The Bold Type: 2.01 Feminist Army & 2.02 Rose Colored Glasses
At the end of last season we saw Jane leave Scarlet for the more hard hitting internet news site, Incite. Kat left on a trip with her new girlfriend Adena, and Sutton had another elevator related liaison with board member Richard. This season picks up two weeks later, as Kat returns from her trip and Jane is about to start a new vertical, focusing of millennial women who are making a positive difference in society.
When describing The Bold Type to other people I usually say it is a mixture of Ugly Betty and Sex and The City, but more intersectional. I am glad to report that this season is no different. Only two episodes in and gender, sexuality, race, class, and some of the intersections between those groups have already been discussed.
In Feminist Army, Jane goes to interview the subject of her first vertical, Emma Cox. Cox is the 29 year old CEO of a menstrual cup company who donates a cup to a homeless woman for every cup sold. Only Jane discovers that homeless women can't use the cups because of their lack of access to sufficient sanitation. This leads to Jane writing an article about making mistakes, sometimes because of your privilege, and trying to fix them. However, her editor changes it into a take -down piece, which leads to Cox losing investors.
This plot line explores various different contemporary issues. One, issues surrounding how much we talk about menstrual health. Two, how these conversations tend to forget about those without basic amenities, and three, journalistic responsibility. Jane's original article is framed as an honest look at the issue, one that acknowledges Cox's mistake, but also acknowledges that she is trying to fix it; that she is trying to make up for the fact that her privilege blinded her to the drawbacks of her product.
This inclusion of class differences in the menstrual hygiene debate is one that I have done a little bit of research and reading up on but this is the first time I have seen it being talked about in this light. It really made me think about all the new weird and wacky ways that people can now deal with their periods, and just how accessible they are, and not just from a monetary stand point.
Jane's honesty, even when she ends up on television and is specifically told not to mention her draft of the article, ultimately gets her fired because she isn't a right fit for Incite. I would find being considered a bad fit for a company like Incite, that puts shock value over actually telling a balanced story about trying to right your past wrongs and the difficulties of navigating the current social climate, a huge compliment. But, it is also devastating to see Jane get fired from the job she left her dream job for.
One of the most charming aspects of Jane's character is that she is incredibly passionate about her writing, and about trying to write about her subjects in the most fair and sensitive way possible. So to see her work pushed aside in favour of writing something 'hard hitting', was really saddening. I really felt the disbelief and frustration that was portrayed on the screen.
Meanwhile, Kat is very much in the honeymoon phase of her relationship with Adena. She wants to show off her girlfriend to the world, but, much to Adena's annoyance, she is yet to go down on her. I guess there is something ironic about the fact that, while Kat is willing to announce her queerness to the world, she is yet to, in some ways, actually 'face' it.
This plot brings out questions of commitment and reassurance in a new relationship, especially one where it is one of the partners' first time being in a queer relationship. It is understandable that Adena may be somewhat wary of the fact that Kat had not passed that hurdle. That she may be scared that her relationship with Kat may not last, or Kat will realise that she isn't actually interested in women at all.
Whereas for Kat her wariness comes from being afraid that she won't like it, but also that she won't be any good at it. This is also an understandable fear. It is nice to see the show trying to look at issues from both sides and to have the couple talk it through to its resolution. The openness with which Jane and Sutton are willing to discuss Kat's fear is also heart warming.
Sutton, who is still working to get over Richard, becomes a victim of the office rumour mill whilst all this is happening. When another fashion assistant accuses her of sleeping her way to the top in the magazine, Sutton loses all of her confidence and charisma, and her performance at work begins to suffer because of it.
This highlights just how often jealousy can tarnish a woman's career, and how easily people can try to dismiss their talent in order to make themselves feel better. This plot line is mostly resolved by the end of episode two, as Sutton gets a pep talk from Jacqueline. But it is yet another way in which this show puts women's issues in the current social climate at the forefront of its narratives.
These two episodes were largely more of the same, at least when compared to season one, but that isn't a bad thing. As long as the show has made some progress by the end of the season, which I don't doubt that it will, then it is good that it has brought us back in to the world of these three amazing women slowly. Overall, I had a great time watching these episodes and am thrilled for the exciting ride that the rest of the season is sure to be.