#DallasChat Daily: How Does ‘Dallas’ Depict Working Women?

Donna Culver Krebbs, Elena Ramos, Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo, Linda Gray, Pam Ewing, Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing, Sue Ellen Ewing, Susan Howard, TNT, Victoria Principal

None of “Dallas’s” women characters worked outside their homes when the original show began in 1978, but that gradually changed: Pam got a job at The Store and later entered the oil industry, Lucy modeled and waitressed, Donna became a politico, and Sue Ellen dabbled in fund-raising, lingerie and filmmaking. On TNT’s sequel series, Pamela is co-owner of Ewing Global and Elena works at the company, while Judith calls the shots at Ryland Transport and the brothel.

Your #DallasChat Daily question: How would you describe “Dallas’s” depiction of working women? Have things improved, worsened or stayed the same?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Have a great discussion!


  1. Dan in WI says:

    The problem is so many of the CBS working women scenarios seemed so forced and I’m looking mostly at Pam.
    Donna was introduced as the equal partner/wife of a politician so that one is fine and natural.
    Pam was okay as a Store employee but the move to Barnes Wentworth was so forced and nepotisic since she had zero oil experience. (Neither did Cliff but that is a topic for another Daily Chat.) Nor did we ever see Cliff do a lot to show her the ropes.
    Lucy’s jobs were completely random to serve a storyline. I guess you can kind of buy model since she likely saw herself as a glamerous person but I can’t buy a Ewing, especially spoiled Lucy, lowering themselves to waitress even given her mother’s roots.
    Sue Ellen’s evolution probably made the most sense as far as a logical progression goes. The Daughters of the Alamo fundraising seemed a natural for a socialite wife. The lingerie thing while a far cry from fundraising worked too. It was using skills she learned from JR to hit JR where he lives and there is nothing wrong with that. Besides she initially let the expert Oswald continue to run the business and learned the trade as she went. The film maker might have been a bit of a step backward as it was a bit too similar to the lingerie venture. But here again at least she didn’t pull a Pam and try to do it herself. She relied on an insider. However in the end since her film was never released this wasn’t a very profitable venture.

    Then we come to TNT and I’d say there was real progress there. Elena and Pamela were both introduced as college educated so it makes perfect sense there. Judith was a bit of a ret-con since Harris seemed firmly in control in season 1 prior to her introduction.

  2. Jennifer Irons says:

    I enjoyed seeing the women on the original Dallas working and not just sitting around at SF simply being “Mrs. Ewing”!

    • Haven’t u ever noticed Miss Jenny that Miss Ellie & the ladies always seemed to have the upper hand on “DALLAS: CBS?” This allowed them to keep the men in “check” so they weren’t as powerful as they thought in the 1st place. Miss Ellie & Miss Texas in particular had to keep the reins in on J.R. but at points they knew they needed him so they let him go off. Definitely a smart move b/c Miss Ellie had to take Jock’s place as head of the family & watch her boys more closely in adulthood & in business since Jock wasn’t there.

      The same thang Miss Jenny occurs on “DALLAS: TNT” as Judith Ryland keeps her son in check. Emma Ryland & Pamela Barnes Ewing Ewing keep John Ross in check (& involved in deliciously green 3 ways), Ann watched over Brother Bobby during his cancer scare as a medical check. Miss Texas, Sue Ellen keeps John Ross Ewing The IIIrd in line, just as she did Former 2 time Husband John Ross (J.R.) Ewing The IInd.

      I for one love the strong women here & unlike the current President of the United States & congressional leaders, the Ewings actually seem II have a working system of “checks & balances!

      Checkmate & thanks for the retweets Miss Jenny!

      • Jennifer Irons says:

        I love your comments about the women and you are right, they had to keep the Ewing men in line so Dallas definitely needed the ladies as much as the men! And thank you for your retweets too! 🙂

  3. I like to comment on how Dallas depicted women due to the fact that men where behind the driver’s seat. Women like Lucy, Sue Ellen and Pam through out the series were displayed mostly as weak and affection starved. Even when they showed some growth, backbone and strength it only last a few episodes before they are back to needing and relying on men. Lucy to me got too easily enamored by and fell for any man she was attracted. She was easily taken in by men who showed any interest whether it was genuine affection or not. Pam was needy after Seasons 1&2, any time Bobby was too busy, too consumed in something and did not pay her any attention or involved in something she did not agree with she gets easily swayed by men like jerks Alex and Mark. Men who merely comment on her beauty or followed her around like a puppy dog with their tongue or d*** hanging out. Sue Ellen had her share of affairs like JR but you give her slack because JR was a lousy husband. When JR who has treated her so badly every time begins to show her some kind of affection and “genuine” love which never last for long or affection because he had an agenda she easily falls for it. When it turns out badly she turns to alcohol to ease her pain. These women who some times whine and complain when things are not going well, for example Pam in Season 10 how she dealt with Jenna’s pregnancy. Yes Bobby got another woman (your rival) pregnant but it was not like he cheated on you, you were divorced. She should have suck it up, understand that Bobby may want to be apart of the child’s life and get some back bone and faith that he loves her and Christopher and nothing will come between that. He choose to be with you over his pregnant fiancé , a woman who is able to give him a child. Dallas depicted some women who sometimes can be really pathetic when it comes to being in control of their lives or relationships.

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