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So I'm catching up on my Shark Week recordings, and up came one called Tiger Queens. The description said it was about this weird place where only female tiger sharks tended to congregate, hence the name (I thought.) Then it turned out to be a whole team of women marine biologists et al who were doing this study, and I thought "Woohoo! Then, as I watched I noticed that they had a lot of unnecessary shots of the divers standing, looking 3/4 away, and lots of shots that seemed to travel along the diver in close-up as she swam. Also sprinkled in were shots of the scientists working on the transmitters in their hands from above, a viewpoint highlighting their cleavage(s), . THEN I noticed that with every dive, the background music was completely different than on the shows featuring male divers. The men got music that built up tension, then burst into exciting action music as the guy tagged the shark, or it came towards him (even if it just swam by), then a triumphal finish as they came up out of the water. When the women dove, it was dreamy music with tons of strings, and even the big moment of tagging or the sharks swimming right up to them before suddenly turning and darting away was a big orchestral swell with no sudden bursts or stops, all very smooth. It gave the whole thing the vibe of Sexy Mermaid Fantasy, NOT brave, talented women or dedicated female scientist. I got so angry I couldn't finish watching. Oh, their study also seemed to be woefully under-funded, while even the most dubious of the men's studies seemed to have plenty of cash. Did anyone else notice stuff like this?

So I'm catching up on my Shark Week recordings, and up came one called Tiger Queens. The description said it was about this weird place where only female tiger sharks tended to congregate, hence the name (I thought.) Then it turned out to be a whole team of women marine biologists et al who were doing this study, and I thought "Woohoo! Then, as I watched I noticed that they had a lot of unnecessary shots of the divers standing, looking 3/4 away, and lots of shots that seemed to travel along the diver in close-up as she swam. Also sprinkled in were shots of the scientists working on the transmitters in their hands from above, a viewpoint highlighting their cleavage(s), . THEN I noticed that with every dive, the background music was *completely* different than on the shows featuring male divers. The men got music that built up tension, then burst into exciting action music as the guy tagged the shark, or it came towards him (even if it just swam by), then a triumphal finish as they came up out of the water. When the women dove, it was dreamy music with tons of strings, and even the big moment of tagging or the sharks swimming right up to them before suddenly turning and darting away was a big orchestral swell with no sudden bursts or stops, all very smooth. It gave the whole thing the vibe of Sexy Mermaid Fantasy, NOT brave, talented women or dedicated female scientist. I got so angry I couldn't finish watching. Oh, their study also seemed to be woefully under-funded, while even the most dubious of the men's studies seemed to have plenty of cash. Did anyone else notice stuff like this?

3 comments

Gross. Even when there's more women on the screen, there's always more men behind the scenes making all the creative decisions.

You should send a message to whoever produced it. I know it feels futile, but maybe it's worth screaming into the abyss.

well that sucks - so damn typical though.

as an aside one of my shark heroines is Valerie Taylor