This entire season is, of course, hugely emotional. With that in mind, it must be stated that whatever I state here will inevitably lack any sort of intelligent discourse. I am running off of pure emotion as I finish my repeated journey through season 4 of Orange is the new Black. Good. Now that we have established you are reading the opinion of a brainless twat, we can continue.
The first time I finished this season, it would be easy to say I had a lot of questions. What season of any show leaves one without questions to be answered? It is the nature of media to leave the mind of the viewer wondering after whichever loose ends have been introduced, or what cliffhangers keep one intrigued enough to care when the next season/movie/book/installment comes into the world.
This time around, I had one question only, and it isn’t original by any means. I wondered, “Why Daya?”
I don’t know the real answer. I’m not smart enough for that. However, I have my own answer after rewatching, and I can’t help but share it because even if it is way off base, I feel it is super important.
We see more than one woman experience pregnancy and caring for children throughout the show, that much is clear. Hell, motherhood is a central theme. Still, I see Daya as the most visceral experience of motherhood in this setting and in this story. Her baby is seen not only as a problem for the generic white male guard Bennett, but also as a solution to rid the prison of the most corrupt generic white male guard present at the time, Pornstache. We see Daya suffer, we watch as she copes with her child being a problem as well as a solution, the humanity of mother and child itself morphed into this strange yet necessary dynamic of, “how do we turn the actual beauty of life into something useful?” To be certain, it is a journey.
Before I get too off base with that, let’s just fast forward to the point I’m trying to make here. Daya, at the end of season 4, holds the gun against possibly the most sick and twisted man presented to us in this series–Humphrey. I mean Pornstache at least had an infinitesimal amount of decency in that he cared for a child that he thought was his…? Perhaps Piscatella is worse, and that is certainly an argument that can be made. Also the other white male guard who did some of the worst shit you could imagine while deployed. Whatever. All men suck. Especially the white ones. For the sake of this argument, let’s say that Humphrey is portrayed as the worst this season, because we witness him inflicting psychological mayhem upon Maritza. He uses his power to do whatever the fuck he wants, which is nothing short of torture, a repo of female agency, and unmitigated corruption. Basically every single factor we have been shown in this show that is wrong with privileged males calling the shots in a women’s prison.
This is why Daya holds the gun.
The essence of motherhood, of womanhood, of everything it is to be an oppressed female of color in our modern society and the very gender that allows any of us to exist, is placed against this absolute abomination of male existence. It is the comeuppance of everything Woman, given the choice to put down the sick, rabid dog that is Man. It is the cliffhanger and the question anyone who truly considers themselves a feminist inevitably wonders. Is it morally correct to simply kill that which plagues us? Whether Humphrey deserves it doesn’t really matter, when the scene is placed in this context. Does the male gender, with all that it has done to oppress, intimidate, and control women over the course of, I don’t know, all of history ever–deserve to finally be put down?
I wonder at the mind that sees the moral value of this as, “no life should be taken as such. Administer punishment otherwise, and let them live in the hopes that they will learn, that they will do better.”
At this point, with all that has occurred, with everything currently occurring in our nation, in the world at large…I mean…fuck them. Fuck us. Fuck men and their relentless disregard for half of the human race, and fuck white men in particular for using their privilege to further cause harm to people of color, women of color, and women as a whole.
I don’t have the mental fortitude to argue a possible reason for Daya, or the show’s writers, to allow Humphrey/a symbol of male power and privilege, a single additional breath.
Pull the trigger, Daya. Do us all a favor. Shoot the patriarchy right in its dumb fucking face, once and for all.