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So, as Vera said in the previous post — sorry for the hiatus. We were in America… albeit seperately (yes, yes, we will do that road trip *together* one day, and no it won’t be when i stop keeping kosher [which is nevaaaah] – but when vera gets enough money to buy us a car to travel in style. also, i need to learn not to offend americans quite as much)

and whilst there, i was caught up in the GENERICA-pop-americana phenomenon that is “Orange is the New Black

And yes, binge-watched it like pretty much everyone else. and loved it madly.

(a colleague of mine was asking me “but how? with all the lesbians?” as in “you’re a nice religious girl, Y U enjoy this show?” So i had to explain that yes, my sense of what I will watch is restricted by religious norms but seeing a woman’s breats really doesn’t offend me – i mean, i have breasts. breats are not scary to me. and i don’t care so much if women are kissing women. and despite the very aggresive “look there are lesbians here!”-elements in the 1st episode, the show is at least by my standards far less racy than say game of Thrones (which i stopped watching after like three episodes. )

But back to the show- I loved it because of all these terribly complex female characters. FINALLY real women on TV!

on of the actresses said it eloquently in a Huffington Post interview last week:

It is a phenomenon, what’s happened to this show. And I think it’s because we have watched so much television that holds up women falsely before us. The beautiful woman, or the woman who always wins, or the woman who’s desirable to every man. And the standards are constantly, impossibly raised for women — Hollywood does that.

Suddenly you walk into these walls [of the prison] and you’re surrounded by creatures you not only understand, but who reside within you as well. And there’s a deep release. It’s almost existential. You’re finally with people you get, people who could beyou within two seconds, people who are you. There’s something for every woman to relate to on a visceral level in this series. And that I don’t think has been done ever before, do you?

It’s Red speaking, the Russian chef. Who happens to be Kate Mulgrew who’s made a cameo on this blog previously (she captained a star ship as Kathryn Janeway – actually, there are 4 posts with Janeway  [on West Wing characters getting killed on Voyager; on buzzfeed picking up belatedly on that story; on women in power being called ma’am and hating it, oh and that time Vera had to teach me what fanfiction is], so now she gets a tag.)

But I also think the show teaches us something about surviving the jungle that is your job (i am not comparing my office to a low-level security prison!)

  • Form alliances! You are NOT going to make it alone. So don’t try
  • Don’t be a SNITCH! You see someone make a mistake – don’t rat on them to the boss
  • Find your niche and OWN it! Like Red’s kitchen, or Alex’ laundry, or Taystee’s library…

Of course the ONE thing you should not learn from OITNB is the (probably accurate sadly) insistence that d vulnerability is there to drag you down and must be hidden. As Brene Brown teaches us : Dare to be vulnerable (this is also the book Vera gave me as she left me behind in the middle east to go get her degree in “Merica)