Q&A with Lisa Edelstein
LE: I think she has a very common struggle for women right now, which is how do you define your life when what you've done with your life is not the picture that was handed to you when you were a little girl? Our generation for sure was handed the picture that we were going to get married and have children. That was primary to what our experience is going to be, and then we were also going to have a career. I had a board game called "What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?" and the options were nurse, teacher, model, nanny. It was like really, there were four options and each one had a little outfit and you had to figure out what your personality was best for. That was a game in the '70s. So, the fact is that we're not those women. While we were raised with a '60s mentality, we were raised post-'60s so women's rights and women's equality were assumed and not fought for. So we started off with this very confusing message and now all these women have gone on to achieve great things and have these lives, some getting married and then getting divorced because the way marriage was structured in terms of how we were raised does not actually work in terms of who we are as a society today. Not to say that marriage can't work, but it doesn't work in the old-fashioned way. So trying to really find your female identity is a big challenge for our generation. What does it mean to a successful woman today? Does it mean you have to be a mother? If you are a mother, does it mean you have to be a mother with a husband? If you don't have a husband, what is the role that the man plays? I think there are a lot of confusing things that we're all really still sorting out. It will be interesting to see what the girls who are growing up now turn into.
All that is to say, Cuddy is an extremely current character. It is extremely current to be a high-powered woman who doesn't have a relationship, who wants a child and gets a child and has to sort out how to manage all that. And I think on some level, females have become so self-sufficient that men have to find their role in things.