There has been a lot of research done on the influence media can have on society, in particular the degrading images of women that are often seen in media. Since the second wave of the women’s rights movements these images were the object of scrutiny and an easy example of how women were viewed. In modern society where women have made many strides towards equality why are there still instances in popular media were women are negatively depicted? Have women come as far as they think? The popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory negatively depicts the female characters by reverting to a binary view of gender, in which the female characters are lacking, they can be beautiful or smart however they cannot be both.
The Big Bang Theory premiered on
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For example, in the episode the Date Night Variable, to do something nice for Penny, Lenard “(gets) all (her) favorites, beer, wings, sliders,… football”, things that are stereotypically categorized as male. As soon as they sit down to watch the game Lenard asks “where are we in this relationship”. Penny replies with “ sweetie can I just be the girl for tonight.” Indicating that being sensitive and insecure about a relationship is a female characteristic. The show highlights the femininity of Penny’s appearance and the masculinity of her personality indicating that apart from appearance, what is traditionally considered feminine is negative. Although feminine aspects in a male are not desirable they are tolerable and over looked, for Penny continues to go back to Lenard despite his sensitivity.
Amy Faretfaller is the complete opposite of Penny, first introduced to the show at the end of season three. Raj and Howard meet Amy on an online dating site and set her up with Sheldon. This begins as an experiment to see if the dating site can truly find a match for everyone, for the show has previously established that Sheldon is extremely selective in whom he chooses to spend time with. On multiple occasions Sheldon has lessened his friendship with his roommate Lenard as one of convince. When the site matches Sheldon’s profile to Amy, Raj exclaims, “ We finally have proof that aliens walk among us”. Amy became a full time member of the cast in