|Because plastic women are the best women!|
(image by Dave at morgueFile)
Not real bones, mind you. But the TV show Bones. It began broadcasting back in 2005, and, as per the write-up on IMDB, is about “a forensic anthropologist and a cocky FBI agent build a team to investigate death causes.” It’s in season 9 already. I’ve seen almost all the episodes. I say almost all because I have no idea if there were any episodes after episode 14 in season 9: The Master in the Slop. The end of that show convinced me that I should never ever watch it again.
Why? Well, if you saw it, you might know why.
The plot was interesting, someone being set up for a murder they didn’t commit, chess, pigs. What more do you want in an episode? Well, perhaps you might want a lack of rampant sexism.
In this lovely episode, Dr. Brennan (Bones) is upset that Dr. Camille Saroyan is receiving an award. The award is for “Outstanding Women of Science,” and it’s from “Science Monthly.” But Dr. Saroyan is concerned because she knows that Dr. Brennan expects the award. To try to mitigate the situation, Dr. Saroyan contacts the institution offering the award and asks if it can be shared between herself, Brennan, and their artist/computer whiz Angela Montenegro.
The women hear back. The publication has chosen to “honor” all three of the women…actually, they’ve chosen to “honor” 12 women! You see, they’ve decided to have the “12 Outstanding Women of Science.”
So far, this doesn’t sound so bad, right? And then they produce the “humorous” twist...the “honor” being bestowed upon 12 brilliant women is that they get to wear bikinis (with pictures of male scientists on the breasts!) and have a photo shoot “showing a lot of skin.”
Well, who the hell would agree to that? According to Brennan, all the “brilliant” women.
When Saroyan points out that, “We’ll be hanging in labs all across the country,” Brennan argues that it will simply show that at the Smithsonian, “….pulchritude is as abundant as brilliance…I never thought I would be honored in this way.”
Wait. What the fuck?
It’s an honor to pose in a bikini for men to look at you? Really? Being ogled and turned into a sex object shows pulchritude? And this is an important thing to show? Because Brennan, Saroyan, and Montenegro all think that this is a huge honor that they’re being allowed to help the publication stay solvent by turning into Playboy Bunnies?
I mean, they’re only a lap dance away from really earning some money for the magazine…and think about how much extra the Smithsonian could pull in if they went full monty!
What makes this even worse, I think, is that when I looked up the episode and read user reviews on tv.com, most of them make no mention of the sexism. They focus on lack of realism, stereotypes, and failed gags. No one thought it was horrific that being a scientist and a woman meant that the woman would need to prostitute herself for the sake of a publication. No one seemed to find it painful that three intelligent women would throw themselves into bikinis so that men across the country could ogle them. No one mentioned that it was sending a horrible, horrible message – that being smart isn’t enough. You also have to be willing to show some skin to get anywhere. Brennan even mentions that if they don’t do it, the “honor” will go to three other women, and she can’t possibly let that happen.
I say again: what the fuck?
I am willing to put up with a lot of stupid shit in TV shows. It’s TV after all. Most of the time, I’m not watching it for high quality, but for amusement and perhaps some mystery. But when it’s personally offensive, the amusement is gone.
So what time is it? It’s time to bury Bones. Let the ratings go to hell. It’s going to get put to rest after season 10 anyway, but maybe we can encourage them to end it a bit sooner than that…