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Dexter: Learning Not to Trust (Part 2)

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 by Purtek

The second woman in this episode who exhibits a learned discomfort with trusting her male partner is Rita, Dexter’s girlfriend. Rita is interesting for a number of reasons—she’s in a romantic relationship with a sociopath, but one who is adept at hiding the fact that he spends his evenings murdering people, though he still struggles […]


Dexter: Learning Not to Trust (Part 1)

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 by Purtek

The second episode of the second season of Dexter includes a thematic thread connecting several of the female characters. I started trying to write just one post on it, but found that, even though I’m really only looking at one episode, the themes were rich enough that they deserved to be explored in a post […]


Heroes Season 2: Okay, but Monica is awesome

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007 by Purtek

As promised yesterday, the good news from Season 2 of Heroes: Monica Dawson.
Monica is a black teenager (Micah’s cousin) living with her family in New Orleans. I don’t recall that the show specifies the exact ways that Hurricane Katrina affected this family, but among them is that Monica has become the primary breadwinner. She’s put […]


Heroes Season 2: You can still do better

Monday, November 12th, 2007 by Purtek

Last season, I wrote about how Heroes, an awesome show in so many respects, could stand to work on its portrayal of women in big ways. I had heard they were paying some attention to the common criticism of gender imbalance and they’ve responded this season by adding some female characters. They’ve made one major […]


Women in Competition (How I Met Your Mother)

Friday, October 26th, 2007 by Purtek

A couple of weeks ago, on this thread, I mentioned that men are constantly portrayed as competing for women in a way that makes the woman essentially irrelevant. We use game metaphors to describe the system, but the winner and loser–the agents of participation–are always just the men. The women, I said, are the ball, […]


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