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Disrupting Sexism in the Workplace

by Anita Sarkeesian

Fringe is a show created by J.J. Abrams that debuted on Fox in 2008.  It follows an FBI agent through non traditional events that require the use of fringe science to solve cases.  These cases can be about teleportation, psychic abilities, rare diseases, rapid aging and other science fiction types of events.  Olivia Dunham has been assigned to work in the top secret department that investigates and solves these rare occurrences.

At the conclusion of one episode in which young women were kidnapped and turned into radioactive time bombs through medical experimentation, Dunham's male boss accused her of being "too sensitive."  Her response is a wonderful example of how to push back on the traditional gender norms that are often used to trivialize women in the workplace.  She replies by informing her boss that "men always say that about women they work with" and goes on to explain that her use of emotions is what makes her a good detective.  Instead of succumbing to his critique and 'toughening up' she refuses to let the standard unemotional, unattached mode of working in a traditionally male environment change the way that she best does her job.

Disrupting Sexism in the Workplace

A female FBI agent defends her emotional involvement in her work, a critique often used against women in the workplace.

from Fringe (2008)
Creator: J.J. Abrams
Distributor: 20th Century Fox Television
Posted by Anita Sarkeesian