In this episode, Janine chats about Dana Scully from The X-Files. She explores Scully’s significance for women in STEM, by looking at Scully as a scientist, a mother, a working woman, and an early liberal feminist.
What’s in episode 21, “Sceptical Scully”?
Janine welcomes listeners back and introduces the topic of this episode – Dana Scully from The X-Files. She briefly mentions Scully’s significance for women’s representation and fangirls over Mulder and Scully. Janine then lists all the aspects of Scully she will talk about and then gets into the discussion!
Early liberal feminism
Janine gives some background on early liberal feminism and recommends the show Mrs America. She explains how Betty Fridan especially called for women to enter the workforce in The Feminine Mystique. Janine briefly recaps depictions of women as workers – Ellen Ripley and Captain Janeway.
Scully as a career woman
Following the discussion of early liberal feminism, Janine explains how Scully is an ideal career woman. Janine recaps an episode from season one and another from season five to explain how important Scully’s job is.
Scully as a scientist
The next thing that makes Scully an early liberal feminist, Janine explains, is her status as a scientist. Janine notes the contrast between Mulder and Scully in terms of their scientific beliefs.
Scully as a scientist is very subversive and empowering, Janine explains. Janine briefly gets sidetracked and chats about Scully’s religious beliefs.
The next topic Janine explores is Scully’s outfits and her sexuality. Janine explains how Scully is never sexualised and that she never uses her sexuality to achieve her goals. Janine briefly compares Scully with Miss Congeniality to illustrate her point.
Scully as a mother
One aspect of Scully’s femininity that Janine then explores is Scully as a mother. Janine gives some background on cultural feminism, which values motherhood, first. She also explains how adoptive motherhood is empowering as it subverts the idea of the nuclear family.
Janine briefly recaps Ripley, Sarah Connor and Captain Janeway as mothers. She then explains how Scully is portrayed as a non-biological mother and how that’s empowering for her.
Janine wraps up the episode by thanking listeners and reminding them of her YouTube channel and Patreon page. She also gives a brief preview of next week’s episode, The Black Widow!
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