You’ll Never Walk Aone…

There was an episode at the end of s2 of Desperate Housewives, where Susan’s house is burned down by her rival Edie, who has some choice home truths to tell her about her dependence on men to bail her out. So much so, that Susan decides she’s going to decline her boyfriend John’s offer to move in – instead, she buys a caravan for her and her daughter to live in. It’s small, but it’s won by her own sweat and tears, and goddamit, it’s home. I was thoroughly impressed that she would turn down the luxury of her boyfriend’s house for a caravan that was her own.

But as the story progresses, her ex-husband Carl, a rather controlling man, buys her a house. With a pool. And hot tub. Just to pre-empt John’s engagement proposal. When John finds out, he says something to that effect – he did all this, just so you’d be in debt to HIM, not Me. So if he really means nothing to you, show it. Turn down his mansion with its pool and hot tub.

So she does – but only, it felt to me, to prove to John that Carl meant nothing to her – HE did.

A woman who leaves the security of one man’s arms knowing there’s another man to catch her. It was like having a walker – I’ll venture a few steps, but only knowing this steel frame will catch me if I falter.Um – do I need to say anything more?


  1. kristi says

    I saw it and I agree, but the boyfriend’s name was actually Mike. 😉 There are quite a few plotlines on that show that are questionable if you view them as a feminist.

  2. scarlett says

    I haven’t watched the show seriously since the end of s2. I have no idea where I got John from – If I’d proofed it before I went on holidays, I would have picked it up :p

    But yeah, the reason I don’t watch it anymore is that its so questionable coming from a feminist critique perspective. While I never liked Susan, I thought Bree, Gabrielle, Edie and Lynette all had qualities I admire… but the further along the series goes, the more it is about women clinging to men or being completely subjected by them.

  3. kristi says

    I’ve watched the last season in horrified fascination. All of the characters seem to be unusually manipulative and dysfunctional, but I’m particularly interested in how Lynette has been singled out for “punishment”. She certainly is no more sinful or manipulative than any other Housewife, but she seems to be singled out for negative consequences far more often. Is it because she has small children, and so is expected to be more selfless? Is it because she’s too assertive with her husband? (Never mind that his whining has made her back down many a time.) I can’t quite figure it out. Nor can I figure out why I’m still watching.

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