When Are We Going To Stop Telling Women To Change Their "Attitudes"?

Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME.
Over the last few weeks, no-nonsense senator Kamala Harris has essentially been told to "chill out" twice by her male colleagues during Senate hearings investigating possible collusion between Donald Trump and Russia. At one point, Sen. Richard Burr told the California politician to show some "courtesy," and later, Sen. John McCain cut Sen. Harris off as she questioned an evasive Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. The incidents were widely seen as misogynistic, so my ears quickly pricked up last night when a similar moment went down on Twin Peaks. Of course, the mythic, take no shit Diane (Laura Dern) is involved.
In Twin Peaks "Part 7," the FBI is determined to figure out if the Dale Cooper currently imprisoned in South Dakota is the real Dale Cooper. So, they need someone who knows Cooper better than anyone else to get to the bottom of this. That person is Diane and her blunt blonde bombshell haircut. The only problem is, Diane would rather eat glass than see Dale Cooper ever again. She tells FBI agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) as much when he finally tracks her down. The moment Cooper comes up, the secretary tells the federal agent, "No fucking way," and ends the conversation. Naturally, Agent Rosenfield and FBI Director Gordon Cole (Twin Peaks creator David Lynch) decide the only way to fix this tension is to drop in on Diane early in the morning, unannounced, as she’s seemingly entertaining a male lover.
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She clearly doesn’t want to deal with these guys, but they refuse to take no for an answer. "Now, take it easy Diane, and let’s just sit down, and have a nice simple chat," Cole tells Diane, like she’s being the difficult one in the situation. It’s obvious Cole and Rosenfield should probably be the ones taking it easy, since they're the ones barging into a woman's home, demanding uncomfortable conversations. After handing out personalised "Fuck you's" to Gordon and Albert, the men barrel on with their tone-deaf chat, explaining Cooper is in federal lockup in South Dakota. "Good," Diane says, with a tremble in her voice. Clearly, something went very wrong between Diane and her former employer.
"Diane, this might require a slight change of attitude on your part," Gordon announces, telling Diane to fix her attitude yet again. In her own home. Which he wasn’t invited to. During a conversation Diane doesn’t want. Of course she has “an attitude.” Thankfully, she drops a deeply quotable line, shooting back, "My attitude is none of your fucking business." Gordon and Albert are being rude, and they’re not even asking why Diane is so furious at Cooper, whom she was seemingly friends with for years. But, a later conversation hints Diane has every reason to hate the new Cooper, who’s actually his evil doppelgänger.
After finally agreeing to go visit "Cooper," Diane asks the man she believes is her ex boss when the last time they saw each other was. He demonically answers, "At your house." She asks if he remembers "that night" with an edge in her voice, signalling some tragedy went down. "I’ll always remember that night." Diane’s voice breaks a bit as she responds, "Same for me. I’ll never forget it. Who are you." As she begs "Cooper" to look at her, it becomes evident the person inside the cell — and the person from "that night" — isn’t the real Dale Cooper.
Although no one explains what exactly happened so long ago, it’s heavily hinted E.D. Cooper may have sexually assaulted Diane. If agents Rosenfield and Cole had asked Diane about her side of the story, they would’ve known about this possible trauma. Instead, all they did was tell her to fix her attitude. Some agents they are.
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