8 Obnoxious Cliches about Men, Women and Sex in Otherwise Good TV Shows

Throughout most of its history, the general trend of television has been sexist, with lots of hysterical women driving dramas and lots of eye-rolling jokes about women being nags and prudes filling up sitcoms. The past decade, however, has seen a rise in high-quality television that strives to engage creatively with interesting, socially relevant ideas. This has meant much better, more complex female characters on TV, as well as feminist themes interwoven into the plots of the show. It’s a good time to be a thoughtful feminist watching TV.

But it’s not all sunshine and roses. Despite an overall improvement in the quality of television, even the best shows sometimes fall back on tired clichés about gender and sexuality. The reasons vary dramatically, but at the end of the day, these moments of tired sexism are most jarring not because they’re “politically incorrect,” but because they come across as false and push the audience away from maintaining their suspension of disbelief. So here’s a list of eight WTF sexist moments that hurt–or in some cases, permanently destroyed–otherwise good television shows.

***SPOILER alert: This post contains details about past episodes of “Community,” “Mad Men,” “30 Rock,” “The Killing,” “Veronica Mars,” “The Walking Dead,” “Parks and Recreation”  and “Sex and the City.”

1. Britta Perry declares her love for Jeff Winger on “Community.” Britta Perry is the token leftist feminist of an eclectic group of friends in this show about the comical goings-on of a Colorado community college. Most feminists don’t mind the constant potshots taken at Britta for her often-childish and self-centered take on feminist and liberal politics. The show leaves no sacred cow untipped, and feminists are certainly not off-limits for ribbing. But Britta has also been consistently characterized as breezily assured of her sexuality and her right to indulge in casual sex, in contrast to tedious sitcom stereotypes that would have you believe all women mistake sex for love.

So why then did the writers have her humiliate herself in the finale of the first season with a public declaration of love for Jeff simply because they had a one-night stand? Until that moment, there had been no indication that Britta felt anything for Jeff besides naked lust combined with a bit of fraternal camaraderie. Why would the audience think she would turn to a simpering romantic just because she touched his penis once?

Luckily, the writers seemed to grasp just as quickly as the audience how out of character this behavior was for Britta, and simply dropped the romance storyline, replacing it with indications that Britta and Jeff have nothing more than a friends-with-benefits relationship.

2. Joan Holloway on “Mad Men” doesn’t get an abortion. “Mad Men,” a drama about a 1960s-era advertising firm, is renowned for its thoughtful, pro-feminist view, so this failure is especially disappointing. When Joan got pregnant, the pro-choicers in the audience collectively grew anxious. Already, “Mad Men” had engaged in the cliché of having a character, Betty, consider and then abandon the idea of an abortion, even though it seemed like the smartest choice. With Joan, the possibility of keeping a pregnancy seemed even stranger. Not only were the stakes higher in her situation, as she’s married to a violent rapist who is likely to react poorly if he finds out she’s pregnant with another man’s baby, but the show had already established that Joan had prior abortions and no moral qualms about the procedure.

After leading the audience to believe for several episodes that Joan did, in fact, get an abortion, the show’s writers punked out in the season finale, putting her in a scene where she’s chatting about her pregnancy with her husband while he’s stationed in Vietnam. While there were prior efforts to show how much Joan wanted a baby with her new husband, the moment still felt false in an otherwise great episode. Joan Holloway has always been portrayed as a survivor and an eminently pragmatic person; it’s hard to imagine she’d be this eager to put herself in danger just to have a baby right now.

3. Liz Lemon steals a baby on “30 Rock.” While “30 Rock” employs a lot of traditional sexist tropes to create comic situations in its setting behind the scenes of a sketch comedy show at NBC, they are usually tweaked in some way to subvert expectations and avoid the typical sexist themes. Sure, Liz may be a loser at love, but you discover that it’s not because of TV’s steadfast belief that “career women” can’t find husbands, but because Liz herself is a misanthrope who sabotages every potential relationship because deep down, she has no real desire to share her life.

Would such a woman be baby crazy enough that, when given a random baby to hold at work, she loses her mind and wanders home, coochie-cooing the baby for half an hour until she realizes her terrible mistake and returns the baby in shame? It doesn’t make any sense, but this happens in one of the least funny incidents on the fast-paced sitcom. Sure, babies are cute, but there’s no way they’d try that story line with a male character. The show seemed to be suggesting that because Liz is female, she can barely control her baby lust or her strong desire to stay at home instead of hold an income-generating job. The show is much better off when it portrays Liz as a workaholic who can’t quite accept that she’s married to her job, rather than a baby-hungry, single-woman stereotype.

4. Detective Linden has stupid problems on “The Killing.” The Killing” had one of the most promising pilot episodes of any TV series in recent memory, immediately drawing hopeful comparisons to luminary programs such as “Twin Peaks,” with its portrayal of a sharp detective trying to solve a single murder that has implications for an entire city. To add to the excitement, the show was built around a normal-seeming but highly competent female detective, setting expectations high that we would see a female professional portrayed honestly on television.

Unfortunately, the show demonstrated in a few episodes that it had no chance of living up to the high expectations. One of the most prominent demonstrations of its lack of imagination is the stereotypical, sexist problems the writers gave Sarah Linden in her personal life. She had a nagging son and fiancé, and while she clearly loved her work, we were expected to believe she was ready to throw it all away for marriage without really thinking it through. The ready assumption that professional women necessarily struggle with unsupportive families and a desire to head to the kitchen seemed like it was straight from a ’70s-era reactionary film, and no amount of grim determination on actress Mireille Enos’ face could cover up the flaws in her characterization.

5. Evil feminists fake a rape on “Veronica Mars.” The first two seasons of “Veronica Mars” nicely helped feminist TV fans minimize the withdrawal symptoms from the end of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” The show followed a teenage girl who chooses to live a life of a private investigator instead of simply being content with high school and college. Sure, Veronica could never fully compete with Buffy in a one-on-one competition of witty, badass ladies with surprising vulnerabilities, but as a 21st-century Nancy Drew, she still provided the audience with mysteries to solve and a fun and clever heroine to root for.

Well, the writers must have realized they’d cultivated a feminist audience and feared they’d get cooties, because they spent the third season portraying feminists as evil bitches set on destroying the supposed wonderland of the college Greek system. Feminists on the show faked a rape specifically to take down the fraternities at Veronica’s college, and only Veronica has the wits to stop them.

A word to every television writer who thinks it’s clever to write a plot where a woman “cries rape,” is instantly believed, and turns out to be a liar: you’re not clever. That may be the stupidest cliché ever on television. To watch TV, you’d think all rape victims are instantly believed and comforted, and that the vast majority of them are lying. In reality, the percentage of rape reports that are false is 2-8 percent, in line with false reports of other crimes. Victims who speak out don’t actually face a warm bath of social acceptance; more often they get mostly hostility from friends, family and law enforcement. Because of this, only an estimated 6 percent of rapists actually spend a day in jail. TV writers who want to do something daring and interesting about rape would actually be going against the grain by showing a determined crime fighter getting justice for a rape victim who is being stonewalled at every turn. Learn from the failures of “Veronica Mars,” which was summarily canceled after the feminists-are-evil plot of season three.

6. The baffling would-be abortion on “The Walking Dead.” Lori Grimes on “The Walking Dead” is pregnant, and for very good reasons, doesn’t want to be. After all, the show follows a band of people trying to survive a zombie apocalypse, which ranks at the top of least ideal situations in human history for bringing forth new life. Zombies are known to pick off the slowest member of the group, so waddling along heavy with child simply isn’t in your best interest. To make it worse, Lori might be pregnant by her husband’s best friend, whom she sought comfort with while mistakenly believing her husband dead.

The show deals with this in the worst possible way. First of all, Lori is shown trying to take a box of pills comically labeled “Morning-After Pills,” even though that’s just a nickname for emergency contraception. This, even though the morning-after pill is not abortion, and taking it after testing positive for pregnancy is likely to work as well as jumping up and down. But even allowing for the slim possibility that the writers were trying to show that the characters are stupid enough to believe this, the way the entire plot goes down is unforgivable. The writers employ the standard “woman gets talked out of an abortion” cliché that follows every time someone has an unintended pregnancy on TV, right down to using a sad and desperate husband bully his wife into having a baby by saying, “We’ll find a way.” Oh really? A way around the zombie apocalypse? If you actually had such a way, you wouldn’t be holding back until someone has an emergency pregnancy situation to break open the glass labeled “finding a way to raise a happy family during a zombie apocalypse.”

7. April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer get married on “Parks and Recreation.” Fans love “Parks and Recreation” for its warm-hearted but satirical take on life inside small-town, middle-America government agencies. After countless jokes about how April is too young to do much of anything, including go into a bar with her over-21 boyfriend Andy, the writers decided that the best thing to do with these two characters is marry them off. That wasn’t so much of a problem, since there’s no rule on television against characters doing profoundly stupid things (and in fact, you need characters to make bad decisions to make sure the plot keeps churning).

The problem is that the show clearly wanted the audience to root for immature marriage as an objective good. The main character Leslie Knope plays the role of the curmudgeon throughout the episode, and her wise reminders to take your time and not rush into marriage are portrayed as clueless moral scolding. The climax of the show centers around Leslie giving up her cherished feminist beliefs about delaying marriage until maturity and joining in a sentimental celebration of two very immature people making an important decision they’re clearly not ready for.

The episode hinted at the decline of what was once the best sitcom on TV. The most recent season has featured a drift away from the satirical approach to the characters and toward a sentimental goopiness that doesn’t allow that the characters could ever really be wrong in their decisions, even when it’s something as foolish as getting married too young.

8. Miranda Hobbes dashes out of an abortion clinic on “Sex and the City.” It’s a wonder abortion clinics in TV Land stay in business, since it seems most of their traffic comes from women coming in, sitting down for two minutes, and then dashing out the door in a vale of tears. Perhaps abortion clinics charge a cover at the door on TV. “Sex and the City” practically set the template for this kind of storyline in 2001, when Miranda decides at the last minute to forgo an abortion on the grounds that this pregnancy might be her last chance to have a baby.

“Sex and the City” disappointed feminists in many ways, but the show was usually stalwart in its support of women’s reproductive, social and economic rights. Viewers could tell the writers were reluctant to give that distinction up, even while engaging in the cliché of having a character reject the possibility of abortion, and so Miranda’s story was accompanied by Carrie reflecting on a past abortion and Samantha mentioning having had two in passing. While it was nice having the writers go out of their way to validate both the choices to have an abortion and to keep the pregnancy, they still managed to do so in a way that avoided showing a character actually choosing an abortion during the course of the show. For a show that was supposed to be revolutionary in its approach to women, Miranda’s choice felt like a punt.

While television is becoming more daring and more feminist all the time, it’s clear from this list that there are many basic feminist ideas that still read as taboo on the small screen: the realities of rape, women’s ability to choose abortion without shame; the fact that not all women are hungry for marriage and babies; and women’s genuine experiences of having passion for their work. If you’re a TV writer looking to break some boundaries and do something genuinely interesting, may I recommend tackling these issues bravely and honestly?

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Photo from Flickr user *USB* under Creative Commons 2.0.

Comments

  1. “2. Joan Holloway on “Mad Men” doesn’t get an abortion. “Mad Men,” a drama about a 1960s-era advertising firm, is renowned for its thoughtful, pro-feminist view, so this failure is especially disappointing. When Joan got pregnant, the pro-choicers in the audience collectively grew anxious.”

    Can’t speak to the other shows ’cause I don’t follow them. But I don’t think the pro-choicers in the audience collectively did anything. There was a divide, I recall, between the fans and the professional critics, the former much more likely to think Joan kept the baby, the latter more likely to be misdirected by the ambiguity of the scenes.

    The character Joan is the age of Christ here. Nothing to do with Christ, but everything to do with a woman back then who is having her first child, what was considered a bit late in life. Husband’s away serving in Vietnam, and if she does have this third abortion, she is worried that she might never get another chance, or maybe she wants two kids and really should start.

    Did I mention this would have been her third abortion? So, she isn’t against having them; it’s just perhaps not the right time.

  2. Actually, on a recent How I Met Your Mother, Barney (a straight, male, middle-aged, single character) is seized with baby fever and shows up with a mysteriously found baby, mystifying his friends – but delighting his best friend Ted (also a straight, male, middle-aged, single character). The story line is resolved with less shame than Liz’s escapades, but it was a touching portrayal of single men getting older and wanting children just as desperately – more desperately, in fact – then the women they hang around.

  3. So… maybe you could have put a spoiler alert or two before ruining my last few episodes of Mad Men for me?

  4. I completely agree with all of these but would like to add another: Modern Family. All of the women stay at home and take care of the kids, even the “feminine” member of the gay relationship, Cameron. Not so modern after all….

    • I agree! Modern Family needs to up it with ‘progress’. It’s a show that currently has a chance to provoke thought among a large number of viewers, but it’s kind of taking a step backwards. I especially dislike what they’re doing with Hayley… furthering the “dumb hot girl” cliche. Ugh.

  5. I cringed just as much during the Community season 1 finale. I really didn’t expect that, BUT, knowing Community, they play so much with clichés and predictability that you can’t really fault them for the numerous TV/movie clichés that they so employ. It’s part of the show. And look at Britta now. At the moment, I see her as the strongest character with a lot to offer. Her portrayal of a very flawed person is flawless.

    Miranda’s decision was one of the most disappointing ones I’ve seen on TV. She’s such a strong character, and to see her opt out of an abortion to produce an “aww” moment slays me. Same with Detective Linden. I wish writers of The Killing would quit it with the “I need mommy/wifey” storyline. Unless there’s some sort of sick twist involving her fiance or son, I don’t want to deal with it.

    • As far as Community goes, I never had an issue with Britta declaring her love for Jeff. I always saw it as her way of ultimately one upping him.

      And I agree with the dismal disappoint of how Miranda was portrayed in the abortion clinic. Running out crying, really? From the character who was the least mopey over break ups to see her suddenly so overwhelmed by the “magic” that is motherhood felt like a betrayal. You expect that crap from Charlotte, the character who most arguably represented the worse type of “I need a man to feel happy despite my successful career and independence” but not Miranda! Definitely one of the biggest let downs of the show, with the exception of Carrie ending up with Big.

  6. I just have to say that even if Miranda from “Sex in the City” chose not to have an abortion we have to give her props for taking on the life of a single mom. She chose to have that child and raise it herself- how empowered can a women get?! And isn’t the right to abortion based on the right to choose, anyway? I know we are still waiting for prime time to demystify abortion but it think we also need to recognize how important it is to show the single mom outside of her typical stereotype.

  7. I think my disagreement with your complaints shows up where the writers actually did do more set-up than you give them credit for. On “Community,” Britta isn’t “breezily assured” of anything, she’s deeply insecure about whether she is actually living up to her values, which is why she tries to do extreme protests, to prove she really does care enough. The show also had a drawn out competition between Britta and another love interest, so, in season 2, the explanation given was that she fooled herself into thinking the public declaration was the right choice because she was wrapped up in that competition. Also, there was plenty of indication that they were each uncertain of how they felt, it was the emotional center of the show for the first season.

    On “Parks and Rec,” the wedding was a way to get a pay-off to a deferred love story that was spread out over most of season 2 and good portion of season 3, so like 30 episodes? The show managed to portray a bunch of romantic relationships by the time the two got married and they had all ended, some very unhappily, some in a more boring, adult way. I’m confused that you refer to her not getting into the bar as a joke, because it was a point where Andy had a moment of real thoughtfulness, when he’s usually shown to have the maturity and gained knowledge of a 14-year-old. Speaking of, their marriage, as they are living in it, has been shown to be irresponsible and childish. The show didn’t abandon the problem.

    • a friendly voice says:

      PARKS AND REC SPOILER IN HERE I thought the point of having Leslie drop her objection to April and Andy’s marriage was to show that you can’t control other people with your ideas, even if those views are smarter and more mature. Will the author of this piece still be complaining if their marriage eventually ends in divorce on the show? I agree the show didn’t abandon the problem; their roommate Ben consistently struggles with whether to teach them to be adults or take care of things for them. There are silly, irresponsible people in the world, and you can disagree with and disapprove of their actions but still love them. Also, in the most recent episode, Ben gave up his job to save Leslie’s because he knew that her career meant more to her than his did to him. That’s a type of move that is usually reserved for lady-folks being supportive of their husbands or boyfriends at their own expense to display their giving, self-effacing natures. Both of these things are a pretty big deal to display on television.

  8. Alternatively: abortion. I think the specific cliche I have a problem with is the depiction of the clinic or doctor’s office as a way to build tension automatically. The “is she or isn’t she?! (and she could totally just walk around the corner and do it!) is just cheesy. On “Sex and the City” I think they knew the story they wanted was for her to be a mother, but felt they had to at least have her consider an abortion. They then stretched it to a whole episode involving all of the women. So, I don’t care that she didn’t do it, but it was dumb to fall back on showing her actually walk in and leave.

    With “Mad Men,” I didn’t see Betty’s abandonment of the idea as playing into the cliche, it was more the writers being fair to the fact that she would have considered it, but then not done it. I also give them credit for waiting a full season and a half before having another pregnancy. I think they traded on all of the previous pregnancy set-up, though, to have the Joan misdirect actually work. On another show, the expectation would be that they’d never show someone have an abortion, but “Mad Men” has established all of this stuff to make you believe that they almost definitely will. So, that combined with the waiting room scene, made me feel more cheated. They did spend a lot of time showing that Joan really wanted a baby at that time, though, and that she was ready after not doing it earlier in life.

    I believe Christina Hendricks did a commentary track for the episode where it’s revealed and she actually talked about being “so surprised” when she read the script, which I thought was the weirdest thing I’d ever heard an experienced actor say. I was even talking about it with a guy, intending the “fake abortion,” but it turned out he meant the whole “secret pregnancy” storyline, but we agreed that, either way, both are the most cliche things you see on TV.

  9. RazberryGiRl says:

    I find it interesting that this blog equates feminism with having an abortion when given the choice. While I agree that many of the scenarios/circumstances described above seemed to fall out of character for these feminist characters, I don’t understand why the wanting to be a mother is automatically framed as anti-feminist. Just because we have a choice doesn’t mean women must always, or should choose abortion. The fact that the women’s thought processes behind the decision is progress in the television world (although I will conceed there is a long way to go) and to assume the decision was made because of pressure from the males involved is a disservice to the women faced with this decision.

  10. I am SO SICK of using the cop out. Even a film I was in recently chose to go the anti-abortion route. What a cop out! (I let them know it, too!) There’s always a “moral dilema” that results in keeping it. The writers need to realize that there are more pro choice women than not pro choice, and their view shouldn’t be a result of what the mass audience sees. Hey writers, if you really want to get modern, “push the envelope” and get ratings for PR, then Let’s get modern and make a choice to have an abortion. At least half of the viewing audience would.

  11. I have to agree that the walking dead thing was a little weird but I liked the way they dealt with it. I mean what else is Rick supposed to say. Should he say well I guess our lives are over when the baby comes out we’ll feed it to the zombies? It’s his wife and he’s just trying to make her feel better. I’m all for women empowerment and hate to see a woman give up everything to get married and stay at home but the truth is that in real life women do this stuff all the time. We change our minds and even if we don’t want the baby it’s very hard to get an abortion. Especially if you want a baby even though it’s not the right time. I think there are a lot of strong women on tv. In fact Andrea on the walking dead is all about power and fighting back. She learns how to use a gun and wants to take care of herself and has a I don’t need anyone else attitude. Personally, I think some people take the feminist thing to far. I mean ladies we complain that men aren’t gentlemen then try to tell them we don’t need them to hold the door open for us. It’s no wonder they are so confused. We should just learn that women and men are different and there will never be a way to treat us exactly the same.

  12. Regarding parks and rec where there was a complaint about April and Andy are immature in their marriage… So what? They love each other, they are happy, and they aren’t hurting anyone. They are satisfied with what they have, they work, and their friends care about them. Btw, I’m 40, happily married, and enjoy being immature.

  13. Thanks for mentioning Miranda choosing to keep her baby on “Sex and the City”. It’s not even the fact that she decided against an abortion that pissed me off, it was the fact that she was basically guilt-tripped into keeping it and stupid-ass Aiden being all like “WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ MIRANDA CAN’T DO THIS IT’S STEVE’S BABY TOO THE MEN GET THE SHORT END OF THE STICK BAWWW!” I got even MORE pissed off when Carrie told Aiden about how when she was younger she had an abortion and he replies with “HAY, BACK IN THE DAY I WAS NO ANGEL EITHER”. ‘Cuz having an abortion makes you evil, amirite? *sigh*

  14. To whoever speaks of storylines explaining for the anti-feminism and the tropes… it’s just anti-feminism disguised with storyline make-up, nothing more. The storyline behind the “reasons” why a character “chooses” or not to do anything is ALSO an INVENTION. Oh, she just didn’t consider having the abortion cos it wasn’t the right time! And conveniently, this means we don’t have to deal with it in the series! Oh, her husband told her flat out that she had to have the baby and she was crazy for not wanting to! But this is JUST due to the fact that they live in a post-apocalyptic world!

    Come on, peeps, let us look at things for what they are. Providing with deliberate storylines that trump the tropes doesn’t mean they are not tropes. And the message sent to the audience is still the same: having an abortion is bad or evil, having an abortion is something crazy women who don’t know better do, having an abortion is only a choice in some very particular cases but really, it’s better to have a child with a rapist father, or a child the mother doesn’t want.

    Come on.

    Thanks for compiling this list. Let us also note that The Walking Dead is a misogynistic piece of **** all along, not just when Lori’s husband tells her she must have the baby because she is being ridiculous and he and his penis-brain know better. The amount of sexist tropes in The Walking Dead is absurdly high. No, a hot blonde who learns to shoot and becomes empowered AFTER the zombie holocaust does not make up for a bunch of crazy/irrational/disempowered/silly/ugly and battered/hot and useless women who make up the group of survivors, which is supposed to somewhat accurately portray the current makeup of society.

    God, I dislike The Walking Dead. More so because I love zombies, and it has such potential to be egalitarian! But the writers (both of the comic and the series) can’t see beyond their own bloody fantasies.

    • I really like the show but yeah, when watching this last season I really started to notice all of the anti-feminist views that the writers have. I noticed that when it came time to take charge of anything, it was only the men who did. I noticed the whole dynamic between father figure Dale and Andrea where he was constantly trying to tell her what to do and watching over her like she was a little girl. I noticed the typical patriarchial father-daughter relationship between the farm owner and the chick that likes Glenn (forgetting names) where the father also tried to heavily control his daughter. Then there was of course the whole abortion issue which the show completely screwed up because it was so unrealistic and really the writers could have showed a more “liberal” side to things but instead they went the conservative route. First of all making the huge mistake of calling morning after pills abortion pills. YIKES! Even if the woman who said it was just ignorant to think that, why put that line in the show when morning after pills get enough flack from the right as it is??! Also, the whole Rick yelling at his wife about the pregnancy to the two men trying to talk Lori out of it to her listening to her husband, it all made me so mad!! it’s a Zombie apocolypse!! if there was ever a reason to NOT have a child it would be this!!! Where is the hesitation of what choice to make????? So yeah, not sure if i’ll be watching the rest of the season. I dunno how much more sexist crap I can watch.

  15. I’ve never watched any of these other shows, but your comments on Veronica Mars seem misleading. I wasn’t crazy about the false rape story either, but you fail to mention that it’s one of several rape cases talked about on the show – all the others being true. It could be seen as given the show an aura of reality, in that the majority of rape cases are true while only one claim is false. (And I doubt anyone would walk away from that show thinking of the Greek System as a “wonderland.”) As for “TV writers who want to do something daring and interesting about rape would actually be going against the grain by showing a determined crime fighter getting justice for a rape victim who is being stonewalled at every turn”, did you see the first season of Veronica Mars? Veronica is drugged and raped at a party and when she goes to the police, they laugh at her and send her on her way. She single-handedly seeks justice for her case. And in the second season, there’s also a case involving young boys who are molested and never get justice. Having such misleading comments weakens your messages, especially considering how many truly sexist shows you could have pointed out instead.

  16. I enjoyed this article but some of the information was wrong and is a little annoying for the reader. Community is set in Colorado, not California and Mad Men is set to have at least one more season, starting in March. Just wanted to let you know!

    • anastasiakeeley says:

      Thanks for pointing out these mistakes, Alicia! Sorry about the inaccuracies, we\’ve updated the post. Really appreciate your giving us a heads up!

  17. I was more offended by the circumcision episode of Sex and the City. A group on women that talk about their bodies being compared to models and the struggle for equality of the sexes advocating carving up penises? Gross.

  18. KatieDear says:

    Re: Miranda’s non-abortion on SATC–I thought the main reason the character didn’t go through with it was because the actress was pregnant?

  19. Iliana Echo says:

    MASH had a few
    This one’s a bit older. but MASH was such a forward show in general that it’s sad to see stereotypes.

    Season 3, “House Arrest”
    Similar to #5: A visiting (female) colonel attempts to seduce Frank Burns (who is married, though you wouldn’t know it, and also in a relationship with another character on the show). When he turns her down and they are about to be discovered, she cries rape.

    Season 5, “Margaret’s Engagement”
    Margaret, who’s always been fiercely independent, comes back from a weekend vacation engaged to a man she barely knows. Not at all in keeping with her character. In keeping with a stereotype about women “needing” men.

    Season 2, Operation Noselift
    One of the worst. Margaret is almost raped by a visiting doctor, stopped only because Hawkeye walks in on them. No one gives him any trouble, and she doesn’t even file charges.

  20. After watching a lot of Community in a row (thanks, Hulu) I think Britta’s character is much more of a straw feminist. Her character is usually portrayed as hypocritical when it actually comes down to issues, she frequently gets in girl fights. I’d say you need to look further into her character.

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