We stumbled across a real gem today: a post at Bones Theorydetailing all the many ways in which Bones supports the empowerment of women. Take a look at some of the highlights:
On Bones, women aren’t outnumbered.
According to article writer Barbara, Bones is one of the few TV shows to triumph over the “Smurfette Principle,” in which a show with many characters contains only one female. Smurfette, as you’ll recall, was the only female character on her show. Even today, most procedurals — House, The Closer, Law & Order, the CSIs — leave female characters significantly outnumbered.
Bones, however, has a remarkably even ratio of 50:50, which is pretty uncommon in TV these days. (A rare exception, we’ll grudgingly note, is TV nemesis, Castle).
They’re not all boy-crazy.
And it’s not like these are lame, washed out females, as evidenced by the Bechdel test, a media phenomenon getting a lot of play lately in feminist circles. Basically, the Bechdel test is concerned if how much time women on TV spend focused on something other than just men.
Do the women on a show interact with other women? And if so, do their conversations bridge topics that don’t revolve around men? Bones, of course, passes with flying colors: Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Angela (Michaela Conlin) “talk about animal rights, Angela’s struggles with her job, art, and whatever topic is raised by the case of the week.”
Bones’ ladies kick butt.
Brennan and Cam (Tamara Taylor) may be big bosses in the Jeffersonian — but at the same time, “[t]heir gender is virtually irrelevant in terms of their success.” In fact, as Barbara tells it, Bones does a bang-up job of knocking down cliché after cliché, from “damsel in distress” to “girls can’t handle being injured” to “girls must always be sexy.”
In short, while Bones might ignore some of the more common feminist obsessions, like the “very real issues of sexism … in the hard sciences,” on the whole, this is one procedural that girls can be proud to watch.