Question: What makes the perfect feminist?
Is it someone that does every single thing right at all times? I struggle with this concept every day and it aggravates the hell out of me. And right now, my love/hate feelings towards Beth and Rio on Good Girls has me second guessing myself and my feminism.
If you need a quick rundown, Good Girls is a show about three friends (two of them sisters) who get so fed up with their mundane lives that they decide to rob a grocery store to get out of a financial gutter.
They soon find out, however, that the money at the store was actually a part of a money laundering business, lead by crime boss Rio. This encounter leads the women to start pushing drugs for Rio in order to pay back what they owe him.
From the moment I watched the show, I clocked the sexual tension between Beth (Christina Hendricks) and Rio (Manny Montana) and I loved it. I impatiently watched every time they stood too close to each other or stared at each other for too long. Just waiting for them to get the deed done, but that didn’t happen.
Before the second season premiered, Montana spoke to MEAWW about Rio and Beth and said,
“I think they’re on totally different sides of the spectrum…mix that with the adrenaline rush of what they’re getting into, I think there can’t be a lot of sex in the air.”
The moment of truth came a few weeks ago on season two episode four.
I was LIVING through the entire scene — it was spontaneous, steamy and long overdue. But I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of guilt while watching it. I knew Beth shouldn’t have gotten involved with Rio, but if you’ve watched the show, then you know Rio is fine. Honestly, I just feel guilty every time Rio comes on the screen. It’s one of the many times out of the week where I feel like a crappy feminist.
Rio isn’t exactly the best person on the planet. He’s toxic, aggressive, plays emotional mind games and manipulates Beth every chance he gets. He uses his aggression and macho attitude to show Beth that he’ll always have control. He’s literally everything I’m against, yet, I was attracted to him from the start.
Deep down, I know Beth should be on her own. She’s a boss bitch and did what she needed to do for her family when her cheating husband practically bankrupted them. And even with Rio’s suave attitude and smooth talking ways, I know Beth is too good for him too.
I condemn toxic masculinity every chance I get and talk about how important it is for women to see the signs of manipulative men. Hell, I went through a whole rant about how terrible Archie Andrews is. But here I am contradicting myself when it comes to Rio, who’s way more dangerous than Archie.
I have to remind myself that I would always protect my friends and myself from men like Rio. Because at the end of the day, it’s a TV show, so I try not to beat myself up about it. It also makes me feel a little better that the actor Manny Montana is a feminist, immigrants rights activist, and husband to a beautiful Black woman who he worships when he’s not playing Rio.
If you’re in the same boat as me, just remember, that a perfect feminist is flawed. We all have our vices and guilty pleasures. A perfect feminist grows and learns to make themselves better. And as long as you’re doing what you need to do to grow, don’t let anyone make you feel bad if you don’t check off every mark on the “perfect feminist” checklist.
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Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.