Saturday, August 09, 2008

It all started with the 19th Amendment . . .

I was looking for information about the 1955 B-Movie Tarantula, and came across this review. It turns out the "line to listen for" is

“I knew it would happen. Give women the vote and what do you get? Lady scientists.”
Of course, why didn't I think of that! Maybe the election year voter drives will increase the number of women physics professors . . . Actually I think it would be pretty funny in a "look how stupidly sexist it used to be the 1950s" way if there weren't individuals currently bemoaning both the terrible effects of women voting and working as scientists.

Anyway, if you are interested in seeing Tarantula in a science-friendly environment - and you live in Southern California - you might want to check out tomorrow's showing as part of the B Movies and Bad Science series at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

And here are some links I've been collecting about the way women scientists are portrayed in film and television that I hadn't gotten around to blogging about:
  • Inkling Magazine: Babe Scientists on Film
    "For best results in science, wear short shorts. And be sure your deep intellect is matched by deep cleavage."
  • Science and Supermodels: Female Scientists in Movies: The Top 10
    "We have to make a choice in a lot of cases; great women or great science. Sometimes we get both but that’s rare."
  • io9: Television: Meet the New Science Heroes
    This is about the portrayal of scientists on TV in general, but there is at least one woman scientist who will be on-screen in the fall lineup: Deanna Russo as super-scientist Sarah Graiman on the new version of Knight Rider.
Image: John Agar as small town physician Matt Hastings and Mara Corday as scientist Stephanie "Steve" Clayton in Tarantula.

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4 comments:

Kea said...

Yeah, I recently watched a 1960s film that I loved as a kid for having a strong female character, and was absolutely horrified at how sexist it was, which of course I had no recollection of, because everything used to be like that.

Maybe I should put a photo of me wearing short shorts and displaying my ample cleavage on my postdoc applications. I couldn't do any worse.

Kea said...

But I can hardly complain. I'm sure my success so far can be largely attributed to the fact that I come from the first country to give women the vote (New Zealand).

thoughtcounts Z said...

Interesting, and very funny/sad.... An idea, particularly for those of us not in the LA area for that film series: watching some of these movies might make for good club activities. I know the Women in Physics group I'm in is always looking for stuff to do.

! Mark said...

Yeah, the reason I selected that quote was because of its blatant sexism. There's a lot of it in those 50s sci-fi flicks.