I have been watching The Big Bang Theory on television for a number of years now, and although I probably should have stood for 'girl power', I would say that none of the female roles had any particular influence on me.
That was until I read an article in the Telegraph, which said how a female science technician had been subjected to abuse, being told that she had to "stay in the kitchen". At the private boy's school where she worked, the technician also heard a fellow colleague saying "you should never have women in physics".
For those who are unaware of the characters in The Big Bang Theory, there are two females who have careers in microbiology and neuroscience. Bernadette and Amy both hold roles that represent the true power of women, and have on countless occasions proved they can be just as influential as their male co-stars' characters, sometimes even out-smarting them.
The one question that arose from the article was why sexual discrimination remains prominent in professions where women have had great influence. It seems that the revelations by Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin and Barbara McClintock have been wasted on those who still see the glass ceiling of discrimination as unbreakable.
In hindsight I can appreciate the characterisation of Bernadette and Amy in The Big Bang Theory as a way of shaking off the stereotype that women are only capable of taking on domestic roles. They are both symbols of becoming 'something from nothing' - Bernadette left her job as a waitress to achieve a Ph.D. in microbiology, and Amy broke out of her shell of awkwardness to embrace her career as a neuroscientist with her romance, Sheldon.
In what school or home are young boys brought up to think that women still belong, as some say, in the kitchen? Around the same time as reading the article I was watching the final of Child Genius, a programme that follows six extraordinarily smart children through a competition to see who will win the title. The final included a head to head round between a young girl and a boy- the girl won the Child Genius title, and I don't believe it was down to the fact that she was slightly older.
The young girl was self taught, and determined to bask in her own glory and learn wisely from her own mistakes. She knew how to work hard to achieve her dream, and not one of the boys seemed a threat to her. There is evidence that screams how gender equality in certain professions is drastically improving - it is just a shame that some remain ignorant to it.
The science technician in the article literally had the doors to her career slammed in her face. She was sworn at, betrayed by other teachers, and paid less than her male colleagues. With this in mind I can only say thank you to the creators of The Big Bang Theory, who say it can be normal for women to earn significantly more than men, and can live in a world where they belong in science.