As written by GHH member, TVAcademic

I'm bothered...a lot...by the corresponding Lisa and Claire story lines.  These are semiotic stories, not based on character but on symbol, and they therefore scream some messages that I think we, as a community of women living in a post-feminist world, should be philosophically concerned with.  They are as follows:

  • A man's bedroom prowess can turn an otherwise reasonable woman into a vengeful demon;
  • Women who put all their attention on their career have made an irreversible error and will live to regret this decision when they are faced with the missed opportunity of love, commitment, and family;
  • Women who are used by men are in the wrong if they actually complain about it.
Okay, so before we get ahead of ourselves, let's evaluate each of these assumptions.  The first seems relatively clear, and the repetition of theme in two stories occurring at once clearly demonstrates a pattern, not a one-off.  Apparently, both Patrick and Sonny are such incredible sexual partners that they can melt the cold heart (because what else can a woman driven by career alone be but cold?) of the female professional.  That one's pretty easy.  The second is a little more coded a message; however, both Lisa and Claire have alluded to the fact that, by focusing on career and feigning ambivalence about more traditional feminine desires, they have made some sort of error that they now wish to correct.  They are the quintessential Disney witch--on the cusp of missing the love boat due to age and isolation, and angry at the whole world for decisions clearly their own.  Lastly, because they overreact to the men's perfectly reasonable (though admittedly hurtful) rejection of them, they become the victimizer (I'm talking symbolically here) for raking these virile men over the coals.  After all, boys will be boys, but--tee hee hee--they're so delicious!

This trope--a woman scorned--is nothing new, not in literature or film and certainly not in soaps.  But these dueling storylines draw out some underlying societal assumptions, intentionally reiterated or not (I sort of believe that these knee-jerk stories are so prevalent in the writers' bag-o-tricks that they are unaware of latent messaging) that have plagued women--professional women, particularly--through the liberation decades.  The (hurtful) message is this: Career comes with a cost, and if you do not find balance between career and love/family (men do not need to do this; women make living in two worlds possible for them through expected and accepted sacrifice), you will end up distorted, like party-goers in a Goya painting.

Lastly, because both of these characters are throw-aways (they've not been on the canvas very long nor are they entrenched in family and GH history), so is their legitimacy.  They are easily tossed off, doubly reinforcing the validity of these coded messages.  And, sadly, there's no room left for debate because, alas, Lisa and Claire have no real agency in the overall debate, which they default-lose through their marginalization as women and is reinforced by their marginalization as extraneous characters.