Just like everyone else right now, I too am obsessed with the FX docu-series chronicling the true events behind The People Vs. O.J Simpson: America Crime Story!
Tuesday nights have become an emotional mind-f*ck as I am dedicated to reliving the breakdown of the case evidence, courtroom antics, and private accounts of what really went on. This historical trial set off a cultural and social divide within our country. Over twenty years later, the mass public is still battling with the same power struggles, highlighting racial issues, sexism/gender inequalities in the workforce, and of course media manipulation… Go figure!
When I was in the 3rd grade the teacher had rolled in a 21 inch box set television (otherwise known as an artifact) on a 5 foot platform dolly as our entire class anticipated the announcement of the verdict.
Then, I recall the strangest thing… I specifically remember cheering and being happy. Honestly, WTF did I know?
Looking back, it is crazy for me to even acknowledge that reality was able to be distorted or presented to me in such a way where I simply didn’t question…ya know, kind of like when someone tells you if you give a jolly fat guy cookies, he will leave the latest toys for you once a year. Anyway, it is what it is.
However, now as an adult, I am not only riveted by the performances of every single actor on the show, captivating me week to week, but I find myself invested deeper than I ever could have imagined. And I question everything.
As each episode progresses, I am personally identifying the most with former Los Angeles prosecutor Marcia Clark on various levels. Marcia Clark recently stated that Ryan Murphy’s depiction thus far has been so accurate it’s “painful to watch”. As a woman of a particular age, I am constantly evolving with growing pains and experience allowing me to relate, connect and empathize with her character passionately- only thing is… She isn’t “a character”! She is a real person. This seriously happened.
As far as I insight, her biggest mistake was believing that people were intelligent enough to use logic and basic cognitive thinking. Through the defenses strong, bias techniques and intense strategy, the prosecution failed in their attempt on the indictment of The Juice simply because they were under the impression that people had enough common sense to think exactly like them. WRONG! Poor f*cking Marcia Clark… But I get it, I do the same thing daily.
Clark was and is a powerhouse female who’s #bosslady tendencies left her labeled with a negative reputation and apparently an audience’s right to name call and judge. But who was on trial here I ask, Clark or Simpson? Sound familiar? Women of 2016 know the drill.
Other similar threads between the millennial woman and Marcia Clark include…
Most of us ladies are walking around with seemingly good intentions- especially in our places of business as industry professionals. Marcia Clark was no different. Oftentimes, we lose track of the ultimate tragedy of the trial. Her goal wasn’t about “winning” for sport, she was focused on the task at hand- to establish a sense of justice for the victims and their families. A woman’s innate, nurturing nature turns into a force to be reckoned with when it comes to doing the right thing. Marcia Clark, we got you!
Trusting in People
I am a firm believer that it isn’t healthy to live life without people you can trust. However, the thing is, you can trust a person, you cannot trust people. Piggy backing off the biggest miscalculation of the examination, society bought into an illusion rather than the facts. Marcia Clark overestimated her trust in the public. I hate to say it, but in this world…productive paranoia is key. Always trust that people will do the wrong thing in order to protect and prevent undesirable outcomes. Sometimes it takes us longer than it should to figure this one out.
Another common denominator that hasn’t changed over the course of two decades- fighting to have it all. As a divorced mother of two and career driven attorney, Marcia had to juggle the extremes and she was abused for it. Badgered for being aggressive during the trial, her mothering skills were then publicly challenged. Vise versa in all regards. When her intimate circumstances were addressed in front of the jury, she was then criticized for reaching her emotional breaking point saying she couldn’t hack it up against these men. Bottom line, a mother’s role is ongoing. You can’t clock out at 5:00 p.m., same in her position as a leader on the prosecution team. Reflecting back, hopefully most understand she was slightly provoked under the conditions, but her tears in the courtroom were not that of a woman’s. They were human. Everyone can appreciate that.
Classic catch 22, if you are a woman with an opinion, one who stands up for yourself, or shows passion and conviction, you are at risk for being called an unstable b*tch. Deal with it. Marcia did.
People Only Caring About Your Looks
Try to be more likable they said.
Change your hairstyle they said.
Are you F*CKING kidding me? Is this a sick joke? This is what Marcia was being told at the time and it still reigns true today, only worse with internet and online social media. Every job I have had, someone has told me I need to where more makeup or dress a certain way to sell myself. I’m not talking looking neat and presentable either, I’m talking your full blown Saturday night regale. I’m there to work, not be eye candy for my male counterparts. How is this relevant? Obviously, Marcia was smart enough and able enough to be in charge and run the show, but was anyone even listening to what she was saying, or were they to busy spotlighting her fashion or rating her level of attraction. All the evidence in the world, but no one actually heard her. Her “makeover” was an actual turning point of the drama.
My absolute favorite discovery about Marcia Clark… Did someone say Happy Hour?
Marcia Got Down
When it is time to get the job done, she showed spirit and power, but in a social setting, Marcia showed soul and the ability to throw back a couple. Her relationship with Chris Darden may never be totally revealed or confirmed, but not only did we see Marcia “drop it like it’s hot” among him and his boys, she also schooled a bunch of naysayers while out in the bar scene. Perhaps, if she showed that dynamic comfort and confidence in court, the results would have been different. But that isn’t really fair to say either.
Marcia Clark was one of the first female professionals to endure this kind of scrutiny in the public eye while trying to command control and deliver a fair case with proper legality.
Although unsuccessful at chartering a truthful appeal regarding the crime of the century, twenty years later women see how their lives still mirror the same trials and tribulations.