|“The Weaker Sex”|
Professor Arturo giving a speech
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Written by||Dawn Presrwich|
|Directed by||Vern Gillum|
|Guest stars||Teresa Barnwell|
Robert Curtis Brown
Alfred E. Humphreys
|List of Sliders episodes|
"The Weaker Sex" is the seventh episode of the science fiction television show Sliders. It originally aired on May 3, 1995. In the episode, the sliders land on a world where traditional gender roles are reversed.
The group arrives on a world where women hold public office, play professional sports, fly planes, and are captains of industry while men cook, clean, and stay home to take care of the kids. Over the centuries, men had gradually come to resent female leadership and believe they should be equal and not discriminated against as seen by Arturo's popularity. To add to this, it is definitely a caste system; a matriarchal version of 19th century patriarchal society, men have little avenues of employment aside from modeling, secretarial work and nannying and are treated as second-class citizens subject to female whims. Hillary Clinton is the president of the United States of America, and Jane Pauley is the Pope. Maximillian Arturo runs against San Francisco mayor Anita Ross.
Since the sliders have six and a half weeks on this earth, they realize they need to get jobs. Initially, Quinn is only able to find employment as a nanny and a nude model. Rembrandt attempts to sing on the street in the hopes that people will leave him change. Unfortunately, he only makes enough to afford crackers and cheese whiz. Wade finds a job working in the mayor's office and announces that she might be able to get jobs for Quinn, Rembrandt and Arturo.
While waiting to be interviewed, Arturo expresses annoyance at a female dominated society. A journalist for a men's magazine overhears Arturo and suggests that Arturo has a very radical outlook. He gives Arturo his business card and asks him to call if the job at the mayor's office does not work out. Quinn is given a job, but he feels that the person who interviewed him was sizing him up like a piece of meat. Arturo is rejected; he says they have no use for a middle-aged physics professor. The journalist runs into Arturo as he exits the office, and takes Arturo out to dinner along with several other men's rights activists. They say that they think a man can do just as good of a job as a woman and announce that they want Arturo to be the next mayor of San Francisco.
Arturo tells Quinn and Wade that he plans to run for office, and they point out that Arturo has been discouraging the others from interfering with the society of alternate earths since they started their journey as Wade believes its a superior society to an equal one as seen by her beliefs and that she normally wishes to change things, but doesn't now, due to thinking it's a superior system. Arturo feels strongly about the cause of the men's rights advocates on this earth, and he runs for mayor anyway. He justifies this by saying that his principles of non-interference are subject to a process of evolution.
While singing for money in public, Rembrandt meets a woman who says she is a record producer. Rembrandt goes to her place and tells him she has met the man of her dreams. The two begin a romantic relationship.
Meanwhile, in Arturo's campaign office, a brick is thrown through the window. Arturo receives a phone call stating that next time it will be a bomb.
The campaigners at Anita Ross's office ask Quinn to see an ad that they made discouraging the voters from voting for Arturo. In the ad, it was mentioned that Arturo did not provide an employment history to prove that he is a physics professor. Quinn and Wade get into an argument about the ad; Quinn says that the part about his university credentials could only have come from Wade, but she says it could have also come from an article in the New York Times, although there is evidence to the contrary. Quinn quits his job, and attempts to get Arturo to drop out of the election to keep the matriarchal society due to Wade's influence. Arturo responds by stating that he feels like Martin Luther King, Jr. and he wants to allow young boys on this world to dream of being an astronaut or a professional baseball player. A few minutes later, there is an attempt on his life.
Rembrandt's girlfriend's ex-boyfriend comes by and mentions to Rembrandt that she is not a record producer as she had claimed. Later that day, she tells Rembrandt that she has a business dinner and cannot eat with him. Rembrandt is hurt and states that he worked hard on preparing dinner, and that his needs are being neglected. The relationship ends.
At the hotel, Arturo expresses surprise that it was a man who tried to kill him. Wade is not surprised, which suggests more of her influence. Wade tells Arturo that he should not blame society for reacting that way, and that he is attempting to force his values on a world that is not ready for them, ie. that she sees as changing woman's superior role. Arturo decides that it was a mistake to run for mayor, but that it is too late to drop out because it would prevent men from being able to run for a long time. Arturo attempts to throw the election by crying at a televised debate with his opponent, but the plan ends up backfiring, and he gains sympathy from voters for his display of emotion.
On election night, the group is preparing to slide a few minutes before the final results are made public. Wade and Arturo wager a bet about the election results, and CNN announces that Anita Ross has won. The sliders enter the vortex believing that Arturo has lost, but a minute later, NBC and ABC state that CNN was wrong and declare Arturo the winner. However, the sliders have already left for their next world. A staffer enters the upper room, but only sees a pendant on the floor.
The episode ends with the sliders in a tropical paradise, where it is revealed they are stuck for nine days.
- Several first season episodes were originally shown out of order on FOX. This episode was intended to be aired sixth (as indicated by the production number) but was instead shown eighth.
- In the elevator Mayor Ross insults Arturo calling his English accent phony. In reality the actor, John Rhys-Davies, was born in Wales, one of the countries within the UK. His British accent is genuine, though in spite of coming from Ammanford in Wales, his Welsh accent was likely trained out of him in his youth, as it tends not to go down well in most acting roles.
- It has been rumored that, due to the success of Hillary Clinton's senate career, this episode has been removed for purchase by iTunes, which depicts her as the president. In fact, there are rights issues associated with digital distribution of the episode.
- Netflix currently has this episode and Last Days ommited from its season one list, replacing them with the two seperate parts of the pilot episode in addition to the full pilot in its entirety.