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Veronica Mars: Feminism at its Finest

April 14, 2011

As much as I hate to, I have to admit that watching Veronica Mars was definitely one of my favorite things to do during the cold days of what seemed to be a never ending winter. Before you judge it, I highly suggest you give the show a shot–It’s funny, smart, and innovative. While watching season 3 on my computer this past week and thinking about how disappointed with how downhill the last season had gone, I realized how much of Mill’s thoughts on feminism could be related to Kristen Bell’s character. She is a perfect example of a great female role model and a perfect display of Mill’s beliefs on the equality between sexes, as evident in The Subjection of Women.

 Veronica is a strong, real, smart, empowered female  character that we all have grown to love so much.  Being a middle-class student among all of the rich  and powerful children of Neptune High, Veronica  uses wit and humor to bring up class and gender in  the show. She spends most of her time as a private  investigator, and does a pretty good job at it might I  add. As a strong, physically abled (yet petite) woman,  she contradicts the general belief that women are  weak. I can recall numerous instances throughout  the show where people walked into her father’s  investigation office, where Veronica works, and  immediately commented on the fact that a tiny, cute  girl was going to be who they would hire to save  them. Usually they would laugh and joke around a  little until they would explain the reason for their visit. But if those people had been anyone from the Neptune community, they would have known that Veronica is by far the best and most well known in the job, better than local male competitors. On page 679 of Modern Political Thought Mill states, “Any woman, who succeeds in an open profession, proves by that very fact she is qualified for it.” Veronica is a prime example of how this proves to be true and I think Mill would definitely support her role in society. Just because Veronica is smaller than some doesn’t mean that she is not as smart or less worthy in the business world.

Throughout the show, you see Veronica handling all sorts of advanced technology and spy gadgets. It is a pretty rare representation to show a young woman as technologically savvy and knowledgable as Veronica Mars is. If you watched even five minutes of the show, you would definitely see that her strong and powerful character clearly represents a figure of ultimate “girl power.” Veronica never fails at proving she is strong and able. In my eyes, this completely goes against the social inequalities imposed upon women in a male dominated society, as Mill would argue. So does Veronica represent the successes of Mill’s arguments in society today? Has our modern day culture accomplished all that Mill had hoped for?

While there are definitely still some areas where equality between sexes can be worked on, I think that Mill would be happy with the advancements that society has made. Additionally, while many people today feel that feminism has a negative connotation, maybe because of the implied gender roles society has engraved in our minds, Veronica Mars represents a feminist of positive connotation as well as that little bit of hope that gender roles are in fact capable of changing.

  1. rianhandler permalink
    April 14, 2011 10:28 PM

    I found your post really interesting. Although I have never seen Veronica Mars, I feel that you gave a good insight into her character, which helped me better understand your argument. I would have to agree with you that a character like Veronica represents Mill’s ideal successes of equality in modern society. She proves that women can defy gender (and size!)-specific roles. Although Veronica is not real, there are numerous women today just like her, accomplishing what Mill hoped to see. I definitely agree with you that “feminism” usually gets a bad rap. From your description however, it seems Veronica Mars is representing feminists well in the sense that she is breaking gender stereotypes as a strong, smart, independent woman. Great post

  2. April 15, 2011 12:55 PM

    I just would like say, I LOVE VERONICA MARS. In addition to the fine post you made, it is definitely another motivator to comment. It is by far my favorite show ever and after I read your connection to Mill I completely agree. I can’t believe I did not think of this before as well but Veronica reflects many of Mill’s ideologies. Her intelligence and wit (and a little intimidation help from Backup when needed) make her a force to be reckoned with. She shows that women can succeed even in the most demanding, even dangerous jobs.
    I think Mill would be proud of the accomplishments we have made since his time. There is always room for improvement but the fact that women today strive to be lawyers, doctors, CEO’s and succeed proves that women are getting the credit they deserve.

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