Sexism

Everyone know about what happened in Isla Vista on Friday night. 7 people were murdered and 7 others were wounded. Today on my radio show (dedicated to women’s local news and music) after sending my heart out to all the people affected by this tragedy and reciting a help hotline phone number, I received a phone call from a regular listener who told me to put this tragedy in context with all the US drone strikes going on in the world. He told me my show was “blatantly sexist” because I focus on women’s issues in the area. What he doesn’t realize is mass media is male orientated and my show isn’t “sexist” because it focuses on women. On the contrary, my show is suppose to be a place were women can be celebrated for their athletic and musical achievements. Sexism is the prejudice or discrimination of a particular gender. I am not hating men by focusing on women. I’m trying to show that women are people too and want their voices to be heard. Regardless, this incident showed me that the ideology that fueled Elliot Rodger’s rampage is still out there.

What TV is Missing

So I’ve been taking a class with Cheri Steinkeller, one of the writers of Cheers and we’ve been talking a lot about what television is missing. I think TV is missing a lot of things, but mostly what it’s missing is a strong female lead character that has little to no romantic life. Don’t get me wrong here, there are definitely a lot of female roles out there- Girls, New Girl, Parks & Rec, etc. but all the women on these shows have a romantic storyline. Why can’t a woman just be doing her thing, if you know what I mean?

And I mean I get it, sex sells. A show like Scandal is so scandalous because Olivia Pope is hooking up with the President of the United States but why can’t Olivia say no to him? I mean I sort of get it. Fictional President Fitz has power and he’s suppose to be attractive or whatever but what is the role of Olivia Pope really doing for women? Her role is empowering but limited. While Olivia is a powerhouse “fixer” she is unable to fix the problems in her life. Although she shows that a woman can make a lot of money on her own, her happiness will still depend on the status of her relationship with the men in her life.

My question is this: Why does Olivia Pope and why do other fictional women on TV have to have romantic problems? I’m not opposed to women having problems in TV, in fact quite the contrary. I want women to have problems on TV so the public can see how women really live. But I want women to have issues that I can relate too. Why can’t we see a woman’s show with themes of poverty, abuse, or single motherhood? Why can’t I find a show where the female is so focused on her work, she has no time for a romantic life?