English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: Free choice post

Grey’s Anatomy: More than just a show

One thing that has really stuck out about Grey’s Anatomy and Shonda Rhimes’s plot line for this show is that there is no fear in touching upon social issues or common stereotypes. These stereotypes include mass shootings, lgbqt, death penalty, working with people of different backgrounds, the morality of turning life support off, undocumented immigrants healthcare, interracial families, morality of having babies who you know will have mental or physical disabilities, alcoholism, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals/DREAM , honoring DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) requests if there is hope of recovery, etc. I even watched an interview of Ellen Pompeo (who plays the main character Meredith Grey) on the Ellen show where she starts tearing up in terms of how powerful this show is not only in terms of the free medical education they give but how it brings society together. There is one scene where an intern who wears a religious head scarf, takes of her scarf to patch up a bleeding patient and then she goes on to explain to her curious supervisor how her religion is all in favor of helping people. At that time all the viewers probably empathized and felt connected to her breaking the cultural stereotypes held and showing that all people are similar on the insides. In another scene, Derek has an African American child and gets stares from other parents. The viewers who have seen Derek from the beginning and how they adopted this child who needed someone and, in that moment, looked down upon those staring parents. However, perhaps those viewers were those very same parents who stared on. Greys Anatomy has a way of showing us how the stereotypes we hold seem so funny, unnecessary, and immature. I can say without a doubt that this show has helped me grow as an individual not only in terms of character but also in terms of medically. I make smarter choices for my own health and am more educated talking to others. For example, my friend is getting a pacemaker, and I was able to follow his doctor’s language and diagnosis and able to participate in a two way conversation. And as my last post, I want to say how grateful I was that this project helped me discover Grey’s.

Image result for dr dahlia qadri grey's anatomy

Dr. Dahlia Qadri removing her Hijab(Headwear) to help her patient.

GA Tackling Gender Biased Representation In Medicine

After doing more than just “watching” Grey’s Anatomy, and actually understanding what composes and makes this show such a success, I decided to do a blog post based on how has has gender representation made this long-time running show an accomplishment.

In first instance some may say Grey’s Anatomy female power caught a lot of people’s attention, and some other may say it is the drama related to the female to male relationships that actually make it interesting. However, for me, is the fact that Grey’s Anatomy has managed to tackle down medicine’s gender biased day to day image what has inspired the audience to continue watching and to make a difference when fighting for women rights and equality.

To support the statement presented in the previous paragraph, there are several elements of the show that we could analyze in order to understand how Grey’s Anatomy tumbles down gender biased representation in the area of the medicine. First of all, female characters are the principal “hard-core” workers of the show. Going from the chief of surgery to the head of each speciality, and even to the interns that just arrived, there’s always a majority of female characters that stand out to be better doctors than many of the men who end up giving up or feeling nervous next to their co-workers (just as it happened with Alex at the very beginning of the show where he felt intimidated by Meredith and her innate ability). Additionally, the show also treats sexism in medicine as a principal theme that tends to be ignored in most real-life cases. In one of the last episodes that have been released, Miranda Bailey (the chief of surgery) gets a heart attack. Through this event, she is taken to the hospital where she has to address the fact that “cleaning the house”, “taking care of the children”, or “wasting too much time doing chores”, weren’t stress factors  (that could’ve caused her sickness) present in her life, as she actually worked the hardest she could. This is very important as this image has come to be the reflection of many women’s life in the contemporary world.

No caption needed. Dr. Bailey breaking gender stereotypes to its fullest

In conclusion, if there is a way to make a show successful nowadays, breaking gender representation biased image in professional roles is definitely the way to go. Grey’s Anatomy (and Shonda Rhyme’s shows in general) have managed to show this for over 10 years of emotional and wonderful seasons that have created a special bond between women who aspire to thrive in life and do more than what everyone simply tends to believe they “should do”.

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