“Transparent” recap (2.3): New World Coming

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“Does she have a pussy pussy?” Maura asks Davina as they sip on their hangover coffee. Shea got a little action last night with the marine they were all dancing with. The girls observe how much Shea is the picture of morning-after-party perfection. “She’ll get there,” Shea says to Davina after confirming that, YASS QUEEN, everything’s real below deck. Maura gives her best impression, too, which is notably weak at first—but Maura saying, “Yesss…queen” is the new YASS QUEEN. She’ll get there, too.

Sarah is dropping her kids off at school when she runs into Barb (Tig Notaro), running a Nitty Gritty Committee for trash cleanup. Sarah asks if Barb wants to go get coffee, and Barb immediately shuts that down. “Sorry if my boundary is your trigger,” says Barb. At least Tammy is MIA. 

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But clearly, the most interesting meet-up today involves Maura having lunch with her old Berkeley colleague, bringing along Ali for a new introduction and maybe unspoken moral support because that’s their energetic Moppa-daughter bond. Joining the group for lunch is Leslie Mackinaw (played by the legendary Cherry Jones.) Ali recognizes her name, and Leslie confirms she’s a poet. They chat for a minute about the women’s studies department being renamed to gender studies. “Woman is a dirty word around here,” says Leslie, bonding with Ali.

Leslie explains that she applies for the editorial board at Berkeley every year for a decade, and Maura blocked her each and every time—her and her sisters in arms. Maura realizes now what’s happening: Leslie was a member of the radical feminist group, Berkeley 7. Ali watches Maura’s face the entire time Leslie is speaking. How is Maura digesting the reminder that she only selected men to the editorial board (plus the one woman with big tits—so says Leslie)? Maura is apologetic, assuming it’s crucial she inform Leslie that the event was one that she does not agree with or stand behind now, one that she hardly remembers. And sure, Leslie’s reaction speaks for itself: “Why would you remember it?” It was something that happened to Leslie, and to all of the other women—being denied and rejected and looked over, by men. Leslie’s rhetorical question implies that because Maura grew up with white male privilege, she can’t possibly feel what Leslie experienced.

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Later on at Maura’s support group, the women are discussing inappropriate questioning from internally transphobic, stuck people. They notice Maura’s being extra quiet today. She explains she was reunited with Leslie—describing the radical feminist group. “They thought we were holding them back. We did. We held them back.” Maura recognizes her past privileges in a male-dominated world to the group. “I hurt people,” she says.

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