The Sentinel

Just saw The Sentinel and Eva Longaria’s character annoyed me something chronic.

(At this point, I should tell you that I found the movie so by-the-numbers that I know the characters as Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland and Eva Longaria.)

She’s a rookie FBI agent assigned to Kiefer Sutherland. She’s introduced in a low-cut figure-hugging suit. Sutherland takes one look at her and tells her next time, to wear something “˜more appropriate’ – ie, covered up.

She immediately takes offence to this – that is, when she’s not clueless as to why a woman in a figure-hugging low-cut outfit might offend. Now, at a stretch, I could buy that she genuinely didn’t realise she was meant to dress fairly conservatively for the FBI. She could have been one of those women who likes to dress sexy and flashy; Longaria certainly has the body for it. I have a friend who likes to dress flashy and took a short while to adjust to working for the government – in community development, no less. She now wears flashy clothes with her friends and tailored, conservatives clothes to work.

So I could possibly understand that she may have not realised she was meant to dress more conservatively then she was used to. But I didn’t understand why she got so defensive about dressing conservatively. She struck me as being ambitious, a woman who knew to pick her battles, she should have known better then to squabble over her outfit. When Kiefer tells her to “˜button up her jacket’ in lieu of a less revealing top, she ignores him. She then contrives to change shirts at least twice in a short period of time.

No way would an ambitious woman have made such a fuss about her clothes. Possibly, TPTB were trying to make themselves look good by saying “˜see? a woman who doesn’t take crap from men!’. (Alternatively, they could have been saying: this is why we resisted having women in the FBI. They focus on their clothes.) But I found it incredibly unrealistic, and ultimately insulting.

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