Lady Science no. 5
Article five of Lady Science is titled “Rethinking the Makers of the Manhattan Project”. This article discusses some of the actual Manhattan Project, which is the secret production of nuclear weapons in America. But mainly this article focuses around a television show called Manhattan. This show is centered around the lives of people living in the nuclear production town of Los Alamos, New Mexico during the second World War and the ensuing Cold War. The article practically complains about how the writers and director of the television show depicted women in the series. I find this surprising. Now I have never seen the show Manhattan before, I do not even know what channel in airs or aired on, but it is my personal opinion that each character might be slightly tampered with in order to appeal with its audience. The author of the article mentions the role of a housewife and how all she does is lay out an tan and pay soldiers to was her car with their shirts off. The author finds this as an atrocious representation of the stereotypes of women. I simply see it as appealing to an audience or simply answer with the word “Hollywood”. Everything will be skewed in one way or another when it is put on screen in Hollywood simply to appeal to the most people. The author particularly took offense to the idea of the women characters having affairs with other people on the show and believed it showed an inappropriate stereotype. I believe, once again, the writers and director were simply trying to make good television. Maybe they thought an original story about people around this time and location was not “sexy” enough for television. The point of the show was not to provide a detailed and orderly history of the occurrences on Los Alamos, its to provide drama for the audience. How many television shows do you see that show people having an affair? Almost every show has something of questionable action, but thats what makes it an exciting drama television show. I know there were plenty of women that actually worked on the Manhattan Project, and ultimately I think that is what the author of the article is trying to talk about. She even goes on to mention a few of the main contributors such as Phyllis Fisher, Ida Noddack, and Lise Meitner. All three, among many more, were very influential in helping the production of the nuclear atomic bomb. Not even the bomb aspect at Los Alamos, but throughout other bases across the country and even previously as scientists discovering fission or other aspects of bomb mechanics. These women obviously should be recognized, and they are as such, but also the depictions of women in shows such as Manhattan reflect a large average portion of women as well as simply appeal to the audience watching the show. It may depict certain stereotypes, but what show does not depict stereotypes of all its characters? Thats how they help the audience know more about the character.
Picture by FastFission