“Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need.” This iconic quote radiates the feminism in Grey’s Anatomy. For twelve years and 14 seasons in counting, the hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy continues to break stereotypes in society. The show is based in Seattle, Washington which follows the leading character Meredith Grey and doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital through their professional and personal lives. From the early being of the show in 2005, the cast features a diverse range of people, and as time passed, Grey’s Anatomy started to have more and more leading ladies. Throughout the history of the show, more females are featured than males, making it a rare phenomenon in Hollywood. Grey’s anatomy is a female-centric show that tells the story of a male-centric field.The show began to air in the summer of 2005 and became one of the highest ranking in its time slot.
It is adored and admired by people around the world (and not only by feminists). Created by Shonda Rhimes (who is a feminist herself) wanted to shine the light on the unrealistic portrayals of women in the media through Grey’s Anatomy, and it has been successful. From the very first scene of the show, Meredith rejects Derek (whom she figures out he is her boss after their first encounter) after their one-night-stand, and when he tries to pursue her, she rejects him again. Despite this scene airing 11 years before the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations, it shows the power women are able to achieve and allow women to recognise that they do not have to please and satisfy men.
The plot of the show was never meant to be typical and follow stereotypes. Meredith’s mother who was also a surgeon leapt through many boundaries during her time. She was a successful doctor and has won many Harper Avery award, a fictional medical award. Even though it was difficult to succeed, it shows us that with hard work, dedication and perseverance, anyone, even a girl, can win. An intelligent female is not new or rare; from Amy Farrah Fowler in the Big Bang Theory to Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter Series, the list of intelligent female characters go on. Throughout history, many women’s contribution to science and medicine were easily overlooked by contributions made by men. The idea of a person’s accomplishments being ignored because they are female is completely absurd.
With Grey’s Anatomy, it is able to shine the light on strong, smart, successful women, representing women in a positive spotlight. Motherhood is a choice, yet society still judges women who do not want children. Some women want children and some don’t. Some want to focus on their careers instead of being a mother, and it shouldn’t be something to be ashamed about. The portrayal of working moms and modern motherhood allows the viewer to get a more realistic representation of working women. However, Grey’s Anatomy does not suppress the struggles of balancing work with motherhood, it embraces it. Characters like Miranda Bailey and Callie Torres highlights the difficulty of this issue, and this important topic is mentioned quite frequently throughout the show. No, not wanting to be a mother is not a selfish act and this was brilliantly portrayed through the character of Christina Yang.
She an antithesis of a transitional female. Instead of wanting children, she chooses to focus on her career, her talent, herself. Her desire to not have a baby lead her to get abortions and even ruining her marriage. We were also able to see the problems of being a child to a mother who didn’t want a child in Meredith Grey. She was being emotionally neglected and even on occasion physically neglected; Most of her problem stemmed from how her mother didn’t want a child. In today’s world, there is an opportunity to choose to be or not to be a mother and it normalised the choice to not be a mother.