I like a lot of primetime TV this season. Wednesday night’s a great lineup. I like Mercy, Glee, Top Chef, and then of course The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Unfortunately, last night reminded us that there are some very negative portrayals of women going on that I find very disappointing.
I really like Mercy, the new hospital drama on NBC. It focuses on three women, which is nice. Unfortunately, they’re all nurses, and so far, it seems they’re all portrayed as generally weak and having to overcome their emotional issues.
Then we have Glee, which of course I love, but the women are also all portrayed quite poorly. Terri is super possessive of her husband and is faking a pregnancy to keep him committed. Now Quinn is trying to use Terri’s need of a real baby to get financial support. And Emma the neat freak is so desperate to not be an old maid that she’s going to marry Ken Tanaka? Of course, Rachel only rejoined the Glee Club to be around Finn, and Sue is an angry lesbian.
Heaven forbid women ever be portrayed as confident and self-sustaining without being bitches or psychotic.
If all that weren’t enough for Wednesday nights, here comes Comedy Central’s Secret Girlfriend.
The entire premise of the show assumes (literally here, folks) that the viewer is a straight male obsessed with having sex with women. Also, all of the women on the show look like strippers (even the ones who aren’t actually strippers), and the only thing they care about is having sex with men. To call it disgusting would be an understatement. And even though there is the “secret girlfriend” who isn’t a filthy whore (she’s actually quite a sweetheart), she does not redeem the show or the horrible contemptibility of the male protagonists.
It would be nice to think that women are making progress towards equality in our society, but the way the media is still eager and willing to portray them suggests there is a long way to go. To all those women out there who are better than that and working their asses off to be the best they can be, keep it up. Until we get to a day when these portrayals are obsolete and women aren’t constantly demonized, we won’t achieve proper equality.