Isn’t it strange that we expect women to act one way and men the other? And isn’t it strange that we discourage, overtly and covertly, anyone who would challenge that perceived norm? Strip away the biology, the fact that it is the women that give birth, and you find that most things we know of gender are cultural – constructs of society. And with all things that spring forth from the mind and hands of a person, it has an agenda, a worldview it seeks to promote. The idea that men are better than woman is an old one, perhaps even the oldest; it has its origins in our brutal distant past, of the tribe and the chest thumping alpha-male. It is a vestige of our past, and one that we must cut out if we are to have any future.
I say this because it is brought up in this episode. Sun Bak (Bae Doona) is a South Korean businesswoman who works for her father. Even though she is much more competent than her brother at her job, she is ignored, because she is a woman. She is very reserved, doesn’t show a modicum of fear, and she has reason: she is a savant at kickboxing. A veritable Van Damme. Her brother is the opposite: doted on by his father, a lecherous drunk, and a criminal. If he is found guilty of embezzling funds then the company goes under, whereas if Sun takes the wrap for him the company might survive. For she is a woman, unimportant – invisible – in the eyes of the male dominated business world.
And what I thought of the episode itself? It’s solid and I’m grateful it’s finally explaining some things. Though it can feel a bit like an exposition dump at times (a danger all writers must overcome). Thus I leave you with a song by 4 Non Blondes as sung by the cast of Sense8, I prefer the Lady Gaga version myself. But there’s no accounting for taste, is there?