The one good thing that came out of this quarantine was the show I started to watch on Netflix; Greys Anatomy! I have been obsessed with it for over a month, and I seriously have never watched a show that could bring up so many emotions, I have to remind myself that this is just a story line and the characters aren’t real! The show is now at 16 seasons, and I believe they are filming more. This being said, over the course of the seasons, Shonda Rhimes (the executive producer and creator of the show) has incorporated many important subjects, such as feminism and the LGTBQ community.
The first time this is demonstrated is in the fourth episode of the first season. This episode seemed to focus a lot on the female gender, because most of it focused on how Izzie Stevens used to be a model. This led to many of her pictures being posted and talk around the hospital and underlined the way that men and women think about female models. One patient even denied her the opportunity to conduct surgery on him because he fantasized about her before. Izzie used the money she made from modelling to pay for all her Medical school bills, and is now a surgeon, so why is she shamed for modelling? This does not defy her in any way, or change any aspect of her mind, and intelligence. We see throughout the episode and the season that she is often faced with this subject but learns how to overcome and confront it.
One episode in the more recent seasons, showed a controversial scene. When neurosurgeon Amelia Shepard heard that one of her interns, Stephanie Edwards, had lied about “being sick her entire childhood” to get in on a surgery, she immediately confronted her, and punished her for lying. However, Amelia came to find out that she was not lying and felt terrible for accusing her. Before they entered the operating room, Amelia apologized to Stephanie for quickly believing she was a liar. Because Stephanie is a woman of color, Amelia worried that Stephanie would think she was racist. So, Amelia asked her; you don’t think it’s because…that I believed you were a liar, right? Because that’s not the case. Stephanie proceeded with explaining to Amelia, that the thought of people around her treating her different will always be there, and in fact she did think of it at first, when she was first accused. But she knew that Amelia was genuine and looked at her as an equal, this was just a mistake. While their conversation was brief, Amelia still found herself thinking about it after the surgery. She brought the subject up to another surgeon and friend, Maggie Pierce, who is also a woman of color. Maggie proceeded to tell her; I am not the spokesperson for all black woman, but I will say that it is something we deal with our whole life. But I am sure she does believe you and there is nothing to feel bad about. The whole situation really made Amelia reflect, and come to realize that this really is something that will always be a part of their lives, and as long as she kept treating Stephanie as an equal, she would not feel discriminated. Grey’s Anatomy not only brought up the subject of race in this episode, but gender as well.
African American women are often shown in the show, as powerful and successful! Miranda Bailey, who eventually becomes the chief of surgery! Maggie Peirce who is the chief of cardiovascular surgery. Lastly, Catherine Avery/Fox, who is an extremely successful surgeon of color who is known worldwide, owning 20 hospitals! Apart from African American women, they also portray a lot of other women as successful chiefs and attending. Arizona: Chief of pediatrics, Callie: chief of ortho, Meredith: chief of general, Teddy: chief of cardio, to name a few!) I love that they do not show men as more successful surgeons, but instead an equal amount for each gender. Especially with the continuous throwbacks of Meredith Grey’s mother, who was the first female surgeon to receive a Harper Avery award. Her character also plays a huge role with the feminism aspect of the show. Speaking of the prestigious Harper Avery Award, only 2 surgeons from Seattle Grace hospital are nominated throughout the seasons, and both are women! (Cristina and Meredith, Meredith even wins it!)
The show can connect gender, race, and everything in between very well. Race seems to be varied between the characters and gender as well with both males and females taking positions of power in the hospital. In my opinion, the show does a good job of including all types of people, even if they’re not main characters. For example, the show includes many different types of patients, some with mental illnesses, some with disabilities, and patients of many different classes.