By Lauren Hennessy, Kate Dunnion and Caoilfhain Doran, Expect Everything young correspondents from Ireland
Throughout ‘The Big Bang Theory’ series we found that the show was quite sexist towards women in the science field. We based this on the three main female characters in the series: Penny, Bernadette and Amy.
Penny (Leonard’s Wife)
Penny’s the helpless blonde bimbo in this TV show. She’s symbolised as the trophy to be earned in the early series as Leonard tries and tries again to win her over. She’s supposed to be the contrast to all the main intelligent guy characters. At the beginning she’s a struggling actress and always asks for money from the guys to pay for food. It makes it look like she’s using her body to get things that she needs from them like Wi-Fi and rent by wearing low revealing tops and short skirts. Recently she has become a pharmaceutical rep but her role becomes demeaning when she has to flirt with doctors to sell drugs. To work in the science field as a woman it gives the impression that you have to use your “feminine ways” to make it.
Bernadette (Howard’s Wife)
Bernadette is a scientist but they make her seems less intelligent than the men by giving her a squeaky voice, bright floral dresses that make her seem cute and innocent to give the impression that she can’t take on intense work. She is portrayed as a Catholic good girl who follows rules and seems quite bland at times. Her relationship with Howard was introduced because of a ‘girlfriend pact’ with the fellow boy characters and their relationship becomes stereotypical when she takes on the mother role by shouting, cooking and cleaning. She takes on all responsibility through her pregnancy and it almost makes it seem like she doesn’t work as a scientist at all.
Amy (Sheldon’s Girlfriend)
Amy’s look is frumpy and her personality is cold and masculine, which resembles the sexist stereotype that surrounds women in science. Even when we do see a bit of her feminine side coming through it’s portrayed as an awkward and weird side to her persona. Amy’s mother at the beginning pushed her to find a man to love which gives the impression to the viewers that for women to be successful in life you need to be with a man.
Each female character is so uniquely different to one another but somehow the show makes them all out to be less intelligent and more sexualised than the main male characters. Even though we do enjoy watching the show and find that it can be funny there is still some things that we think need changing for the perception of women in the science field.
This clip shows how the show is sexist towards women: