women

Watson’s A Woman?

I know this is old news, but in one of the more recent adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Lucy Liu (of Charlie’s Angels fame) has taken up the role of Dr. Watson. That is, Doctor Joan Watson.

This is great news! A WOC (woman of color) playing a well known doctor! On American TV. How awesome is that?

Jon Michael Hill plays “Detective Bell” and Lucy Liu is “Joan Watson” in CBS’s Elementary.

I’ll admit, when I first started hearing of the show (which was just after BBC’s Sherlock had just finished it’s British premiere of season 2) I thought it was just us Americans trying to get some ratings off of a popular British TV show.

Then I started hearing about how Liu’s character Joan is a disgraced surgeon, with no military background (as opposed to the canon, where Watson is a former military doctor). Then I started to think that the reason she was disgraced was because the writers thought of her as a woman who doesn’t deserve to be in a highly respected medical position. Because she’s a woman. I really thought this would just end up being fodder for those that actually truly believed women belonged only in the kitchen and not in the operating room.

But then I started watching the show during winter break this past year. And boy golly gee was I super duper wrong about Joan!

In the show, Joan Watson is still a former surgeon. She was discharged after (accidentally) killing a patient under her care. This I suspected. Afterwards, she’s looking for a new job. And so she becomes a sober companion, a person who lives with a recovering drug or alcohol addict, which is exactly how she comes to be at Sherlock Holmes’ door (played by Johnny Lee Miller). In the show, Joan Watson actively chooses to continue making other people’s lives better. She actively chose to become a sober companion because that’s what she thought she’d be good at.

Joan Watson actively calls out misogynistic remarks made by Sherlock and by others in the show. Her surgical past is not just used as a way to confirm Sherlock’s brilliant breakthroughs. Often, there are cases where Sherlock is stumped and it’s Joan herself who finds the connection and solves the murder because she’s the brilliant one too. She’s not just there to further another character’s development. She has her own developments and we see her family and friends and loved ones come by in her life. We see her kind and caring side, as well as her methodical procedural side. She is a true “strong female character”, not because she kicks butt (she actually has little to no martial arts skill, which thankfully defies the “kung fu Asian” character trope, and she doesn’t gain any martial arts or self-defense skills until much later into the show) but because she has many facets to her personality (like real women!) and she has emotions (like real women!) and she changes and develops and makes mistakes (like real women!).

So cheers to the Elementary writers for taking what could have been an awful ploy for ratings (because there’s no ‘bad publicity’) and turned this into one of the best, well-rounded character adaptations I’ve ever seen.

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Is it better to be a Woman and look like one or look like a Man??

I found this article on the Feedly website written by Anonymous titled, “It is easier now that I look like a guy.

Although this writer is a woman she looks like a man. She points out that she was inspired by a question found on Twitter by Kortney Ziegler:  “so much energy focused on women in tech — rightfully so — but for trans men or other non binary gender identities…crickets…”

She believes masculine privilege is a powerful thing.

In meetings she stated her opinion without apologizing. She gets along with her co-workers and they even go out to lunch (mostly men). I’m pretty sure from her statements from her article that she wants everyone to think that she is a man expect her HR who is the only one who really knows her true identity. She constantly reminds her about her haircuts so no one is suspicious about her gender.

She now dresses like all the men at her job with their uniforms. She does not wear make up. She also talks about how she enters the bathroom, when necessary, if no one is around. She states :

“Men still tell me openly that they think women are better at “that people stuff” than “technical things”, as though their opinion outweighs my experience and citations and as though technical problems were not caused by people. They say that boys are better at math, as though they don’t turn to StackOverflow any time they need an equation. A few brave and very ignorant men suggest that it’s my masculinity that enables me to code. I tell them the best software development class I took was Introduction to Writing Poetry and I am the only one in it who became a programmer.”

She says that online she is assumed man or dismissed, belittled and told to make sandwiches. In closing she came to the conclusion that being a man is easy. It is also deeply uncomfortable as if she has to erase her “other” life, but things can be more complicated.

As I mentioned in my last blog, this circles around the same theme. We are women are discriminated against and assumed to know nothing about everything! Not Fair!

Guys Not wanting women/people of color to write Science Fiction

I got this article from one of my classmates Amanda Yacovelli via Twitter from Zite! This particular article was written by Aja Romano titled, “Apparently, these guys don’t want women to write science fiction” found on The Daily Dot.

It came up as a conversation on a science-fiction forum. That forum revealed a section of a community that’s teaming with indignation about recent attempts to make the genre more progressive. Towards the end of the debate a group of “highly influential writers” spent a couple days lamenting the rise of increasingly vocal women and minorities in their community.  Apparently it was told the guys who said these things forgot that what they wrote is public. Tumblr

is one of the social networks that is displaying the conversation, which turned out to be more sexest than about the topic itself.

The article states:

“Among the participants who are displeased at the recent influx of diversity in their community is award-winning author Raymond Feist, who eyerolled at “fugheads determined to use the organization to further their own agenda.”

Another participant, Sean P. Fodera, ranted about writer Mary Robinette Kowal, painting her feminism as hypocrisy. Why? Because she sometimes takes full-body photographs and wears dresses with low necklines, apparently.”

convo 1

The article states that last year the editor of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) newsletter resigned over widespread allegations of sexism. From a systemic lack of diversity to major uphill battles of women and writers of color as a representation of the sci-fi publishing industry. After reading this I must say I’m applaud. How much longer do people of color or women have to put up with stuff like this? Do they not know how it makes them feel?

Kowal claimed some members from the SFWA had harassed her while she was vice president and secretary of organization. They didn’t think she was good for the job because she was a women even with her years of experience.  The 1,800 members of the SFWA are responsible for nominating the Nebula, a major science-fiction award.

It’s sad to say we are still fighting battles similar to this and that is not acceptable, to me!

Jen Welter

I found this articlethat Arielle Armenti tweeted on Twitter and was instantly happy for us women!

jen wel

First and foremost take a look at her body! So built and for all the men out there we can be as built as you are or can be stronger than you.

I was amazed after reading this article. This article is titled “Jen welter becomes first woman to play in men’s pro football league in contact position” written by Nina Mandell. Jen is 36 years old. For those who are familiar with football, she finished with 3 rushes for a loss of one yard. Throughout the article she mentions moments that she would tease some of the other players on the team, who were men. Jen was simply the first woman to play a contact position not the first woman to play in a men’s professional football league. This article states that Patricia Palinkas appeared as a holder for the men’s semi-pro Orlando Panthers in 1970. Julie Harshbarger and Katharine Hnida kicked in men’s pro games four decades later.

I love some of her inspirational words, “I’m an athlete, I’m competitive,” she said. “But the bigger thing for me is obviously for little girls to see they can do everything just like little boys can.”

She can be a great role model to children around the world, especially for those girls who love football but feel as though they cannot play because it’s a “man’s sport.” She is like a modern Rosie the Riveter. She can encourage any young girl to follow their dreams and do what they want to do. A good influence if you ask me!

Progression of Gender roles in Television Pt. 2: One Day at a Time

As mentioned in part one of my progression entry, gender roles have always played a large role in American sitcoms. Sitcoms began in the late 40’s, early 50’s, when the socially accepted gender roles were the mother caring for her home and family, and the father working and providing for his family. As time carried on, the progression of gender roles did as well. In the late 70’s and early 80’s there was a television sitcom called “One Day at a Time”. In this Sitcom, there was a different type of family unit. Unlike the Cleaver family in Leave it to Beaver, this family unit contained only three people. It was comprised of a single, divorced, working mother who was raising her two daughters. In terms of gender roles and how families were portrayed in the media, this was a huge jump. Not only was the family unit somewhat “broken” in comparison to the earlier sitcoms, but the mother’s gender role was entirely different. It became more socially acceptable as time carried on for a woman to not only be a mother and care for her home and family, but to be a working woman as well, and take over the “male” role of the family unit.

Ann Romano and two daughters from
television’s “One Day at a Time”