You know, when B&B’s Jackie and Owen started their affair, I was totally on board. I thought it was fun, sexy, and a great way to revitalize Jackie while also highlighting how freaking awesome Lesley-Anne Down is. What a difference a month makes. Because now…? I am so creeped out. What began as an older woman/younger man tale that makes Honey Bear and Donna look tame has turned into a truly uncomfortable story of sexual coercion and harassment in the work place. I’m sure it could be seen as a feminist subversion of the trope where an older man dominates a younger woman and gets what he wants…but I think that’s me trying to use my English degree to explain what’s just incredibly disturbing no matter which gender is in the power seat. The last few episodes alone have hit my squicks in a huge way.
Jackie: You don’t have to think, you know. You don’t have to think about Bridget. You don’t have to think about anything. Just enjoy it.
Owen: Look, Jackie, you are my fantasy. Oh my god, we are good together. But I am interested in a woman who I can have a future with, and somebody that I can have children with. All right? And Bridget, she needs a man of her word, and I want to be that for her.
Jackie: Then that is what you should be. You should be a man of your word on the unemployment line. You continue to see Bridget. You can sleep with her, if she’ll let you. But you try to put an end to us, and that could be the end of your career.
Owen: No, you wouldn’t do that to me.
Jackie: Of course I would.
And then there was today’s episode, where Jackie called Owen away from a date with Bridget, to the Jackie M steam room, to perform on command. I cringed.
Watching Owen repeatedly tell Jackie that he wants to be with Bridget and then be told that his job is on the line if he doesn’t answer Jackie’s call is not fun. When Jackie demands he strip and then helps herself to his shirt buttons? It’s icky. Just imagine a male character saying those kinds of things to a female one or undressing her when she’s clearly in a state of unease. Would that be sexy? Would that be hot? No, it would be grounds for a lawsuit!
originally posted on soapoperaweekly.com