Feminism on TV? ‘Scandal’-ous

Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope on ABC's "Scandal." (Photo courtesy of ABC)

If you needed a(nother) reason to watch “Scandal,” HuffPo’s got it: The popular TV show gives viewers lessons on feminism to millions of viewers each week.

According to an article by Jessica Samakow posted last week, our favorite fixer Olivia Pope and our favorite fictional first lady Mellie Grant are chock full of nuggets that advance the fight for gender equality. 

I noticed some time ago that executive producer Shonda Rhimes was a pro at using her dramatic TV prowess to advance diverse and inclusive ideas. But I’m glad someone other than me came straight out and gave her some virtual dap for her efforts.

Even better, it’s not my heavy-handed — you ridiculous, non-inclusive people are out of control — schtick. It’s subtle.

For instance, in a recent episode Fitz calls Abby a bitch. Olivia sets him straight in just a few sentences – "The words used to describe women! If she was a man you'd say she was 'formidable' or 'bold' or 'right,'" – and goes back to being her usual lovesick, political animal self.

I think it was in the same episode that Mellie opined: "When a woman is president, they'll suddenly make first lady an official paid position … They'll hire someone to do it, the minute a man has to do it. It'll become a 'real' job." And then she goes right back to her usual gambit, cooking up trouble.

There’s no belaboring the point, just a quick right hook to the brain to stimulate some new thought, and done. That, my sitcom-watching, diversity-friendly readers, is quality TV. *tips imaginary hat*