Olivia Pope is/was dating a very married man with children. She knew he was married with kids when it started. She saw his wife e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y. And she kept on seeing him. Smiled in his wife's face daily. She walked away when his wife let her know that there was no secret, she was fully aware of their relationship.
As a married woman, with a strong disdain for "loose women", I should hate her now. All of the awesome things about her should go right out of the window. She's just another slut, right? But I don't. In fact, sometimes I cheer her on, "Way to go mistress!!!!" And then I catch myself cheering for the evil Mellie, a part of me shouts "Right On!" whenever she says "my husband" in Olivia's presence. "My husband" aka "you are a non *bleeping* factor."
If you really look at it, Olivia and Fitz's relationship is very much like many real-life affairs:
- They met at work - Not the club, not an internet dating site, not out trolling for booty. Work. Where men and women interact all day. I met my husband at work.
- He's got game - Yes lawd! He tells her all the right things "I can't breathe without you", "I wish I met you first", "I only love you", "I'm willing to give it all up....". But he doesn't. How is this different than every other line dropped by a married man? "My wife doesn't understand me like you do", "I only stay for the kids".
- Olivia isn't after his money - There stereotype paints women who see married guys as gold diggers. They're opportunists. Olivia has a job, she makes money - she hasn't asked Fitz for anything.
- Olivia isn't proud - Unlike the hoochies that are the stereotype and that love to call into urban radio, Liv isn't shouting from the rooftops that she's banging a married guy. She has shame.
The comment was made yesterday that it's okay that we like Olivia because she's a fictional character. And while that may be true that's not a real reason. We like Olivia because we "knew" her first. We see the other sides of her, we want her to be happy, we want her to be successful. Our morals are never black and white, it's always a shade of grey. There are very few things that we can say we are truly absolute about. In real life we don't completely shut people out because they do something that we don't agree with. I may not condone the behavior, but I can accept you anyway.
Oh, and the biggest reason why we can like Olivia Pope - she's not sleeping with our husbands.