Cameron on House

Edited to add: I had intended to mention that this is only the third episode of the show I’ve seen, so I don’t have the context of the whole series. From this thread, it sounds like maybe Cameron just repeats her mistakes instead of learning. If I find that to be the case, this show will be joining SG-1 on my shit list.

Last night’s episode of House started to annoy me. Foreman (Omar Epps) had stolen an article from Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), and House (their boss) didn’t care. In fact, he’d initialed Foreman’s article without bothering to read it, but he’d never gotten around to looking at Cameron’s.

Basically, Foreman knew how to get his article pushed through House, and Cameron thought like a girly-girl she could just rely on the normal procedures to work.

I started calling her names on the screen. I know we girls are taught only the ostensible rules, while boys are secretly taught the actual rules that lurk behind them, unspoken and unwritten. I know this is how we’re kept out and ill-equipped to compete. I know the glass ceiling comes complete with four walls, just to be on the safe side. But this babe in the woods Cameron didn’t seem to get that, and she was incensed that Foreman had taken advantage of knowing how House works in order to get what he wanted. It wasn’t fair, you see.

No; that’s why the world isn’t fair, you see. Because it’s full of unfairness. Do you need a diagram or something, Cameron?

Then something wonderful happened, and I realized the writers were actually on the same page with me. Just after it became clear that House did care, and intended the whole situation to teach Cameron a little lesson about the real world, Cameron talked to Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) – House’s female boss – about Foreman’s deceit. Cuddy surprised her by wondering why Cameron had expected anything different. Then Cuddy offered her some advice: write another article, and another one, keep your mouth shut, and persevere until you’re sitting behind a big cushy desk and when someone calls to ask about Eric Foreman’s resume, “you can say whatever you want”.

Cameron made one further mistake. She suggested to Foreman that they mutually apologize so they could remain friends. Can you guess Foreman’s response? Of course you can: they’re not friends, they’re colleagues, and he has nothing to apologize for. Cameron was, again, taken aback. But with any luck, she’s wising up.

What could have been a dreadful stereotype – Girls Just Don’t Get Workplace Competition – turned out to be an examination of why girls don’t come into the workplace understanding the system of cheats men have put into place, and how they learn. And Cuddy is the show’s living proof that we do indeed learn it.


  1. scarlett says

    I recently lucked into what could have been quite a scoop in a fairly high-profile murder trial. The scoop didn’t pan out, but in the meantime, I wasn’t saying ANYTHING to anyone who had anything to do with journalism. I felt kind of petty, jealously gaurding a ptential source (which didn’t pan out anyway) but, given how competitive journalism is, I also felt justified in doing do.

  2. Glaivester says

    What I liked was when she got House to back down on the allergy test: “well, we could rely on your expert knowledge of lesbian relationships, or we could do a scratch test.” He looked almost sheepish when he conceded.

  3. Jennifer Kesler says

    That was great, LOL. And moments like that show us she has the potential to grow into someone who can hold her own and compete.

  4. Jennifer Kesler says

    Of course you were justified – that’s how the press works.

    I wonder if guys reading your comment would even have a clue why you’d feel bad. The older I get, the more I see that guys are taught to put competition ahead of relationships and girls are trained the opposite way. When push comes to shove, we’ll let go of the competition to save the relationship. They, conversely, do the opposite. We think they’re horrible; they think we’re foolishly sentimental. In truth, I don’t think either approach is inherently right or wrong. Ideally, in any situation, we should all consider both what we’re trying to accomplish, and who we’re trying to accomplish it for/with.

  5. scarlett says

    There was an episode a while ago which I did a piece on where a man admits part of him wishes his wife would die rather then have been unfaithful because he ‘loves’ her so much. He asks Cameron if it’s wrong to feel that way; she looks him in the eye and tells him yes. I applauded her for that, I thought it was far ballsier then being all sympathetic and ‘no that’s not wrong at all’

  6. scarlett says

    I had another incident where my unit co-ordinator basically guilted me into giving up a contact at the university. I had found the guy by a bit of luck and research (turned out this guy was pretty high up the food chain for the topic I was researching), nothing she couldn’t have done herself, but my co-ordinator was insistant that at a uni level, we should be helping each other out. Not that I don’t mind helping another journalist out by passing on sources – but only if I have no use for them. I don’t know if I was right in thinking this girl could fend for herself or my co-ordinator was right in thinking at uni level at least we should try and help one another, but I still feel a bit sore over it when I think about it.

    I agree that relationship vs career should be a matter of give and take, whoever has the most invested, the most to lose etc, rather then women giving up a career for a relationship and men giving up a relationship for a career. I think both ways are pretty unhealthy.

    For example, I’m in a pretty competitive, largely poorly-paid field whereas my bf is in a non-competitive, well-paid field (supply and demand, I suppose). If it came down to who gives up their work for the relationship, on paper that would be me – I don’t have much hope of finding paid work, let alone well paid work. But that’s just financial investment. If I gave up my career entirely I wouldn’t be happy in a relationship, which would have made giving up a career a waste. And then there’s the issue of my wanting to be a foreign correspondant – unlikely to ever happen, but if it did, there would be an issue of how we stayed together. The most obvious solution is that I don’t become a foreign correspondant, even though bf can find work anywhere. I guess then the situation gets reversed; normally I’d be the one who’d (non-existant) career could be sacrificed, but in that particular scenario, he’d be the one who could adjust better then me.

    Don’t know where I’m going with this – just adding my two cents.

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