After that meeting, we take some time to check on Mattie.
After her editor rejected her story, she decided to go drink with Charles Collingridge. She also genuinely thinks that Francis Urquhart is her friend and is trying to help her. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this before, and I’m starting to annoy myself at this point…but MATTIE, RUN. That’s been my reaction to every interaction between Mattie and Urquhart so far. Even when Mattie is thinking about Urquhart between their meetings, I can’t help but feel the urge to pull my hair out at the blatant toxicity of Urquhart’s behavior. She keeps throwing herself into these situations with no regard for how clearly dangerous they are, she just keeps on ignoring those red flags.
I get it, it’s tempting to ignore red flags when faced with what could be a boost for your career. It’s sure tempting to say to yourself that you have control of the situation, but Mattie certainly doesn’t have any control of this situation here.
I think that some feelings I have about Mattie (and Penny to an extent) are becoming clearer as I think about this book more and more. She makes some weird and inconsistent choices. She seems to act in a way that contradicts how her character is set up. I don’t know if she’s supposed to be a character that puts up a competent facade when she doesn’t really know what she does it. If she’s faking it until she makes it, then she has a lot of faking left to do.
It’s no secret that journalists and politicians have a tendency to butt heads. Given Micheal Dobbs’ background in politics, I can’t help but think that he may have some bias that’s showing here, whether he meant it or not. Then again, I admit that I may have the opposite bias myself, given that I’m involved in journalism. Still, Mattie feels like a kind of wishy-washy character. I want to like her. I REALLY want to like her. I admit that it probably shows some bias, but I want to root for the journalist in a political thriller. But Mattie seems to be making some pretty rookie mistakes for someone that’s a political correspondent for a major newspaper. I mean she’s the only correspondant that the Chronicle sent for this party event. In a newspaper based in London, there would likely be a team of journalists to help cover the political beat, so Mattie must have some major skills to be trusted as the ONLY correspondent there. So what is she doing getting drunk with Charles Collingridge?
I think that I need to get more into Penny and Mattie in the future. For now, I’m putting a pin in the severe lack of women in House of Cards. Mattie and Penny are the only ones that don’t exist pretty much as somebody’s wife. And for now, I’m going to put a pin in the subtle sexism that comes with referring to men by their surnames and women by their first names, especially in professional or political settings. I feel like the sexism of House of Cards is a post unto itself.
I realize that I didn’t actually get into that much plot here, but like I said in my last post, it’s moving along a little slowly. It sets up the later twists, but it also gives me time to really meditate on the more frustrating flaws that I notice as I read.