Congresswoman Slaughter Very Proud of House of Cards Reference

The scene where Claire Underwood confronts military commanders with their controversial brochure. (screengrab: Netflix)

The scene where Claire Underwood confronts military commanders with their controversial brochure. (screengrab: Netflix)

New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has broken the ultimate rule in Washington politics, blasting out a spoiler to the hit Netflix series House of Cards.

In a press release this morning, Ms. Slaughter’s office touted the fact that a scene in the show’s second season references her work on military sexual assault prevention, specifically a decision by the Air Force to discontinue using a brochure that advised victims of assault that “it may be advisable to submit than to resist.”

“In the newly-released second season of the series, 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 to address the issue of sexual assault in the military,” said the release. “When the military representatives defend the current system, Ms. Underwood brings up the offending 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.’”

Luckily for fans of the show who haven’t reached the fifth episode, that’s all the veteran Rochester-area congresswoman said.

The brochure has apparently attracted quite a bit of Hollywood attention. It was also featured in an episode of Law and Order: SVU, her office said.

See the full press release below:

***Press Release***

“House Of Cards” Scene References Rep. Slaughter’s Work on Military Sexual Assault Prevention

WASHINGTON – A scene in the hit Netflix series “House of Cards” references Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s (D-NY) successful effort to convince the Air Force to discontinue a brochure that suggested to victims of a sexual assault, “it may be advisable to submit than to resist.”

In the newly-released second season of the series, 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 to address the issue of sexual assault in the military. When the military representatives defend the current system, Ms. Underwood brings up the offending 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.”

The reference occurs at the 29:45 mark of the fifth episode, titled “Chapter 17” of season two.

In May of 2013, Rep. Slaughter sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel questioning the real-life brochure – pictured here – 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 instructed potential victims of sexual assault on the base to “consider rolling under a nearby auto and scream loud [sic].”

In June, the Air Force pulled the brochure after Slaughter’s inquiry and agreed to conduct a thorough review of all sexual assault prevention materials distributed by the military.

“No service member wearing the uniform of the United States military should ever be told `it may be advisable to submit than to resist’ in the case of a sexual assault,” Slaughter said upon learning that the brochure would be discontinued. “I am cautiously optimistic about the Pentagon’s agreement to review all sexual assault prevention materials. We have to change the military culture if we want to stop this epidemic of sexual assault, and this response is a step in the right direction and a small victory for victims.”

Rep. Slaughter released a short video in July when she learned of the Defense Department’s policy change: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqab7uPpiBA

The brochure was also the subject of an episode of “Law and Order: SVU” titled “Military Justice.”