Call the Midwife creator and writer Heidi Thomas says other TV dramas should be ashamed of their portrayals of women, decrying the lack of “equality in our public storytelling.”
Revealing that people are constantly asking her whether the drama is “still feminist,” she explained: “Of course we are still feminist! Feminism is not a story of the week!
“It’s not a challenge like a breech birth, it is absolutely in the DNA of everything we do… but we have never said the word feminism. Because we don’t preach it; we live it. It’s there in every breath that we take.”
Thomas added: “We’re now known for that, and I’m very proud of that, but I think the fact that feminism is now thought of as our unique selling point is very interesting.
“Because surely all dramas should create interesting female characters? Surely all dramas should show women experiencing things in their lives which are important, and resonant, and have implications for the other people in their lives?”
Speaking at a screening in London, she told press: “I think if other dramas don’t acknowledge that, if they don’t breach those ramparts, it shouldn’t be our pride – it should be their shame.
“Because I honestly think that what we are doing is not something that is unique or exceptional, it’s something that is what the world is about.”
Thomas also revealed that series eight of Call the Midwife will feature a prostate examination for one of the male characters, raising awareness of a major health issue that affects men.
“We have now said the word ‘vagina’ several times on television,” she pointed out. “Much later in the series, you will see certainly the first-ever male prostate examination I’ve ever seen on popular television. We go there! The word vagina was just paving the way.
“Men are important, women are important, and why there isn’t more equality in our public storytelling I do not know.”
Call the Midwife will return for the Christmas 2018 special, followed by series eight in the New Year