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NJ Daily

House of Spoilers?

Was Louise Slaughter a muse for a scene in House of Cards?(Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

photo of Billy House
February 19, 2014

"Spoiler alert" concerns apparently do not come into play when a member of Congress wants credit for inspiring one of the story lines in the Netflix series House of Cards.

Rep. Louise Slaughter's office sent out a news release Wednesday saying that an episode in the newly released second season draws from one of her own exploits—when she convinced the Air Force to discontinue a brochure that suggests to sexual-assault victims that "it may be advisable to submit than to resist."

The press release even pinpoints the reference as occurring at the 29:45 mark of the fifth episode, titled "Chapter 17"—for those who may want to double-check.

 

That's when (and this is where the spoiler material comes in) Claire Underwood, the wife of the main character, Congressman-turned-Vice President Frank Underwood, and the first lady meet with representatives from the Joint Chiefs on the issue of sexual assault in the military.

When the officers defend the current system, Ms. Underwood brings up the brochure: "This is from your own sexual-assault prevention literature, and in it, it says 'in some cases it may be advisable to submit than to resist.' I think it's quite clear that there's still room for improvement."

Here's why Slaughter, the ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, thinks she was the muse for that scene.

In May of 2013, Slaughter sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel questioning a real-life brochure which was circulated at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. In addition to suggesting "it may be advisable to submit than to resist," the brochure also advised potential victims of sexual assault on the base to "consider rolling under a nearby auto and scream loud."

After Slaughter's inquiry, the Air Force pulled the brochure and agreed to conduct a thorough review of all sexual-assault prevention materials distributed by the military.

Slaughter released a short video in July when she learned of the Defense Department's policy change.

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