Bones is back with a bang—and a baby—after its long hiatus. Nearly four months after viewers last saw Booth, Brennan, and the gang, ‘The Prisoner In the Pipe’ swung people back into the action, while ‘The Bump In the Road’ helped to establish a new normal for the series in the wake of upheaval for the main characters.
Impatient fans were chomping at the bit for the next installment after the break, timed to coincide with Emily Deschanel’s maternity leave. Were they satisfied with the latest episodes, and what do they presage for the future?
Likely you’ve read these and other epithets, and related threats, flying around the internet recently. If you’re not a woman or a feminist-minded blogger, you might not be used to seeing them quite so often, but rather than dealing with them each on her own, women and perceived-women writers have been talking about them publicly, culminating in a cathartic (and often triggering) sharing on Twitter under the hashtag #mencallmethings. As with many other moments in feminist activism, however, the protest has been as revealing about who is welcome and centered in feminist circles as it has been about the abuse and harassment all such writers, centered or not, receive.
ABC’s rocky pilot episode of Body of Proof recently highlighted an ongoing problem television dramas seem to struggle with: the accurate depiction of work/life balance for women. As women in society in general are talking about the need for more support for a work/life balance, particularly for parents who want to pursue careers and raise children, the messages projected in television are often rather slanted, and are generally negative.
Women on television with careers tend to be depicted as single-minded people with few friends, the inability to raise children, and difficulty ‘turning off’ to engage in recreational activities or relationships with people outside their workplaces. In part, this is a fault of the medium. People tune in to television dramas like Bones and Grey’s Anatomy for the workplace setting, not to watch characters at home, out in their communities, or interacting with their children. The storylines are driven by the workplace, and the show must perforce focus on this environment.
For shows like medical and crime dramas, seeing children in the workplace would be unexpected. We wouldn’t exactly expect to see detectives breastfeeding in the morgue, or teenagers hanging out in the operating room gallery (although both of these things do happen in the real world). Because the stories take place primarily in workplace settings, it is difficult to integrate people from outside the work environment. As a result, we rarely see the children, friends, and neighbours of our characters, even though they may be referenced.
In the wake of enormous tragedy, it is left to each of us to analyze the coverage of stories that startle even the most hardened of media consumers. Shaquan Duley, 29, is a South Carolina resident who confessed last week to suffocating two of her toddler-aged children, 1-year-old Ja’van Duley and 2-year-old Devean Duley, then putting her car into neutral and letting it drive off-road into the nearby Edisto River, after initially claiming that she lost control of the vehicle before it entered the river. As details of the case unfold, the portrait of Duley which has emerged is villainous and one-dimensional: she is seen as little more than a young, single and poor Black mother who drowned her children as a result of an argument with her own mother.
This case follows an eerily similar precedent in South Carolina: in 1994, Susan Smith, a white middle-class mother of two boys, strapped both children into their car seats before submerging her car in John D. Long Lake in Union, South Carolina. Like Duley, Smith initially lied about the incident, claiming that her car had been stolen by a young Black man. Continue reading →
The modern world is filled with scientific innovations that have advanced the quality and longevity of life. There was a time when women who were infertile had two options: adoption or nursing an empty womb. There have certainly always been women who did not desire to mother, but for those who were involuntarily infertile, the inability to conceive created terrible pain. IVF has brought the joy of motherhood to millions of women and we have come to see this as a scientific good without questioning what — if any — limitations should be imposed on this process.
Women’s advocates argue for female autonomy and the right of women to control their own bodies; however, in the case of IVF treatment, women are not the only ones being affected. It is important to remember that a child is the result of a successful treatment and that he or she is going to be in a dependent situation for years to come. No one speaks for these potential children in fear that putting limitations on this procedure means putting restrictions on women’s reproductive choices. Continue reading →
From the moment we hear our child’s first cry, we are immediately encouraged to perform the role of long-suffering, ever-vigilant, hyper-nurturing and self-sacrificing mother. It begins with the breast or bottle debate and doesn’t end until we are put to rest. Each decision we make is put under a microscope and analyzed to see if it fits with the social construction of motherhood.
Instead of bonding over our common struggles, women often take the opportunity to rip each other apart. A school of piranhas can sometimes be more friendly than a group of mothers engaged in a “more motherly than thou” contest. We seek to find fault with someone else’s behaviour in the hope that the little mistakes and regrets that we make on this journey are somehow not so bad.
One would never realize that the first Sunday in May is for honouring mothers from watching the commercials that have been airing on television. Like every other supposed holiday it has been turned into a great consumer fest: