Mindy Felt Threatened By Anna, Her Female Coworker On 'The Mindy Project,' & Learned A Valuable Feminist Lesson
Mindy Lahiri could be considered a feminist icon in many ways, but breaking out of patriarchal habits is sometimes difficult for everyone. After hesitating to hire another female doctor, Mindy was accused of being sexist on The Mindy Project and had to do some unpacking of her own. The episode explored internalized misogyny and concluded with a few valuable lessons.
After dismissing multiple female candidates because of "vibes" and bringing in an under-qualified male doctor that her coworkers did not approve of either, Mindy sought out Anna, an OBGYN who had been fired for slapping a misogynist man at her old practice. While Mindy thought that she would intimidate the other doctors, Anna was hired on the spot. While sexist remarks throughout the episode were not limited to characters of any gender, the only person intimidated by Anna was Mindy herself. Ultimately, her boyfriend Ben's preteen daughter was able to help her see the truth. Lindsay told a story about sabotaging a girl at a math competition that she was jealous of, which then backfired because it only made both of them (and all girls) look like they were bad at math.
Back at work, Mindy apologized to Anna, and explained that she expects men to only be able to handle one woman at a time, which makes her get competitive. I guess that makes sense. I also kind of like that Mindy and Anna agreed that they weren't going to become friends outside of work, not because they are women, but because they have nothing in common and don't like each other. That is perfectly OK! Supporting women in the workplace doesn't mean you have to be best friends with every one of your coworkers. The importance of maintaining female friendships, both at work and in your personal life, is a separate issue.
I'm interested to see what happens with Anna on this show. In my experience, when I have been one of two women in a group, what tends to happen is that we get lumped together rather than pitted against each other. There's a lot of comedy to be had there, as well. All in all, Anna should be a fun addition on The Mindy Project, whether Mindy likes it or not.
Image: Jordin Althaus/Universal Television