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.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
Mark: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.
Alex: Denial.
Derek: Anger.
Bailey: Bargaining.
Lexie: Depression.
Richard: Acceptance.

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith