I must admit, I was on the slow bus when it came to the political Netflix series, House of Cards. After seeing both my Twitter and Facebook streams flooded with tidbits from the third season a few weeks ago, I decided to start at the very beginning and work my way to the just released third season. After the first episode, I was hooked, line and sinker, and thus began my infatuation with the show—it is truly a work of art and at the very least, a fascinating case study.
The main character, Frank Underwood (played magnificently by Golden Globe winner Kevin Spacey) is the draw and marquee player, but it is the women who I feel most drawn to (and who at times, steals the thunder from their Alpha Male counterparts). The women and their complexities, their hang-ups, their power struggles playing in the big leagues called a man’s world all have me both loathing them, yet identifying with them at certain points. The three strongest female power players, Claire Underwood, Jacqueline “Jackie” Sharp, and Heather Dunbar prove that they are in the game to win, no damsel in distress for these ladies.
But they while they all have power in common, how they calculate their chess moves while reaching for their goals are quite different. Which begs the question, are you a Claire, a Jackie, or Heather? When it comes to The Women of House of Cards, which face card would you draw?
Claire Underwood is FLOTUS and is the definition of the word power. She exudes it, relishes in it, and seems to be addicted to it. When it comes to controlling a situation and getting what she wants, Claire usually ends up on top. She is smart, cutthroat, and wields an authority that dominates everyone, including her husband. If you think that Frank is a captain, well Claire would be his underboss. Definitely not the face of the organization, but the one pulling the strings.
What I like about Claire is that she is no shrinking violet. She’s consistent and very rarely shows emotion in stressed situations professionally. Everything about her outward appearance is put together, from her haircut, to her designer duds, to her impeccable makeup application. So much so, that it shows that while she looks like she has it all together, she is slowly but surely coming undone.
Claire is a take no prisoners type of gal with high expectations. But her strengths also become her weaknesses, which can certainly be used against her if one studied her closely.
Jacqueline “Jackie” Sharp
Jackie is quite the survivor. With her medaled military career to her current political ambitions as congresswoman (and more), she is a hardworking chick who likes to think she doesn’t play sides. She’s used her time in the service to make adversaries and fuel her political carer. Like Claire, she can be calculating and abrasive, but unlike Claire, she isn’t willing to completely sell out to get ahead. She wants to be known by climbing the political rope on her own without any boosting from others, something she’s been able to do (so far). But with the possibly of being given more, would she risk it all for a piece of the pie? Who knows?
She has mixed business with pleasure a time or two, but didn’t confuse it with love. She’s self-confident, self- assured, and self-aware. Unlike Claire, she is generally well liked and can count on others for favors.
Heather knows how to make enemies, and isn’t afraid to do so. She’s extremely smart, diligent, hard working, and knows how to get results without cheating. She’s not interested in the power struggle as much as she is in doing things “right”, something that Claire nor Jackie give much concern about. As a legal eagle, she knows the law and is articulate, smooth under pressure, and is not afraid of Frank Underwood.
She’s a true BOSS chick.
While Claire and Jackie use sex appeal (and sex) to get what they want, Heather uses her mind. And this is a valuable asset, as she knows how to use her intelligence to get the ball rolling in her favor.
So when it comes to The Women of House of Cards, which one are you? Claire, Jackie, or Heather?
I can honestly say that while I am a combination of all three, I think I am most like Jackie. Of course, I didn’t have a military career or run for office, but I am a survivor of other things, and I have used that to fuel my passion and purpose, much like Jackie has.
Are you a House of Cards fan? Are you still binging on Season 3? I am about halfway done, and now that I am in the rhythm of the characters, I kinda see where this one is going.
No spoilers, please.