When you think of The Big Bang Theory, you probably don't necessarily think of it as a series breaking gender stereotypes. Well, that's exactly what the comedy is doing in Season 10 with Bernadette.
Now that she is expecting her first child with her husband Howard, Bernadette's life is changing in ways that she never anticipated. She's a soon-to-be first-time mom who is trying to navigate through life as a pregnant, working, successful and talented woman. Like many mothers, Bernadette has quickly realized that motherhood is a game-changer in both positive and negative ways.
Bernadette has always been a badass, but this season, she is kicking ass even more. Actually, she is an inspiration, giving a voice to women who, like Bernadette, know what it's like to not only be a pregnant woman in the workplace and be treated differently for it, but also a woman who just isn't maternal and isn't excited about becoming a mom.
For far too long, society has painted the picture of women as happy wives and mothers, but that isn't the case for many. Believe it or not, there are some women who don't dream about getting married and having kids one day. There are also many women who don't have the so-called "maternal gene."
That's exactly who Bernadette is, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. That isn't to say she won't be a good mom or won't love her own child, but the pregnancy itself and all of the planning (like decorating and picking names) doesn't excite her like it does others. The fact that TBBT is creating such a powerful storyline for Bernadette is a wonderful thing. To see her continue to break the mold and the ideals that women face daily, well, it's proof of just how amazing of a character she truly is.
With that, let's celebrate Season 10 Bernadette by showing some of her most powerful moments thus far.
Raj is all about getting the baby's room ready for his/her arrival, but Bernadette? Yeah, she couldn't care less and doesn't understand why it's necessary. She'd rather do something else and feels like there is plenty of time to create a space for her baby. Once again, not all women are all about the things that come with having a baby. Bernadette isn't going to change who she is or how she feels just because she's pregnant. She is staying true to herself.
As she told Raj, "Not every girl dreams about being a mom. Sometimes you think you're never going to have kids and one day you wake up and you're pregnant. And it doesn't matter that your career's going great right now and that you and your husband never even got to go anywhere taped to a dog." That is one Bernadette quote that stands on its own.
Bernadette is worried that she isn't excited like others moms are. She and Raj even called his father (an OB-GYN) for advice on what's wrong with her. Guess what? There is nothing wrong with her, and as Raj's dad explained, there are some mothers who aren't excited, but that doesn't mean Bernadette won't be a great mom or that she won't love her baby. More women feel like Bernadette than I think many know, so to hear her talk about it is definitely influential.
Bernadette tried to keep her pregnancy a secret because she was afraid that it would affect her career. It's unfortunate that a woman who will soon be a mother is treated differently in the workplace, but it happens. Like Bernadette told Penny and Amy, she wanted to keep it to herself because she was afraid she'd be overlooked to work on a major new study. One would think in 2016 that still wouldn't be a fear women have, but it very much is.
Bernadette was mad at Penny for good reason after she learned her friend spilled the beans about her pregnancy. Not only did she work extremely hard to get where is today in her career and is scared she'll have to start from the bottom because she's pregnant, but she's faced judgment her whole entire life and is sick of it. "I've always been treated differently. Look at me. Listen to me. I mean, the first thought when you see me isn't, 'That's a scientist,' it's, 'I wonder if her mommy knows where she is.'"
No matter how she is treated and no matter how people look at her, Bernadette won't back down. She is even willing to sue her workplace if needed. "I gently reminded him that he's an old rich white guy and I'm a sweet little pregnant lady who's not afraid to cry in front of a jury," she told Penny about her boss and what would happen if he decides to not let her run the study. She also added, "I learned a long time ago when you're four feet-11 and eye-level with every guy's crotch, that's where you punch." Damn straight, Bernadette.
That's what she's done in only three episodes, so I can't wait to see how Bernadette continues to be a badass as Season 10 continues.
The Big Bang Theory airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.
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