In a fit of insomnia last night, I caught the beginning of The Tonight Show in its second airing. Leno joked in his monologue about how NBC is coming out with an updated version of The Bionic Woman for its fall lineup. Why did the network decide to create a new series based on the Bionic Woman instead of the Bionic Man, he asked? "Because they only have to pay her 80 cents for every dollar they would have had to pay the Bionic Man."
The audience booed the joke, which I hoped was a negative reaction to the sad reality of the Wage Gap in general and not an assumption that Jay (or rather, his team of writers) was being sexist for mentioning it. The wisecrack at least acknowledged the issue and gave it some attention, which is generally preferable to silence. Leno's response to the audience's reaction: "You tell the truth, and they boo you."
Now, about the new show. I don't have much frame of reference since I know very little about the original Bionic Woman from the 70s, but I'm still excited about an upcoming series in which the central character is a butt-kicking, super-hero female. I suppose we'll have to wait and see if she'll end up being portrayed as dynamic and multidimensional, and if the show will meet the standards put forth by Karen Healey. If you click on the link above, you can watch a preview and make your own predictions about how well it will stand up to feminist critique.
"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan