In the mood for a little vintage True Blood? We're going deep, deep down into the wine cellar for this one, dear friends...all the way back to Season 3 ;-)
Remember the Episode 8 showdown between Russell and Bill in front of Sookie's house? Here's a quick recap.
Bill and Jessica had gone over to defend Sookie from Debbie and her werewolves. It was looking pretty good - vamps: 1, weres: 0 - when, before Bill could stop her, Jessica chased a fleeing wolf out the door and onto the front lawn where the King of Mississippi was waiting. Of course, he couldn't enter a human's residence; instead, he waited in stealth mode for an opportunity such as the one that had presented itself when Jessica ran straight into his evil clutches.
Bill - who was on the way up the stairs to give aid to Sookie - wavered for a moment before stepping out onto the porch in defense of his progeny. Challenging Russell, Bill asked the king if he was a coward or just plain lazy; hiding behind werewolves and the struggling baby vamp he was about to sink his fangs into. "How about you and I settle this amongst men", Bill growled.
This next part is rich. Russell - in almost the same breath as he derided Bill for his sexism ("How very sexist of you, Bill. When it comes to killing, I've always been an equal opportunist.") - suggested, "I'll trade you the red one for the blond one". S3E8 Night On The Sun
Smacks of some of the essentialist concepts laid out in my post You Smell Like Dinner, i.e. women are not real subjects, complex and distinct but “infinitely substitutable beings”; objects branded with the “mark of the plural” (Rivera, 2003, p. 145 & 147), huh?
Me thinks King Russell hath shown his true [misogynist] colors!
And let's not forget some of his other most revealing gems, several of which were uttered in the Titanic-esque, patriarchal king-of-the-world plantation manor setting of 9 Crimes (S3E4) - complete with blood brandy and cigars...
...like the Rudyard Kipling quote he worked into his conversation with Bill; "A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke."
Or this lovely sentiment - apparently all his own in the sense that it wasn't lifted from a late 19th & early 20th century literary figure who celebrated British imperialism - although likely not foreign to the worldviews of many other men; "Tug on her purse strings, and you'll find a lady's heart".
It seems to me that these patronizing, dismissive attitudes would have been right at home in the dark wood paneled and opulently furnished retreats of Gilded Age wealthy men. Places where they could bathe in their power and the arrogance of their lording over their women, children, and servants shone through their masks of etiquette like the sun through clouds. Havens where their positions of authority both in the home and in the world of business were reinforced; their sexism [and other "isms"] likely met with a wink and a smile.