Sigourney Weaver is shown in this 1986 photo from the movie "Aliens".
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Sigourney Weaver is shown in this 1986 photo from the movie "Aliens".

Bad day at work? Watch a show. It's good for you

Have you ever had a job so bad that you've dreamed of quitting in a major way, like how Peggy Olson did in the AMC drama Mad Men?

Our fantasies — and our realities — are influenced by much of what we see in movies and on television, according to Salon TV critic Melanie McFarland.

McFarland says that characters like Peggy (and Ripley from the 1986 blockbuster "Aliens", who McFarland credits as aiding some of her worst days at work) have major influence on us.

When we watch characters who are overwhelmingly white, cisgender, straight and male have the most power, it causes us to assume that those same kind of people should have all the power in real life, too.

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On this episode of Battle Tactics For Your Sexist Workplace, hosts Eula Scott Bynoe and Jeannie Yandel talk to McFarland about the characters and plot lines that have helped us form ideas about what our culture is supposed to be like.

But sometimes helping is actually hurting — you know?

McFarland argues that if television helps us shape our ideas about our collective culture, it can also help us understand exactly how and why our culture needs to shift.

Listen by tapping the play button above, or subscribe wherever you podcast: Apple Podcasts // RSS // Google Play Music // Stitcher // Overcast.

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