Last week I had the opportunity to attend a performance of the new musical ‘Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’, based on a movie of the same name. It deals with the way women react to the men in their lives, with both attraction and utter frustration or anger. Several of the women are stereotypes: the empty-headed receptionist, the sucker for any handsome face, the abandoned wife, the abandoned mistress. For the most part, they are portrayed with sympathy, and used to make the point of the show. What distressed me was the background dancing in a segment about the wife’s time in a mental hospital: three couples, with the women in ‘naughty nurse’ short white dresses with lace-topped white hose and large old-fashioned nurses’ caps. Their presence seemed one more stereotype, and in this case, a gratuitous slap, as the dance did nothing to advance the story line. Ughhhhh.
Kristine M. Gebbie, DrPH, RN
Joan Hansen Grabe Dean, School of Nursing