Trigger Warning: Rape and sexual assault trigger warning.
Yes, I still miss the Olympics. But you know what helps a little? Seeing Jennifer Beals and Troian Bellisario acting together – and in uniform no less. Remember back in May when I got all excited about the WIGS webseries? Well the Beals/Bellisario episodes, called “Lauren,” have just been posted. Let me tell you, it is not for the faint of heart. This is not Bette Porter and this is not Spencer Hastings. But these are two very strong, very compelling female characters with a very strong, very compelling story to tell. And a hard one to watch as well.
To be honest, I almost didn’t keep watching when I realized the story was about a soldier’s gang rape by members of her own platoon. For sure, it is an important story to tell. As the series says, more than 3,000 sexual assaults are reported in the U.S. Military last year. And those were just the reported ones. But it’s just this kind of injustice in the face of ingrained misogyny and patriarchy are always hard to watch. And, yes, it’s hard to see the artist formerly known as Bette Porter defending the system instead of the victim. But, this is just the first episode of three. So, I fully expect things to if not change at least deepen in complexity.
So will I keep watching until the end? Yes. Because it is an important story. Because it is well acted. Because it is important to support female-centric projects in a male-centric industry. And because it’s tripping me out seeing Bette talk in a Southern accent. But mostly all that other stuff. For more on Beals' decision to take the role, check out her interview at AfterEllen. Stay brave, soldier, stay brave.