Discussion Thread: Rachel Zoe Project

[Trigger warning for reproductive coercion.]

Now, I know that Iain and I cannot be the only people in Shakesville who have a morbid fascination with the Rachel Zoe Project, so, fellow Zoezies, can we discuss last night's episode?

(For those who don't watch: Rachel is Rachel Zoe, celebrity stylist and CEO of her brand. Rodger is her husband, who recently become president of her company after "they" decided she needed someone to take care of the business aspects of the business, while she focused on the creative work.)

The totally not scripted (!) narrative arc to this season has been: Rodger wants a baby. Well, that's the ostensible narrative. The real narrative is something more like: Rodger, who doesn't really have a life of his own separate from Rachel, is increasingly agitated by how much time Rachel spends immersed in her work, how little alone time they have, and how he has to play second fiddle to his wife—and seems to think that coercing her into having a child she isn't sure she wants will force her to pay more attention to her personal life (i.e. him).

Rodger constantly badgers Rachel about her biological clock running out, as do her sister and father, while her hairdresser/friend tells her he comes into work every day just hoping she'll tell him she's pregnant. (Huh?) From all directions, Rachel is being pressured into trying to have a baby, even though she has expressed no desire to have a baby herself and has instead expressed strong reservations about her psychological capacity to handle the physical and emotional strain of a pregnancy.

In last night's episode, her hairdresser/friend asked her incredulously if she expected to be happy with nothing but her job in 15 years (perish the thought!), and Rodger flatly stated he wasn't sure he'd stay with Rachel if she wouldn't try to get pregnant. It wasn't that he was ruefully lamenting, "I don't know if our relationship can make it, because I really want kids someday and I'm not sure Rachel does," but that he was essentially demanding she get on board the baby train NOW or face the consequences.

He is trying to use a pregnancy as a means of control over his wife, who he feels isn't dedicating enough time and attention to him. Which is textbook reproductive coercion.

It is difficult to watch. I don't know where this season is headed, and I'm really fearful about where it's going to go.

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