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The Tragedy of Shiv Roy

This is the tragedy of Shiv Roy. “A young woman with no experience,” as her father Logan (Brian Cox) puts it in season two. “A woman…that’s a shortcoming,” Shiv said through gritted teeth. “Of course it’s a negative number,” her father shouted. “I didn’t create the fucking world!”

but he created hers: one where she was forced to compete on an unequal playing field with her brother Kendall (Jeremy) Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin), for power, love and attention. As the only woman in the Roy family circus, Schiff finds herself never enough: not good enough as a wife, not good enough as a sister, not good enough as a daughter, not good enough as a liberal, not good enough as a mother, not good enough to run for company.

With all the billions and pajamas and penthouses at the Roys, it feels all too familiar at times because that’s what happens to women in the workplace. Shiv will never “win” because she is one of us. Not even status, money, and power can provide complete protection from patriarchy.

“Only your tits give you any value,” Kendall said after Shiv rejected his plan to overthrow their father. “You’re still seen as a token woman.” In the end, she’s just another woman in a man’s world – marginalized, ignored, dismissed as “hysterical” and “too emotional” as she tries to make her voice heard. She could have been the most entitled and brightest woman in America, but she always lost. How can she be empowered when a misogynistic man is built on misogynist values, the gilded cage in which her ambitions fly?

It now appears that there was ever a doubt about it. After all, the woman’s husband, Tom Vamsgans (Matthew McFadden), tracks her menstrual cycle in hopes of getting her pregnant as insurance against his imprisonment. Women who are treated differently from their brothers by powerful men. “If I hug you, will I be sued?” creepy Scandinavian tech bro Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) asks when the siblings arrive at his Norwegian compound for a deal. Her emotional journey remains largely unknown to us, whether because of her own fear of appearing too vulnerable, or because she can only be two-dimensional — defined by the man in whose orbit she must operate . Even her family nickname is “Pinky” – a generous interpretation, and counting on the fingers, it could be that Shiv is Logan’s fourth child. Straight readings are always explicit gender readings.



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