When the smart lady-geeks at The Mary Sue posted the Redditor-created infographic above comparing the women of science fiction to the female characters on prime-time TV (as though those two worlds are mutually exclusive), they encouraged us to “think of it as a discussion starter.” So, let’s talk about this obvious piece of sci-fi propaganda: On the left side, amid the “strong, independent, intelligent” physicians and scientists, there doesn’t seem to be room for, say, the ubiquitous Slave Leia or any of Captain Kirk’s beloved space babes.
But the right side may be even worse. For one thing, what is so terrible about Elaine Benes — who just yesterday won well-deserved praise on Jezebel for being “the most casually feminist character to ever grace the small screen”? And isn’t it a bit disingenuous to give us a big photo of Betty Draper to represent a show that spends far more time on ’60s proto-feminist Peggy Olson? Why are we looking at Carmela Soprano and not, say, Edie Falco’s current character, the strong, tough Nurse Jackie? While Rachel Green has been off of NBC for years, Leslie Knope and Liz Lemon are on it right now! Snooki, meanwhile, isn’t even supposed to be a character — she’s ostensibly a real person! So, yeah, this infographic? Misleading.