Is Grey's Anatomy Bad For Women?

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Do shows like Grey's Anatomy promote the empowerment of women, or do they actually set women back? Sunday, Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times said she finds something fundamentally wrong with Grey's Anatomy, as well as its upcoming spinoff.

Stanely writes that "career girls" on TV started off "competent-but-flaky" (Mary Tyler Moore, Marlo Thomas), but have devolved into "basket cases" â€" and it's all thanks to Ally McBeal.

Grey's may be saved somewhat by the brilliance of Sandra Oh or Chandra Wilson, but unfortunately, says Stanley, the Kate Walsh spinoff, Private Practice, seems even worse in this regard:

"Sex isn't the problem with the new series; it's the subjugation. Addison looks up her old friend from medical school whose perfect marriage has just ended and finds herself enmeshed with two other mature, reputable professionals: a fertility specialist and a psychotherapist. All three women are lovelorn, sex-starved and prone to public displays of disaffection."

"It wouldn't matter, since the show is admittedly over-the-top escapist fantasy for women, except that it is troubling that even in escapist fantasies, today's heroines have to be weak, needy and oversexed to be liked by women and desired by men."

Meredith, Addison

Along with blaming Ally McBeal for starting this trend, Stanley scolds Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes for not having the sense to correct it.

"Somehow, even in the hands of a woman, a show about female doctors finds humor and solace in their distress. Self-deprecation has been replaced with self-denigration. People complain that hip-hop stars use obscene lyrics and lewd music videos to demean women. Sometimes, so do even the most bourgeois women's television shows."

What do you think? Does Grey's Anatomy demean women? Are you excited about the spinoff at all, based on last week's episode?

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I'm a women's studies minor and Grey's Anatomy has come up in several of my women's studies classes. The two women in particular that get celebrated in my classes are Callie O' Malley (Torres)and Dr. Bailey. These women are plus sized by TV standards and we all saw them as positive role models. These women are in a tough field so I give them credit for accomplishing what they do.


Grey's Anatomy is not demeaning to women!! The women of Grey's are only doing what men been doing for years. It is time for women to step and take charge and say "F everyone who doesn't like it!" Time to do our thing and let it all hang out and have fun doing it! Stand proud women and hold your heads up fall back, it is your turn to cry!!!!


What you see on the ourside of a person is not always what they feel on the inside. Men and women alike struggle to find a balance. That's why I like Meredith so much she is smart, hard working, and she's there for her friends but she just does'nt know how to deal with herself and her feelings. Give the girl some credit no matter how bad her mother was and she was pretty bad she was always there for her and working on her career. Take a professional woman with issues and she's a bad image give me a break.


I don't think Grey's is demeaning to women at all. Most times I feel as thought I empathize with the feelings of the women on the show (maybe not so much the getting drunk and having inappropriate sex of Meredith) and it's nice to see "Wow, these strong, intelligent, successful women have similar thoughts, feelings, and problems as I do." I think Grey's does empower women because it showcases successful women acting like real women.


Just because we see the inner workings and feelings of a woman on these TV shows, that doesn't mean she is a "basket case" on the surface. Part of the reason they got where they are is by being "tough."
And if we have to point fingers at female characters, then what about the flaky-ness and emotional feelings of the male characters. HELLO Derek Shepherd?


I'm not excited about the spin-off, the only thing I'm excited about is the pete-addi love whatever. They look good together.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.