Ok, this will be one of those weird posts, so don’t pile on until you have read it all.
Before I finish out the title to this post, I need to give you some background. Streaming TV is my TV life now. I gave up cable/satellite almost a year ago and have not looked back. In addition to the fact that my monthly TV viewing bill is about a third of what it was, I find the variety of commercial free choices to be almost overwhelming. A good overwhelming, but overwhelming…
One of the shows I have recently come across is Ally McBeal on the Hulu channel, and I am now hooked. The show was created by David E. Kelley (I kinda like everything he dreams us) and made in the late 1990s and is pretty off the wall, much like I am. I am only in the middle of season 1, so I look forward to many more episodes that will challenge the way I see the world.
As mentioned to the right here, Ally McBeal was a lawyer in a prestigious law firm with a cast of unique and exceptionally quirky characters. Personally, I that is what makes a TV series successful in any genre.
Some episodes are downright weird, but they always have at least an ounce of truth to them. The one which the title above refers to is about the firm representing a woman who says she hasn’t been promoted because, unlike all those who have been promoted, has not slept with the senior partner. The tract taken by her legal team is that their client is a woman and therefore is disabled and needs to be taken care of!
The 1990s, when the show was on, was in the middle of the women’s rights movement which I highly support, so this episode was bizarre for the times. But that was nothing unusual for this TV show. They often push the edges.
She’s a woman, & therefore disabled and needs to be taken care of.
The logic behind this statement was as follows:
- Women wear high heels that make them more likely to falling down, produce back problems and bunions and are hugely uncomfortable.
- They spend a total of 2 years of their lives painting their faces, plucking out hair, putting silicone in their chests.
- Why do all these things? Because men like it
Don’t talk about equality.
Don’t say you are not disabled.
Of course, they won the appeal, and the judge allowed a trial to go forward on the above premise. Every episode seems to have this kind of challenging topic. I love shows that push us to think about the things that society seemingly expects of us.
Does anyone care to chime in on this topic?
I would love to hear what you have to say 😎
3 thoughts on “She’s A Woman, & Therefore Disabled…”
With what we know about Harvey Weinstein’s proclivities during this period, the episode might have been particularly topical to the writers and actors on the show. To the statements about wearing heels, and time spent on men-pleasing cosmetics and cosmetic procedures, I would add the other more serious differences that lead me to tell my husband that women walk in a different world than men. Many of us scan the parking lot before exiting our cars or at the door to an establishment we’re exiting to ensure that there’s no sign of danger. We walk down the middle of the parking aisle, not near the cars, for maximum safety. (That is, if there’s no car coming!) It may be a habitual thing without fear involved: just something that we’re told to do or may do instinctually. We may avoid situations where we’re the only female present. That was always difficult for me because my study interests–physics, mathematics, trading delta-neutral options strategies on the major indices–often put me in classrooms or hotels hosting conferences with few or no other females. This is where being deemed somewhat aloof when really I was just so socially awkward came in handy. We may glance behind us while driving away from a store to make sure we’re not being followed and intentionally pass up our homes if there’s the slightest possibility we are. We’re taught to listen to our instincts, which resonated with me. At 11 or 12, I left a friend’s house to walk home and was waiting on the curb for a car to pass so I could cross when it instead veered toward me. Three men were inside and they wanted me to “take a ride” with them. I backed up, ran around the car and ran home. In the old days, before caller ID, I and most of my friends were subjected to “breathers” or men describing what they wanted to do to men when I was still quite young. Almost all of us felt shame, although we of course had no complicity. I’m not afraid all the time, but my husband verifies that he never thinks about any of those things. Perhaps not all women do these things. I’ve already established that I’m a rule follower, so if I’ve read it’s safer to do something, I do it. However, my experience when young also contributed.
Like Linda, I am a rule follower when it comes to my safety and do all the precautions she names. I doubt there is any woman who has not been harassed by men in some fashion and we learn to protect ourselves.
I don’t think being a female is a handicap. I do think that the current society strives to handicap females though with the never ending attacks on our bodies and our right to control our bodies.
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Thank you, Linda and Mary for your thoughts. They took a different spin than what I expected. The episode was about how women do outrageous things to attract men, and you point out all the things that women must do to repel assaults. I am glad that you put your thoughts here. Since I am a man, I didn’t really think about it from that standpoint. Learning to protect yourself is sadly a necessity in life.
Thanks, again. I’m glad you had a chance to show us a different angle.