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House of Cards, Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead and other conundrums of 21st-century TV.

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Kate Mara (who played crazy ex-lover Hayden on American Horror Story) is the enterprising young reporter Zoe Barnes. As a young enterprising female reporter myself, I was disappointed by how they decided to play her storyline. Do people really do that for information? Or is it just a very played-out stereotype that persists from past male-dominated media regimes?

It comes up again and again, and not just with Zoe but other female characters in the story. For a show so groundbreaking, honest and “progressive,” I was disappointed to find many of the women on their knees or with legs spread. Sex is used as manipulation at too many turns.

But to call all the female characters conniving sex fiends would be very wrong. These are very real, very complex characters navigating through the bullshit of life. So real compared to the many femmes that plague storylines still. While I still smell a penis behind the pen, I love how the women eventually turn the tables on the show’s overly ambitious politico-males.

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