wife who does everything to maintain her house but is trapped in a loveless marriage and ends up finding out that her husband is cheating on her with a younger secretary. Her sister Annie Marks, played by the witty Mae Whitman, is a single mother working as a cashier and who has an 11 year daughter whose father is trying to get full custody of her. Their friend Ruby Hill, played by the sassy Retta, works as a waitress and is in a loving relationship with two kids one of whom has a kidney problem. All three of them need financial help to support their families and themselves because their husbands, those who have them, aren’t capable of giving the money they need.
So the three of them decide to rob their grocery store but after doing so, they realize they got more money than they anticipated. Shortly after it’s revealed that the store is a front for a gang to carry out their shady business. The gang leader Rio, played by the amazing Manny Montana, comes to ask their money back and when it’s not given, threatens to kill them.
But Beth cleverly gets out of that situation and ultimately the three women end up involved in the gang’s business of money laundering. It starts as a way to get out of the problem of not having money to give them but slowly dissolves into a housewife themed Breaking Bad.
What we see portrayed in this entire show is how true feminism really works. Throughout the whole show the focus is always on them knowing the problems each one has and doing whatever they can to help out. They even embark on this dangerous mission to get money through illegal means knowing that they’re going in it together. It’s not about competition, not whose problems are greater or not, it’s about being there for each other in the truest of senses. Not only for feminism, it’s a good message to have in any friendship of yours. One touching scene in the series was when Annie’s about to be raped by another character Boomer (who’s her boss) but Beth comes just in time to protect Annie. They both end up tying the criminal in Beth’s tree-house. That scene cements the bond we see on the screen.
So, the three of them have to flip fake cash for real ones and they do so by shopping in major malls and shopping outlets and then returning those items later on. To cover a lot more money, they enlist the help of their fellow mother friends who are mostly housewives. They don’t tell them the real reason of why they’re doing it. But this plot point it’s such a strong premise the show makes. It gives these housewives something meaningful to do. It’s for them to contribute to the home in their own ways. More so than that, it gives them a fun thing to do. Basically, it’s a hobby that pays.
One really interesting character they put inside is Mary Pat played by the quirky Allison Tolman. She is a single mother of four children after her husband dies. She’s also part of the group working for the trio. They find out that she hasn’t been flipping money and upon confrontation Mary Pat realizes the trio are doing something shady and then blackmails them. The interesting point to note here is that the three mothers can relate to Mary’s struggles and don’t hate her for doing this. They’re annoyed, yes. But ultimately they realize that she has no other choice just like they themselves don’t. All of them need money. Even when Rio offers to “handle the situation” Beth refuses.
Boomer’s character perfectly portrays male entitlement and privilege. He is just angry at the fact that Annie doesn’t date him. So much so that he almost rapes her and then in the entire series tries to make the cops investigate the three women. He also ends up dating Mary Pat just to find evidence that could incriminate them. When Mary finds out, Beth tells Mary everything about him. So Mary confronts him and Boomer says things every rapist has ever said in an effort to defend themselves. Mary’s interrogation skills is commendable as she just asks simple questions any woman would to figure out why any guy raped another woman.
Mary also feels violated when Boomer puts a webcam in her house to collect incriminating evidence so in that moment Mary Pat sympathizes with Annie and it’s suddenly not about blackmail anymore. It’s about understanding what your fellow women have to go through on a daily basis with varying degrees of harassment by self-entitled men.
All in all, the show is layered to such a degree where you can’t exactly hate any of these characters except for Boomer. Even the gang leader is just doing his job and playing a fair game. The focal point is the three women who went to great lengths for their families, they’re all very afraid of getting caught and the criminal lifestyle is something very new for them. But they all come through and stay connected to each other.