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Orange is the New Black as a Patriarchal Microcosm

The newest season of the popular show, Orange is the New Black, was released last week on Netflix. The show has been creating waves in the media due to its depictions of female relationships, portrayal of the U.S prison-industrial complex, and exploration of sensitive topics such as race, LGBTQ rights, and gender. What hasn’t been discussed is the use of the Litchfield Corrections Facility as a microcosm for the greater society. The prison full of female inmates represents the victimization of women in society, and the mostly male correctional officers their oppressors and enforcers. How do the struggles of the women in the prison serve as a representation for a patriarchal society? How is intersectional feminism addressed as a solution to this problem? And are there any solutions offered, or is OITNB simply an unbiased glimpse into the lives of women? These are all topics that could be explored in an in-depth analysis of the show and its overarching themes.

  • Someone write this topic immediately! What a fantastic premise! – Jeffrey MacCormack 5 years ago
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  • Interesting topic, I think something important about the show that should be addressed is the depiction of the male guards vs the female guards. The females are in my opinion portrayed as reasonable and there to help their fellow females (like the newly introduced councilor) while most of the male guards... don't function well in outside's society at all, and seem to have gotten jobs in the prison as the only way they can have control over women in their lives. "Pornstache" is obviously delusional and drastic, the male councilor has obvious women issues with his mail order Russian bride and how he doesn't actually GET the women prisoner's problems, the newly recruited guy who rapes Doget, and even the ex-military guard who knocks up Dia(?) and runs away. Why are the male guards so much more troubled than the female ones and what does that say about our society? – Slaidey 5 years ago
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  • Orange is the New Black I thought it was a Trojan horse show to talk about the stories of minority inmates, that white society wouldn't have watched if they had known the real premise from the start. – fchery 5 years ago
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  • An interesting point to note here would be the firing (or stepping down) of Fig, Susan and Berdie. Each of these women, in their own way, are strong female characters yet they are let go, mainly because they pose a threat to different men in the show. – Visenya 5 years ago
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