House, M.D. – Those Evil Feminine Wiles

I can’t stop watching House, M.D. It gives me too much material for this site. This post contains spoilers for this past week’s episode “Top Secret”.

This week’s episode featured a main plot, a B plot, a C plot and a couple of B-cups. The main plot was House trying to save a Marine he’d never (supposedly) seen before, but about whom he’d dreamed the night before. (Kept trying to tell him it was just Buffy’s old boyfriend, Riley, but he wouldn’t listen.)

The B plot was that House couldn’t pee anymore because of – yep, you guessed it – Vicodin abuse. (Oh, no, House! Whatever will stop you from doing those nasty drugs?) This plot involved trips with House to the urinal and his toilet, and finally a pee-soaked bed. Remarkably, it was the least repulsive of the three plots.

The C plot involved a new development in Cameron’s new “uncomplicated sex” relationship with Chase. They have reached the stage in which the female is able to control the male with her Invincible Feminine Wiles(tm)*, i.e. crossing her legs seductively on a desk, thus forcing the male to have sex with her in a hospital bed while they’re supposed to be working. The unfortunate male cannot resist these impulses, even if his job is at stake, because she has boobies and legs and stuff and OMG he is, after all, just a slave to his u-hu stick.

Riiiight. Women really do have these magical powers over men. I guess we must be dumb, ‘cuz we use them to take over one guy at a time instead of, say, the major governments of North America all in one weekend. I mean, how many men can that be? C’mon ladies, we can do it! Let’s all march on Capitol Hill and cross our legs and lick our lips simultaneously, then Congress will collapse in heat and we’ll go pass some real laws. /sarcasm

Speaking of feminine wiles, or the feminine willies, or something, Cuddy’s cleavage used to be a bit low but now it looks more like a double-barrel slingshot pulled back and poised to launch the Orbs of Man Control. Why? Who knows? I still haven’t figured out why Sam Carter shrunk all her t-shirts to look like spandex exercise gear. Maybe Cuddy has a heart problem, and doesn’t want them to have to waste time ripping her clothes off before they defibrillate her. I’m sure it’s something like that. /more sarcasm

If you’re dying of curiosity about the main plot, it turned out the reason House was having psychic dreams was that he really had met Riley before, when Riley was at a party making out with Cuddy (does Buffy know?), and House was jealous. Also we learned that Cuddy slept with House once years ago and now he’s obsessing on her in his weird way, but she says “that boat sailed a long time ago” (what boat? Is this a metaphor? C’mon, I’m just a girl, don’t confuse me!) and House should get over her, and then he said once again like he always does that her ass was big. Meanwhile, Chase accused Cameron of not being over her crush on House, and she protested too much, so my bet? 10 to 1 says it’s House/Cameron before the end of the season, in an attempt to make the others jealous. For her sake, I hope they don’t do it in the bed he peed in. No, wait. Forget I said that.

*I found the above-linked article on The Happy Feminist after drafting this and setting it to post two days later. It provides a perfect explanation from Elizabeth Wurtzel, Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women (1998) for why some people think female sexuality has absolute power over men: “men are so comfortably accustomed to being in charge, they forget how drooling and besotted they can become with some woman. It is only because men assume their centrality with the nonchalance and insouciance of those who’ve never even thought it might be otherwise– and I’m not sure that feminism has been able to make any real headway into this presumed privilege– that they are still able to get all astonished and flustered by the incursion of love into the safety of their sphere . . .”


  1. Purtek says

    Cameron’s actions, as I was mentioning to you before, were also just so needy. Her Invincible Feminine Wiles (great term) were not just irresistible to Chase, they were in her head as “the way to get stuff”, presumably in this case House. I haven’t read the full linked post yet, but the question in the title (“Power? Whose?”) is right on.

    I thought Jacob from Television Without Pity had a good line on a distinction that can seem pretty fine. Regarding one of the American Idol contestants, he said something like “It’s all well and good to own your sexuality, but the way this is, the way it’s being put out there, we own it, and that’s gross.

  2. Jennifer Kesler says

    That is a good line from TWoP.

    Yeah, the “Invincible Feminine Wiles” theory is also embraced by women who feel they can use what they call “pussy power” to get what they want from men, and that beats equality in the workplace any day. The linked article does a good job of breaking this view down into the delusion it is: because it’s so unusual for women to wield power over men, those few times they do it can seem mind-bogglingly huge to either gender. The women get something one time that they should feel entitled to get regularly, and mistake that for a huge feminist victory; the men lose one thing that they should never have felt entitled to, and they leap to the conclusion that “women have all the power”.

    I do see the neediness you’re talking about. She is so deeply un-empowered in every aspect of her life and soul that this is the only way she can feel she has power. One man at a time. Must be exhausting.

  3. SunlessNick says

    I’ve lost track of which season is currently showing in the UK, but it’s the one with the chimera-kid who believes he’s subject to alien abductions. It’s also the one where House keeps blithely talking about the progress of a pregancy of Cuddy’s which she denies exists. I’m afraid to ask, but does he turn out to be right about it? And if he is, is her denial a lie or a mistake? Because it could prove a deal-breaker for me.

    Meanwhile, Chase accused Cameron of not being over her crush on House, and she protested too much, so my bet? 10 to 1 says it’s House/Cameron before the end of the season, in an attempt to make the others jealous.

    Oh, I wish I could disagree.

  4. Jennifer Kesler says

    Nick, that’s early season three – we’re more in the middle or early last half of season three.

    No, Cuddy’s not pregnant, but you’ll learn she has tried several in vitro treatments which failed (might account for the symptoms House was seeing, if she was taking hormones and/or her body was starting to make those pregnancy adjustments). I don’t see it as lying – just not being willing to declare that yes, she is pregnant, until she’s positive one of the treatments has taken.

    But what we’ve seen in S3 that we never saw in S2 or S1 is House running roughshod over Cuddy. She used to outsmart him at least as often as he outsmarted her, which was pretty damn impressive and made me love her. This season, not so much. :(

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