Clique drastically missed the feminist mark and here’s why

Saying that women don’t work hard enough is just bullshit

Clique is the newest TV show out there targeted at and trying to represent uni students, focusing on what life is like as part of an elite club at “a university in Scotland”.

To give you the rundown, the show follows fresher Holly as she starts her business course led by the formidable Jude McDermid (a big name in the show’s fictional business world). Being weirdly obsessed with them from the off, she gets caught up in the drugs and scandal of Jude’s ‘girls’ who all intern at Solasta Finance. Oh, and of course there’s Holly’s supposedly life long friend, Georgia, who gets initiated into the clique first, much to Holly’s confusion and jealousy. There’s also suicide, sex, and a whole lot of drugs.

BFFs 4eva

The show markets itself for and about strong, developed female characters but in reality, the show seriously misses its mark. From the first episode, we’re introduced to the skewed ideas and morals of Louise Brealey’s Jude Mcdermid, the mouthpiece of Solasta finance, and boy does she run with it.

Solasta Finance’s mouthpiece in action

Jude’s supposedly feminist mantra is that women these days don’t push themselves anymore. Sexism in the workplace doesn’t exist, she says. It’s merely a façade that women hide behind to avoid doing the difficult things that men do, and we’ve become lazy since we were given equal rights to work.

Newsflash: This is the biggest load of bullshit I have ever heard.

Most modern women are hard working, tough, driven, eager to embrace challenges – anything but lazy. This is because we still have to be all of these things and more in order to be taken seriously. And, uh, sexism still exists. Like a lot. Which, I think Jude began to get through her head by the end of the series, due to the revelation that her brother and his business associate was sexually harassing girls who wanted higher positions. This happens daily across the world and men are still allowed to get away with it (grab them by the pussy ring any bells?).

Still happens (Credit: Rosea Lake)

Another of my biggest pet peeves about the show though, is how eager they are to impress and to seem ‘torn’.

The writer obviously wanted them to seem down-to-earth, raw, and real – by showing them expressing their emotions by doing anything other than that. Holly is hurt that her best friend is leaving her to go play with her new, cooler, friends (completely bitchy and immature thing to do by the way) and Georgia is upset that her ex bff is jealous over the fact that she’s taking opportunities and meeting new people. Do they talk about it like adults and explain why they’re upset? Heck no. They just go round in circles with the passive aggressive communications.

Yeah you’re doing my head in too, Holly

The rest of the time, the girls in the clique are dealing with the suicide of their best friend (are you seriously going to play this down?) by going to parties and doing drugs, basically doing everything they can to seem emotional and “torn but if you ask me I’m going to say I’m fine.” This is just so boring. Lets have some well-rounded female characters who actually represent girls at university.

In a show about and for young women, its unhelpful views on feminism and its unrepresentative female characters mean it arguably missed and alienated its target audience.

Clique is still available to watch on BBC iPlayer.