On-screen and in-life, women must live for others, through others. Even when they are "strong, powerful, independent" characters the learned misogyny instilled within us subtly (or not so subtly) renders them as labor more than as people, and Mildred Pierce exemplifies such impossible standards: as Mildred she must cook, clean, and care for her two daughters after their father leaves for his mistress, and she works all day at a restaurant and works all night baking pies, a woman who resolutely climbs her way up and becomes a successful businesswoman so that she can provide everything her daughters will ever need.
But sometimes the people we do everything for will never appreciate our love for them, and the things we do for these people we love will bite and tear and destroy us instead – at least until they destroy themselves.
"Personally, Veda's convinced me that alligators have the right idea. They eat their young."