This blog post was inspired by a drunken conversation that I had with Beth in the basement of a Sports bar at midnight on a Friday night. But bare with me because I've got a pretty good point here...
We were talking about nerdy TV shows like The Big Bang Theory and the way that they portray the characters. Whilst I enjoy the show, I think there are a lot of problems with the way that they portray scientists and especially the female characters. There are a few shows that do this poorly but I'm going to focus on The Big Bang Theory in this post as it's the most popular.
When you think of a scientist, characters like Sheldon Cooper often come to mind. Which doesn't really help our image. When people think of scientists they also think of people who are socially awkward, arrogant and unfashionable. Which simply isn't true or fair.
Let's look at the female characters in the show. Amy, Bernadette, and Leslie are all quite frankly pretty weird. Likeable characters in their own right but not without odd and often unrealistic quirks. When compared to Penny, they nowhere near as 'desirable'. A show like The Big Bang Theory has such a wide audience and they really could be doing a little more to help portray the idea that all types of women can be scientists. So much work is being done to get young women interested in STEM subjects but a show like this stamps in a silent but strong message.