What women's rights look like when the two sides come together as one.
What women's rights are when women are no longer manipulated by party rhetoric.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Parity At Last---At Least On This Fall's TV Schedule

Cynthia Ruccia

I woke up today to see in my local paper, The Columbus Dispatch, a front page link to an article from the Contra Costa (Calif) Times about how more than half of the new Fall shows on the networks revolve around a female lead!! Something to celebrate!! Oh I suppose we could grouse about the portrayals in some of these shows such as the one about the Playboy Clubs and other such 50's themed shows. But maybe it isn't such a bad idea to show a new generation what it was like for women before the second wave feminists had their say.

Also, according to the article, more female-themed shows mean more women employed not only in front of the camera but also behind the camera. It's also a long way from the barely nuanced performances of women from not long ago. So although it isn't perfect (see the previous post about a discussion of perfection), it's a milestone all the same!!

Here's the link to the article.


  1. Jen the MichiganderAugust 20, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    It's always encouraging to see signs of progress, wherever we may find them.

  2. I agree with you Jen!!

  3. We will see how it shakes out.

    I would rather see women portrayed as real women in real lives with real bodies wearing clothes that don't objectify them.

    I want to see more TV with women in power but not sexual power. But I may be sour grapes- most of these new shows still sexualize all the women.

    Do we really need more female leads that don't reflect our real lives? What are our daughters going to look up to? Where are their Sheroes?

  4. Hollywood has always employed more women actors when portraying the sex industry. So the employment of actresses has been negatively correlated with the interests of the girls and women in the audience. I don't care about employment conditions for women in Hollywood (and clearly actresses have rarely cared about the female consumer). For my part I only care about female consumers and audience. Is there going to be more shows for us to watch this year? I have been conditioned to expect disappointment from Hollywood and so that is what I expect.

    As far as the Playboy club goes, I would expect it to flop, men who want to watch pornography can do it on the internet for free and women who want to watch a drama can watch them anywhere without tolerating the malecentric, backward, view of sex.

    I will be celebrating TV relative to women when Hollywood starts to take the female consumer seriously and also does something about the offensive tit and asspirational advertising that infects all "women's content". For the record, "women's Content" is content women audiences will pay to consume.

  5. I agree with you Bes. I've seen some of the previews and besides the Playboy thing, I'm thinking that there are going to be portrayals that run the gamut from, well, Playboy bunnies to very nuanced believable women with everything in between. It's progress of sorts, and I'm hoping we'll have more than usual to celebrate.

  6. One interesting thing I've noticed about the Playboy show ads is that they ran these very male perspective ads for the first couple of months and then I noticed a couple of weeks ago the ads had changed to focus around the tough talking "queen bee bunny" who fought her way to the top and is in charge of the other bunnies etc etc gag me etc. So I don't know if they've had complaints about it already or just know how much people like to watch one half-naked chick slap around another half-naked chick... Blech!

    There is one show I've been enjoying on TNT called Rizzoli and Isles.

    About the Show
    Based on characters created by best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen, RIZZOLI & ISLES stars Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli, a tough-as-nails Boston police detective, and Sasha Alexander as Maura Isles, a smart, impeccably dressed medical examiner from a privileged background. Despite being complete opposites, the two women share an offbeat chemistry and strong working relationship that has helped them bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals.

  7. Interesting suggestion Thia, I will TIVO Rizzoli and Isles. I feel like it's "too late" for TV. They have promised women's content and delivered schlock and there is no reason to expect anything different from them, ever. I think the industry is making the only thing they can make, there is no will or innovation to deliver a product women audiences will pay to consume.

    I watch Hungry Girl on Food network which is quick and dirty health conscience food, and also Vampire Diaries with my girls and the local news. That's about it. Unfortunately Hungry Girl's show has been infiltrated with your standard tit and asspirational advertising. Seriously, why do I have to sit through a bunch of tarts posing and prancing around in lingerie to watch TV? Can't they move this sort of advertising to the men's channels? Anyway I guess from now on I will have to TIVO Hungry girl and FF the ads which is my usual policy.

    Playboy Club is part of the typical "women's empowerment, as men see it, and in a way that doesn't threaten male audiences" genre. It's just another male fantasy genre and it never sells. It isn't pornographic enough for male audiences and women audiences won't sit through the hokum of sex as seen through the distorted eyes of men. "Sucker Punch", "Catwoman" or really all female superheros, and any show where women wear "!!lingerie !inspired! !costumes!" fit that genre.

  8. @ Bes

    You might like Rizzoli and Isles Bes. It's sort of your standard TV buddy crime/cop show except the two lead characters just happen to be very cool women. I like that the two characters are very layered- not the stereotypical thinly characterized "lady cop on the men's squad". I also like the relationship between the two - very strong women but completely different styles and from very different backgrounds who - guess what -- actually get along, support each other, and explore the differences in the other that make them interesting women. No catfighting, no I wanted that guy and she got him, no she's not the right "kind of woman" etc. It's really the sort of friendship women actually have (or I do anyway) NOT shot through the male view of women's interaction. Almost two seasons in and they haven't bonded shopping for overpriced shoes, fought over a man, or had a "queen bee" at the precinct cat fight. So far so good anyway...

  9. I am concerned about the shows making these women into tough gals though. Have you noticed all the Gal gang fights?
    Girls are now catching up to the guys in terms of fighting and putting it on You Tube.

    Can't we get something real?
    Let's face it how many women are going to be tough as nails cops, on the men's squad?

    Isn't that just another form of women acting like men? We are wither super heros - or cheesecake.
    How many women do we know that are like any of the women portrayed on TV and how many of us want to raise our daughters to be like anyone portrayed on TV.

    Just point me to some role models out there for our daughters to emulate? That is what we should be screaming for- ROLE MODELS for our females!

    They have been bred on on the unreal long enough - - maybe its about time we give them something real to look up to?
    I'm just saying...

    And why doesn't anyone on this blog ever respond to directly to me- am I unwanted here? Am I too blunt? too crass? what? I fell unwelcomed!

  10. @freemenow

    I'd have to disagree with your tough girl point. I am all for girls being tough as long as they're not violating the human rights of those around them. Being a female in the military and through the guidance of my parents I've developed into a tough young woman without masculinizing myself.

    Yet, I didn't get my lessons in life from the television. The real role-models young women need in this world are just that -- in the real world. It is the responsibility of all women to be strong role models for all of the young women worldwide. You can't control everything in your life, but you can control yourself and the guidance you provide to others. Be the role model you wish to see in the world.

  11. @brigbriggbriggg

    Well put!! I agree with you completely. There is a way for women to be tough that is real and necessary, and I'm glad to be living in an age where I don't have to just be a sweet little thing all of the time!!

  12. @ freemenow and brigbriggbrigg

    Just my .02 but my point about the show I mentioned above was that the characters are NOT like the token women tossed into the show for eye candy but who are written very 2 dimensionally.

    I also have to agree with brig that there is a difference between being a tough strong woman and being masculine. To me that's just more women being critical of other women who don't fit whatever the appropriate "mold" of the day is. Why don't we start encouraging each other to just be the best version of YOU you can be?
    If that means you're a girly girl - fine.
    If that means you're a "tom-boy" - fine.
    If that means you're a girly girl who can also disassemble and reassemble an M16 like me - even better!

  13. I'm glad to hear that. Now all we need is parity in the movies. :)

  14. women's parity in the movies? what a novel concept!!

  15. Well Ladies - from that angle - I stand corrected.
    I was coming from the angle however, where they put eye candy into a role but by the end of the show she still ends up in some different guys bed every month.
    I guess I stopped watching and have not seen the updated shows.

    As for the GAls who serve- the one thing in life I didn't get to do was serve.
    I applaud the women who do - no offence inteded. I was just skeptical because women are still scantilly dressed no mater how serious a part they land.