October 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
When it comes to television, it’s a brave new world. All you have to do is grab the remote after Sunday football to realize that the ladies have arrived. Veteran shows like The Good Wife and newcomers like Madam Secretary and How to Get Away With Murder teach us that television doesn’t have to have a bro-dominated cast to draw in male and female viewers alike.
The days of neurotic female subordinates or flighty love interests might be waning, but has your boyfriend’s brain caught up to the 21st century? TV lady haters unfurl their banners proudly on the Internet, but most have to be smoked out of their misogynist cave dwellings. If you’re not sure whether your guy is a lady hater or a lady worshipper, here are 4 questions you can ask him.
How did you feel about Skyler White? Recently a friend taught me that this is the ultimate litmus test. Hate for this badass Breaking Bad lady was so vitriolic that Anna Gunn personally wrote a letter to the New York Times defending her character. The “I hate Skyler White” Facebook page has 30,000 likes, and her fanpage has about 300. Just to find this picture I had to wade through uncountable hate memes on Google image. If your boyfriend felt that Skyler White was wrong not to support her husband’s reign of terror, then you might want to take a closer look at this one.
What do you think about the women on Game of Thrones? If a prospective male can’t even tell you his favorite female on Game of Thrones, then you should probably be worried. Chances are you’ll get an answer like Arya Stark and Brienne of Tarth, but a true lover of women also knows that real strength comes in many forms, not just the kind that will stab you in the gut. If your guy says shit about Sansa Stark or other ladies on the show, then you might want to be careful. Why hate on a woman who’s just doing what she can do survive?
Do you watch The Big Bang Theory? Look, I am well aware that 20 million people watch this show. Big Bang Theory reruns are about as avoidable as Internet comments. But aren’t we past the days of shelving women in science geek or dumb, hot girl tropes? This show is an advertisement that men are the true nerds, and at best, a woman can serve as a love interest. So if you’re interested in being more in life than someone’s girlfriend, I suggest you ask this question to a potential guy.
Who’s your favorite female lead? If it takes your dude more than fifteen seconds to answer this question (because he can’t think of any, not because there are so many he can’t choose), then it’s worth a deeper conversation. It’s great for couples to have their own TV interests, but if your boyfriend won’t even consider watching a show with a female lead, then you need to know his thinking.
Talking about powerful women in television isn’t about picking a fight with a guy you’re dating. It’s about getting a peak into the brain and seeing how he might process and label his interactions with women in day-to-day life. A man who respects ladies, sees their weaknesses as only human, and understands their stories arc as larger than that of a wife or girlfriend, is likely to be the best kind of guy. So go find the remote, and see what he has to say.