Posts Written by Sarah

Where The Mindy Project Gets it Wrong

So, here’s the thing. I love Mindy Kaling. I want to love The Mindy Project. A smart woman is the lead in a TV show that portrays her as wholly flawed and skilled and human? Yes please. There have been a few cringe-worthy moments along the way – a joke about domestic violence in the first episode, a tasteless joke about re-entry after prison in another – but for the most part, I’ve enjoyed the show. There are few characters on TV whose imperfections are as hilarious as Mindy’s or whose insecurities ring as true to mine.

But last week’s episode (and I know, I’m late!) about the competition between midwives and obstetricians went too far. Positioning the two practices as competitors instead of separate professionals with different expertise was inaccurate and deprecating to the field of midwifery. The audience was clearly supposed to support Dr. Mindy, et al, in poking fun at and delegitimizing midwifery. It’s a tired trope, one that unnecessarily and perhaps unintentionally moves women’s reproductive care backwards.

In the episode, the doctors in Mindy’s practice are shocked to hear that they are losing patients to the midwives upstairs. They wonder why anyone would choose a ‘pretend doctor’ to deliver their baby when they could have a ‘real doctor’ performing their baby’s delivery.

But they miss the point completely: midwives support the mothers in delivering their own babies, while obstetricians deliver the babies themselves; the two distinct approaches to reproductive healthcare are virtually ...

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