Nothing Can Save ‘The Walking Dead’s Sexist Woman Problem

Michonne in The Walking Dead

Written by Megan Kearns | Warning: spoilers ahead! 

So the season 3 finale of The Walking Dead. What can I say? Is there less sexism than last season’s appalling anti-abortion storyline with Lori’s pregnancy? Did the addition of badass Michonne change the gender dynamics?

I’m going to warn you right now. This post isn’t going to be pretty. Not with all the misogyny. When it comes to its female characters and depiction of gender, The Walking Deadhas progressively deteriorated. It incessantly pisses me off with its rearticulation of patriarchy and sexist gender tropes. And no, it’s not a commentary on patriarchy. Rather it’s a defense of hyper-masculinity.
I’ve written before about The Walking Dead’s shitty job portraying women and its depiction of sexist retro gender roles. I was finally excited when Michonne (Danai Gurira) arrived as we hadn’t witnessed a fierce woman in any leadership role yet. Finally, we would see a fearless, powerful, clever, complex female character. And a woman of color! Yet I remained skeptical due to the tissue thin female characters and all of the sexism contaminating the show in the previous two seasons. My prediction came true: Michonne couldn’t save the show’s sexism.
In the comics, Michonne is a fan favorite. She’s complex, interesting, with resiliency and strength. Sadly we get little of that same warrior woman in the TV series. Yes, she’s a badass. Yes, she’s adept with a sword. But that’s pretty much it.
Michonne enters the show in an aura of mystery. Cloaked, sword-wielding, holding the chains of two Walkers. But typically we need to see beneath the veneer in order to care about a character. But we haven’t been allowed in to her backstory at all. We need to see their vulnerabilities, weaknesses, struggles, hopes. Even awesome Daryl is given moments to shine, like when he grieves for his brother Merle or holds baby Judith, nicknaming her Little Ass-Kicker. The only time we witness anything of the sort in Michonne is when she holds Andrea (Laurie Holden) in a tender embrace in the finale — before Andrea commits suicide to avert zombiehood – and we get a glimpse in the episode when Michonne protects Carl and reveals to Rick that she hears voices too, letting him know he’s not alone.
When we first meet Michonne, she saves Andrea, serving as a “black caretaker,” perilously playing out the “Magical Negro” trope. Even her friendship with Andrea became a missed opportunity, barely explored, something Laurie Holden, the actor who plays Andrea, laments as well. Michonne is regarded with suspicion by Rick’s Prison Camp Crew, even though other people, like the inmates, were considered to be “one of them.” And yes, I’m aware that they eventually bestow this distinction onto Michonne as well. But only after Carl — a 13-year-old boy — says so. When a teenaged boy gets more respect than the grown-ass women??? Can’t. Even. Deal.
When it comes to the potential for female leaders, the series does have Michonne who not only survived alone but also saved Andrea. But why must Michonne have to prove her worth in relation to saving Andrea, Carl or Rick — all the white characters? Michonne essentially proves her worth not by being a strong survivor, not through intelligence, not through empathy — but by how she rescues and serves white people on the show.
So how were the other women depicted this season?
Andrea in The Walking Dead
I know Andrea pissed off a ton of people with her ridiculous decisions. She continually annoyed me…and I liked her! I mean, c’mon, am I really supposed to believe such a smart woman would make such stupid choices when it came to men? Choosing psychopaths Shane AND the Governor?? Oh wait, women do choose shitty dudes in real life. But the problem here isn’t that Andrea makes the worst romantic choices; I mean who hasn’t made horrendous decisions?

No, the problem is that Andrea’s life didn’t revolve around her friendship with Michonne, the woman who saved her, or her friendships with the people at the prison. Ultimately, the outspoken woman who strived to make the moral choice, a woman who was a lawyer before the zombie apocalypse, her life eventually revolved around dudes. Correction, in season 3, just one dude: The Governor. That’s right, the same dude who sexually assaulted another female character.
In probably the most heinous act of the season, in the episode “When the Dead Come Knocking,” Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Glenn have been captured by the Governor. The Governor separates the two of them and interrogates Maggie alone. But his interrogation quickly dissolves into full on sexual assault. He terrorizes her. He forces her to undress. He bends her over and slams her against a table. He threatens her with rape. He uses intimidation and humiliation to exert his power and dominance.
Sexual assault should never be used as a plot device. What purpose did this incident serve? To show what an unhinged, misogynistic douchebag The Governor is? Perhaps. But it was completely unnecessary. And don’t tell me that Michonne is raped in the comics so what Maggie endures isn’t that big a deal because it was just the threat of rape. Yeah, it’s a big fucking deal. Women are raped and sexually assaulted and harassed daily. Our rape culture normalizes violence against women and conflates violence with sexuality.

It’s also interesting to note that the writers changed the sexual assault survivor from a black woman to a white woman. Too often, the media erases the narratives of black women rape and assault survivors, choosing to focus on white women survivors.

Maggie in The Walking Dead
Maggie started off last season so ballsy and opinionated. But she’s devolved as the show progresses to being fairly deferential to Glenn. If she became quieter, more withdrawn and introverted after the trauma of her sexual assault, that would make sense. But her passivity started happening long ago. Maggie, who was promoted to series regular this season, was given nothing of a storyline other than hot sex with Glenn and surviving the trauma of sexual assault. And we only get a brief moment where she lashes out at Glenn because of that trauma. The rest of the time, we see how it affects Glenn, not Maggie. As if it matters more how the Governor’s rape tendencies impact Glenn (the dude) more than Maggie, the one assaulted.
And the depiction of masculinity is problematic too. Glenn wasn’t “a real man” until he was tortured. And let’s not forget that Glenn is an Asian American man which plays into the pervasive stereotype that depicts Asian American men as emasculated in U.S. media.
But women aren’t just punished with sexual assault, but also by death. Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) doesn’t have a huge role this season. She argues with Rick and Carl and laments to Hershel that they hate her. She worries that something will go wrong and she’ll die in childbirth. Which she does. When she’s losing a lot of blood, she asks Maggie to perform a C-section, knowing she will bleed out. Then Lori is killed by her son, aka potential-sociopath-in-training Carl, so she won’t come back as a walker. Lori must be punished for her infidelity (and insipid annoyance) in the previous seasons. And so she dies. Shameful slut!

In addition to Lori’s death, we also have Andrea — who’s an excellent shot and warrior, and never would have gotten bit — bitten by Mitch. She then dies by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head so she won’t become a walker. Will Andrea’s death catalyze vulnerability in Michonne? Or will it be leveraged to show how Rick and the other dudes handle pain??
Now, I’m not saying that female characters can’t or shouldn’t die. It’s a zombie apocalypse. Of course there’s going to be brutal deaths. But when the women’s deaths exist as a vehicle to convey the pain of the men, that’s a problem.

Lori and Carl in The Walking Dead
What we’re witnessing with the women of The Walking Dead is the Women in Refrigerators Syndrome — women killed, raped, stripped of their power — in order to propel the plot and show the progression and struggles of the male characters. Also, as T.S. Christian told me on Twitter, in a Black Girl Nerds podcast, @TheRayVolution astutely asserted that women always die to illustrate the horrendous state of the world.
Again, it’s all about the men. The women, even the awesome ones, are nothing more than props to propel the male characters’ emotional journeys and transformations.
So what about the other women on the show? Thankfully, we’re starting to see Carol in a more assertive role. She speaks up and voices her opinion and seems to be more resourceful. We also meet Sasha, a good shot who teases her brother Tyreese. Oh yeah and then there’s the blond girl, Maggie’s sister, whose name I can’t even remember, that’s how unforgettable she is. Why? Because all she does is sing and hold the baby. Seriously.
None of the women are truly respected on the show. None of their opinions are valued or considered. When Rick has a problem, he confides in Hershel and Darryl. He listens to their advice. None of the women sway him. And of course none of the women lead, nor can we even consider them as leaders, as we saw when Glenn talked about how he was second in command. Um, okay.
So why can’t ladies lead in a post-apocalyptic world? Well according to Robert Kirkman, it’s science. I shit you not. In fact The Walking Dead comics creator and TV producer/writer said in an interview:
“I don’t mean to sound sexist, but as far as women have come over the last 40 years, you don’t really see a lot of women hunters. They’re still in the minority in the military, and there’s not a lot of female construction workers. I hope that’s not taken the wrong way. I think women are as smart, resourceful, and capable in most things as any man could be … but they are generally physically weaker. That’s science.”
Here’s a hint to all you mansplainers out there. It’s never, ever, ever a good idea to start your statement with “I don’t mean to sound sexist.” Why? Because clearly you’re about to drop some shit that is indeed sexist. So women remain a minority in the military and as construction workers because of science. You know, not because of sexist gender prejudices about women’s physical abilities. Right. Silly me. Why didn’t I think of science??? Must be because of my ladyparts.
Now to be fair, that interview was about the comics and it transpired 4 years ago. But as evidenced by the repetition of sexist tomfoolery in the TV series, which is interesting considering the depiction of women is much better in the comics, Kirkman obviously hasn’t changed his stance on gender. Nor have any of the other TV writers apparently. It explains so much.
Hmmm so which season is worse? The season 2 horrendous handling of emergency contraception and its anti-abortion plotline? Or is it Season 3 with sexual assault used as a plot device and women dying to propel men’s emotional journeys? It’s all bullshit.
It’s very apparent The Walking Dead doesn’t care about exploring gender dynamics in any meaningful way or deconstructing gender roles to explore societal limitations. And to an extent that’s fine. Not everything has to be some massive social commentary. Although believe me, I’d be delighted. But as I’ve written before, when you’re dealing in the realm of fantasy or playing with the bounds of reality, why depict sexism? Why not imagine something different?
And don’t even get me started on the idiotic argument, “Well, that’s life. That’s what would happen during an apocalypse of any kind.” I call bullshit. Am I really supposed to believe that if the shit hits the fan, women can’t or won’t be able to pull themselves together and not only survive but take leadership roles? Obviously that’s ludicrous.
With Robert Kirkman reinforcing the notion that sexism builds the foundation of the series, my hope that The Walking Dead will improve regarding its depiction of women, race and gender has shattered. So I’ll stop hoping it will get better and just keep on hate-watching it.


  • Posted May 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Maggie did get to do some zombie killing(and help the group defend the prison when the governor came),which i think should count for something. Or to me it did,anyways.

  • Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m not saying that Maggie doesn’t help defend the prison. She absolutely does. I’m saying she’s a shadow of her former self personality-wise. And she was dealing with zombies, riding in on a horse killing them, when we meet her in season 2. I’m saying her story arc, like the other women on the TV show, revolves around men.

  • Posted May 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I forgot about the horse riding thing.It just seemed like to me season 1 and 2 the female characters for the most part didn’t get to do much fighting, which i didn’t feel was as pervasive in season 3. But i do see where your coming from in regards to her personality. Also, i found the shows handling of the incident with the governor in regards to her character not well done either. To me it was unclear what she wanted Glen to do for her,which i suppose could be a plausible reaction to sexual assault, but in the show it almost seemed like she was punishing Glenn for it…which was just weird.

  • Posted May 3, 2013 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    I could have sworn i replied to this, but i guess it didn’t go through. I forgot about the horse riding thing, its just to me i felt like in the first 2 seasons combat seemed relegated basically to the guys. I didn’t feel that was as pervasive in season 3(forgot to mention this in my first comment), but i do see where you’re coming from with the female characters lacking a truly independent storyline.

    And i did find the shows handling of the governor incident in regards to maggies character lacking also. It wasn’t really clear what Maggie wanted Glen to do, and while i can see how a woman(or man) might not now how to react after experiencing something like that,but in the show it came off like she was punishing Glen for it. Which just came off weird to me.

    Also what they did with Andreas character was just painful to watch, and in regards to her friendship with Michonne my dad mentioned it was like they told us they were close but never really showed it. And while i could be remembering wrong, i think it took a few episodes for the inmates to be fully accepted by Ricks group(And Rick seemed hesitant to trust anyone new after the one inmate tried to kill him).

  • Posted May 3, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I always had a bad feeling about this show

  • Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    If I remember right, the first episode of The Walking Dead begins with a man berating his wife (to his co-worker) in horribly demeaning terms for not turning off the lights in their home, wondering why “women” are too stupid to figure out this simple thing (that their fathers and husbands try to explain to them without success, by the way). I’d had enough of the show’s sexism after that, and I’m sorry to hear that it apparently only gets worse from there

  • Posted May 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I actually quite enjoyed the books and thought they did a decent job of depicting well rounded characters. The show I gave up on in utter disgust pretty quickly. It’s apparently written by clueless bozos who’ve never met a ladyperson. It’s a travesty.

  • Posted June 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I never saw Lori’s decision to keep her baby as an anti abortion message. Remember that in choice, we must respect each individual woman’s choice to KEEP or abort, right? I didn’t feel any heavyhanded politicizing with Lori’s choice. In my own opinion being one of “it would be nice if children all could be conceived in a timely manner to parents who want them and can provide for them” I felt Lori’s decision was emotionally based and binded to her as a person rather than being in general a logically smart decision. She wanted the baby why? Because she wanted it (and that’s good enough, really.) Because it was hers and Rick’s (possibly), because she wanted to see if it was Shane’s, because fill in the blank.

    I felt the reasons to abort were completely logical and justified: there is a zombie apocalypse going on. What if baby dies in the womb? It becomes a zombie and kills you from the inside out. How are you going to raise a helpless infant in this world? Possibility of baby being killed by a zombie all the time. Slows the group down, makes them all more vulnerable. You already have Carl and should be protecting him instead of making new kids.

    The reasons go on and on.

    But you know, even though I was angry with her for what I think is a stupid decision to keep the baby, I respect that she made her choice and that’s what we’re supposed to have: the choice. Now her choice ended up getting her killed, but maybe she thought of that and took it on anyway (some women do.) What I really HATE about her though is that she hurt Carl by making that choice. She left him motherless, and he had to shoot her. She could not have foreseen the shooting part but man, think of Carl.

    About the “they are
    generally physically weaker. That’s science” — I saw a show that compared a punch’s force and used two elite boxers, one make and one female and the female’s punch had more power and force. Also when my husband and I went to the gym for our strength tests, I came out slightly stronger than him. Just sayin.

  • Posted June 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    They spent too much time hooking Andrea up with the Guv instead of strengthening her friendship with Michonne. Which is why in the end I was happy to see Andrea go. She started to really come over as manipulative, getting involved in trying to “save” the Guv when she forsook everyone at the prison and Michonne, too. Oh the woman who has to always see a speck of good in a man and sacrifice everything for him. Ugh.

  • Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    And yeah I have been wondering why Beth (blonde daughter;) is still there. Possibly for Carl to crush on? They don’t do anything with her. I have been expecting her to be killed off every episode.

    ” Glenn
    wasn’t “a real man” until he was tortured.”

    Yes. And it was really annoying as well how the focus has been so much on Glenn and how he is affected by what happened to Maggie, how she is treating HIM etc. It’s almost like you start feeling sorry for GLENN in this, as you start thinking man, that Maggie needs to get over it already. It makes that shift at least for me and I don’t like that kind of storytelling which leads me to sympathize with the wrong person i.e. not the actual victim.

  • Posted June 13, 2013 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    Haha. You women.

  • Posted June 13, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Exactly!! Why spend so much time on Andrea’s relationship with the douchey Governor when they could have focused on Michonne and Andrea’s friendship??? Because in the end, it’s all about the dudes. Fail.

  • Posted June 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I’ve heard that the books are great. Our own Amanda Rodriguez wrote about how the women in the comics fare better than the TV series:

  • Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    LOL It’s a TV Show about zombies get a god damn grip for pete sake!!! Can’t people just enjoy a tv show now a days???

  • Posted July 9, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Yes, yes, yes. Completely agree.

  • Posted July 9, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink


  • Posted July 9, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I agree that supporting choice means supporting the full spectrum of reproductive choices. But I wrote about Lori’s pregnancy, the show’s misinformation on emergency contraception, and its anti-abortion message in my previous article on ‘The Walking Dead’: –> “But it’s the reaction of those around Lori that most disturbs me. Rick screams at Lori for even thinking about terminating the pregnancy. After Maggie and Glenn return from the pharmacy (granted, they’ve just been attacked by zombies), Maggie chucks the pills at Lori saying, “Here’s your abortion pills!” So not only does Lori not turn to another woman for help (turning to Glenn instead), but Maggie yells at her for her reproductive choice.”

  • Posted August 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry but I don’t get you at all. You see sexism where actually no real sexism is. You’re totally overanalyzing, it’s just normal human behaviour. I’m a feminist and I totally worship gender equality but well in my opinion you’ve exagerated things.

  • Posted August 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    What’s “normal” human behavior? And what exactly have I exaggerated? It’s one thing to disagree with me, plenty of people do, but I back-up all of my assertions. So how am I seeing sexism where none exists?

  • Posted August 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    You mean “complaining” about his wife to his coworker. You can’t berate in the 3rd person. Rick was complaining about how insensitive his wife was. Shane was complaining about a girlfriend. Too bad you stopped watching the show – its GREAT. But you still care enough to comment about it.

  • Posted August 11, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Glenn not being a “real” man. Does he have a penis? Yes. Then he’s a real man.

  • Posted August 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    People like you give women a bad name. Stop being a whiny ass bitch and crying over trivial stuff. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

  • Posted August 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Christ……a show about zombies has turned into an abortion debate.

  • Posted August 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink


  • Posted August 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    You are getting all worked up about a TV show. Its not reality. If you want a strong portrayal of women, watch Lifetime, OWN or WE. Geeze. Lighten up.

  • Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I agree about the sexism 100 % directed at women but our whole Michonne being a “Black care taker” is taking things a little to the extreme, don’t you think? So POC can’t take care or nurse someone backs to help without it being a race issue? She took care of Andrea. There’s nothing racist about that. Again I agree on your points about sexism but the racism in the “black caretaker” part was a little too extreme. However, this show does have racism but not in that aspect.

  • Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Also take in the fact, the reason Carl gets more respect is because he’s been part of the group for almost a year and someone randomly comes to the prison with some of their friends whereabouts. I think you’re too blinded by the issues that the show does present and Turing every detail, overlooking the situation at hand.

  • Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to keep posting but I’m doing it as I read. The Governor threatening Maggie with rape doesn’t mean the show was glorifying it in anyway, which is when I would of called bullshit. It’s storytelling and sadly that’s the truth on how men deal with women in some cultures. Is the governor a giant sexist pig, yes, but that’s how his character is. It doesn’t make it okay for People to kill one another, does it? But it’s storytelling and it depicts reality. The governor used it as a tactic because that’s his character. Maggie is probably my second biggest disagreement with you to be honest. While I agree she’s overshadowed by most of the men, she’s had great development and times to shine throughout the third season. Helping Lori deliver the baby, saying goodbye to her father, and volunteering to go get baby supplies.

  • Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    “And the depiction of masculinity is problematic too. Glenn wasn’t “a real man” until he was tortured. And let’s not forget that Glenn is an Asian American man which plays into the pervasive stereotype that depicts Asian American men as emasculated in U.S. media.”

    Look at what you said. Glenn showed character development. Not once was it said, “Now you’re a real man because you got tortured” you’re really over exaggerating things that aren’t sexist all. You seem to referring to the reality that the show depicts in some senses which is sadly the truth. Merle being a sexist pig is his character. That aspect doesn’t make the writers sexist.

    Next, I would agree with you about Glenn being emasculated fôr being Asian if we had more Asians. S what you’re saying is that there are no “emasculated” Asians in America?

  • Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    “Lori must be punished for her infidelity (and insipid annoyance) in the previous seasons. And so she dies. Shameful slut!”

    Please take a look at that comment and tell me you didn’t take things too far? She died through childbirth. Simple as that. Again, you’re over exaggerating things that aren’t the issue.

  • Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Here’s my overall opinion about your article:

    First off, Rick is the main character and Carl is his son so those two characters are of course going to overshadow everyone else in the show. Male of female it’s his story. Watch Buffy and the men that died for character. Is the show sexist?

    Secondly, you have to take in account that most women are physically weaker than some men. It’s proven believe it or not. Now, I’m not using that as an excuse for them because there are a lot of women who are faster, stronger, and more capable than a lot of men. So I agree that Kirkman’s statement is bullshit. It’s not like the walking dead takes place in the 50’s for that mindset. Not only that, women don’t have to be faster or physically stronger. They can can just be smart! What’s so hard to believe about that? She does t have to shoot a gun or go run for supplies all the time. She just needs to be a well rounded woman.

    Thirdly, I 100 % agree that the most women on the show are poorly misrepresented. Andrea and Lori’s character are evident of that. The writers didn’t even know why they were so hated. I wanted to scream because you are using Andrea and Lori as plot devices revealing around men! That much is true. Michonne is another case, which will definitely turn around next season because we have the amazing Gimple taking over the show thank god. Michonne was nothing but a blank canvas. Although they did a good job at showing women are just as capable as the men.

  • Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    But that’s Shane’s character! Sorry to inform you but people like that actually exists. He’s a sexist pig. It’s only depicting the reality of people. Shane’s a dis likable person. Reason given. All Rick said was that Lori was horrid to him. Horrid women do exist, don’t they? Yes, they do. Rick didn’t say “She said those things because she’s a woman”. No he didn’t.

    But yes, the sexism continues with Lori and Andrea’s characters and a little with Michonne.

  • Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    That was the point of that arc. Reason why Glenn apologized to Maggie about his actions.

  • Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Again, your forgetting the show depicting reality, which it does. There are people out there against abortion and considering that Maggie and her family are heavy on religion (I’m not saying every religious person is like that but a lot are) it makes sense for her character.

    So Lori turning to a man for help is a bad things. What does she need to turn to a woman? That’s a suit comment right there.

  • Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    (Cont’d) for some reason it wouldn’t let me continue, again, sorry for the over posting. I also hated the fact they waited 10 episodes to give us any development of Michonne. Yes, poorly treating a female character. Beth, you can’t really use as an example because she was given a story and is only a “recurring” character. They don’t have to give her any development because she’s there to support the others, which she is doing. However, she has been upgraded to the main cast now so if things don’t change I’ll be pissed but like I said Gimple is great with character development so m sure she’ll get some.

    Fourthly, Carol and Maggie are probably the two best female characters on the show. They have great character growth and no, there stories don’t just developed around men. There’s nothing wrong with a female character having a love interests. We have Sasha introduced and you using the “making fun of her older brother because he can’t use a gun” is not a good example. If e role was reversed I’m sure you call sexist. However, it looks like she’s shaping up to be a great one. (Also been promoted to the main cast).

    Like Andrea said to Shane: “You’re making all the right calls. It’s your presentation that leaves something to be desired.”

  • Posted August 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Wow a gendered insult, nice. You know, if you don’t like what I write, you don’t have to read it.

  • Posted August 15, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Actually nope, not all men have penises. Trans men and genderqueer individuals don’t necessarily have penises. And trans men are men.

  • Posted August 15, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    No, I actually don’t think I took anything too far. Women in media are often punished for their sexual transgressions. And no, Lori didn’t merely die in childbirth. It was a choice. There was a reason the writers had her die then — as a catalyst to Rick’s suffering and loss (

  • Posted August 15, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you about Michonne and her lack of character development.

    The reason why I have a problem with women as love interests is because too often, female characters are solely defined by their relationships to men.

  • Posted August 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    As I said, I’m saying the show perpetuates the stereotype that Asian-American men are emasculated. And it’s also a huge problem that we don’t have more Asian actors (as well as more actors of color in general) on screen in film and television.

  • Posted August 15, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Nope, I don’t think that assertion is extreme. Black women as Mammy or the Magical Negro are both common and pervasive tropes in media (including ‘The Help, ‘Gone with the Wind’, ‘Ghost,’ ‘Sex and the City: The Movie’).

  • Posted August 15, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    If that were true, which I don’t think it is, then Carl wouldn’t have gotten more respect than Carol who has been in the group for just as long.

  • Posted August 16, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    We’re not talking about you. We are talking about Glenn from the show The Walking Dead. A question was asked if he was a “real” man. If he has a penis, then yes, he is.

  • Posted August 16, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    And if you don’t like my response, don’t read that.

  • Posted September 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Way to be transphobic.

  • Posted September 3, 2013 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    So don’t watch it. Stick to honey Boo Hoo, Dancing With the Stars, Oprah, specifically designed to make you feel entitled.

  • Posted September 5, 2013 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Your entire rant, to be frank, is ridiculous bullshit.

    You view the entire show through a “women are always victims” glasses, looking for anything and everything to nitpick at. Some of your complaints are just downright stupid. Take Michonne for example, a strong, kickass woman who can take care of herself and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She’s tough, smart and independent. Isn’t that what feminists want women to be? But that doesn’t fit your agenda, so you reduce her character to “magical negro” and complain that she has to prove her worth because she’s a woman.

    Do you not understand the plot of this show AT ALL? Society is dead. Gone. Gender roles do not matter anymore, just what you can do to help yourself and the group. All any group in that world has is each other and any and all outsiders are NOT to be trusted. Men, women, everyone. This entire show is filled with other humans who show, time and time again, that they can’t be trusted. Remember the two guys in the bar in season 2? They tried to kill Rick, Glenn and Herschel. What do you think those guys would have done if they were led back to the camp? One of the prisoners tried to kill Rick, the other two were shoved into an empty cell block and left there for most of the season. Did you ever think that maybe that’s why she had to prove she could be trusted?

    And Andrea is smart? Are you kidding me? She continually shows that she’s a complete moron and screw up. I’m actually surprised you’re not complaining about her. She talks Beth into a suicide attempt, she almost shoots Daryl in the head, she sides with Shane and completely fails to see the monster that he is, she can’t see the Governor for the monster he is, completely ignores and alienates Michonne when she dares to think something is up with the Governor.. the list goes on. The fact that you praise Andrea really does say quite a bit about you, none of it good.

    Carol is well respected in the group, so I really don’t see your problem with her. She’s advised just about everyone in the group, from Rick, to Beth, to Maggie, to Herschel, to Lori and I’m pretty sure even Carl. Mentally, Carol is probably the strongest character in the show, which in that screwed up world where everything has gone crazy, that’s saying a lot. Did you miss that everyone seems to being losing their minds? Rick is barely holding it together, Michonne admits that she’s seen stuff in her head, Glenn just about loses it after his run in with Merle, Daryl lost it last season when he was looking for Carol’s daughter. And Morgan… he’s completely lost it. So Carol holding on to her sanity, even thriving in a completely screwed up world, makes her one of my favorite characters. And the fact that she survives, alone, in a dark abandoned prison swarming with zombies makes her a badass.

    Maggie’s opinion has been well respected from the start, in fact, last season she was the only one Herschel would listen to. She’s also pretty damn mentally strong and she gets over the Governor’s threat of rape much faster than Glenn did.

    And Lori died because she was annoying and adulterous? Now you’re just overreaching. You do realize that childbirth is a dangerous thing and can easily kill women without medical help nearby right? That’s why we came up with a C-section, for when a natural birth is too risky.

    Beth, you’re wrong about her too. She’s the one taking care of Rick’s baby while he’s off losing his mind. She’s the one trying to keep the group’s morale up so they don’t all go crazy. Is she running around killing zombies? Not often, but she does something just as important

    Your view that women are treated like they’re usless and weak in the show is nonsense. Women are continually proving how tough they can be by fighting off walkers, scouting for supplies, fortifying the prison, fighting off people… all the things that men do, right alongside men.

  • Posted September 6, 2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Um, I actually agree Michonne is “a strong, kickass woman who can take care of herself and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She’s tough, smart and independent.” I love Michonne. I’ve written before that she’s clever, fearless and fierce. I don’t have a problem with her, rather have a huge problem with the way the writers have wasted opportunities to explore her character. And I didn’t say she had to prove herself as a woman. I said she ultimately proved her worth by rescuing white people. Too often, when people of color are on a show or in a film, they must constantly be shown how they relate to and serve white people. It’s a common media trope. And it plays out here.

    Yes, Andrea is smart. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t do infuriatingly stupid shit. Did you miss the part where I said she constantly annoyed me? Because believe me, she did. I liked her personality, not her stupid choices.

    If you look at the complete arc of the series, no, Carol’s opinion has not been sought out by Rick the way Daryl and Hershel have.

    I never said that Maggie wasn’t strong. She absolutely is. What I said was that she started off ballsy and opinionated and has become progressively deferential for the most part. And I complained that her sexual assault was used as a plot device.

    Nope, I don’t think I’m overreaching at all regarding Lori. As I said in a previous comment, women in media are often punished for their sexual transgressions. And no, Lori didn’t merely die in childbirth. It was a choice. There was a reason the writers had her die then — as a catalyst to Rick’s suffering and loss: (

    Yes, Beth taking care of a baby is important. My point is that she has barely any character development. Another wasted opportunity.

    As far as your comment –> “Do you not understand the plot of this show AT ALL? Society is dead. Gone. Gender roles do not matter anymore…” < -- You just proved my point. If gender roles don't matter, why do we see a constant rearticulation of sexist retro gender roles?? ( But showrunner Robert Kirkman has said in interviews that he thinks that if an apocalypse occurred, people would retreat back to traditional gender roles, which is precisely why we’re seeing that on the show. So maybe, just maybe, I do understand the plot after all.

  • Posted September 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care that this was a month ago. The Help? Really? That was the point of the movie. To show the differences between then and now. That film was set in the past and it depicts the racial stereotypes BACK THEN. So, do us all a favour, get off your fucking high horse, and stop looking for issues where there are none. Yes, the women are at times shown in a sexist manner, and yes, this isn’t particularly fair. But you know what? This isn’t real. This is just a certain idea someone had about something that does not exist. You can’t do anything about it, and I personally believe that the women’s role in the series is just as important as the men’s.

  • Kate Nahvi
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    I can definitely appreciate that there are stereotypes within the Walking Dead, and I am appalled at the comment made by Kirkman, but I’d argue that you might want to reconsider – the show is more than Kirkman. The show does contain stereotypes, but they are problem-itized within the show, and the overall character base is a complex array of 3-dimensional characters. The women are flawed, but so are the men. Often the flaws of the men are at the center point of an episode. Look at Rick’s transformation; he’s a lawman who’s turned into a dictator, promoting his absolute regime and leaving behind his sense of justice, often in a maniacal fashion, and this is criticized by the show. This arc is similar to Andrea’s, who was also a servant of the justice system before the zombie apocalypse.
    Also, you find fault in all of the female characters on the show, but I’d argue ignore some complexities in this. Carol, for instance, can’t have a role as a really strong leader yet because of her past. Considering the abuse suffered, it’s a sign of her immense strength that she’s come this far. Also, don’t forget she was the one who suggested that Andrea use her position to take out the Governor while he was vulnerable. And taking care of the baby is not a bad thing, but one of the things that has to be done and a positive thing. It’s true that the men could help a hell of a lot more, but this is also problemetized in that Rick spending time off chasing his wife’s ghost/specter, while he should be taking care of the child she died to give birth to. Hershel literally says this, directly challenging Rick’s neglect of the child and the group’s safety. Also, there is the budding romance between Carol and Darryl, which I’d say is very progressive. She and Darryl do not jump into a relationship, and in fact she becomes more forward in it than he does, reversing stereotypes of women under the care of a man.
    Concerning the sexual assault against Maggie, I totally agree with you that such acts are horrible. But I’d argue that not showing them is a part of the cultural silencing that you noted about rape culture. By not discussing them, not showing the horrors of them, the threat they pose becomes less scary and visible. The show does a great job in casting the assault as utter evil, showing Maggie’s unrestrained horror and revulsion to the Governor abusing her. The series is also right in spending several episodes to focus in part on the aftermath, as it is something that Maggie would have following her for some time. Andrea is revolted as well, when she finds out about it. Glenn is also rightfully faulted in his reaction of obsessing about the assault as though it was an affront to his manhood, that he couldn’t protect Maggie. Maggie rejects Glenn’s approach, remaining angry at him while he holds onto it, arguing that he’s focusing on the act rather than valuing her strength in enduring it. She tells him, “I needed you to see me”, rather than just the act.
    Think about the series again! It’s full of complexity.

    • Dave
      Posted October 20, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      OMG, whoever wrote this is so full of shit. Yes, you are going to find quite a bit of sexism in an apocyliptic (sp) world. Get over it, idiot. Men are naturally stronger than women, generaly speaking, and so they should take a commanding role. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, no matter how silly it is–and yours is silly. And whoever is writing this, is nitpicking the hell out of things. All I can say is that it would suck to be you. Finding sexism at every single corner of your life. Not able to enjoy things. I can’t begin to tell you how much I would hate to be you sweetie. So bring it hun, but I absolutley, totally 100% gaurantee you whatever you write will not offend me in the least, because for that to happen I would need to care about your opinion, and believe me–I don’t.

      • Kate Nahvi
        Posted October 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Okay, first of all, way to be respectful. I do not agree with everything stated in this review, but I at least used actual arguments, citing evidence from the show to back my statements.

        And, I completely disagree with you. Men will “naturally” take positions of power because of the patriachy in place – a social creation. Men have not always been in power, and are not in power today in other cultures. Variations of men in power also exist. Your outrage (I have to disagree that you will “not offend[ed] me in the least” as you took the time to write such an emotionally fueled reponse) is at the questioning of power standings of men, not the inherent superiority of men in all things.

        When power is threatened, people cling to older systems where they feel secure in their power. When the world goes to hell, men cling to patriarchy, as Rick and Shane assert themselves, white people cling to racist systems of white privilige, alla Meryl targeting T-Dog, etc. The systems of power are taught, not inherent. People challenging them is evidence of their not being set in stone of “nature”. And, to boot, scientific fact is open to question too. In order for science to establish laws and facts, they must rest on hard evidence. The ‘science’ by which we postulate that are inherently better and different than women is social, and actually hard data points to larger variation among men and among women, rather than between them as seperate groups (Connell 2012:52).

        Connell, Raewyn. 2012. “Sex Differences and Gendered Bodies.” Gender; In World Perspective. 2:50-71.

        • KL
          Posted October 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Most gender roles are created by the practical application of the strength of each gender…hence why it is practically universal in all cultures that men go out and work and women stay home. Any exception there is only prove the rule.

          • disqus_vFx5MblfNB
            Posted November 2, 2013 at 1:53 am | Permalink

            You clearly have no grasp of sociology. You can’t just make up your own reasons for cultural practices based on your own interpretations- there are actually studies as to why patriarchies developed, and no it wasn’t always universal. Jeeze. That’s like me deciding right now that the reason we use paper is because with increasingly sophisticated technology and comforts, the majority of people had softer arms than they did in ancient times so we thought stone tablets would be too heavy for coming generations. It technically makes sense but it’s complete hogwash and has no basis in anything.

          • KL
            Posted November 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

            As you said, it isn’t always universal, which prove what I said, the exception prove the rule.

            Back then,when people are trying to survive, they do not have the luxury of assigning tasks people are ill suited for. Hence why men go out and work and women stay at home.

            I see your rather strident response did nothing to disprove the fact that why almost across the board that men go out and women stay at home,

            Response only you are able to.
            And all too often, people like you talk about sociology, often forget that biology also play a part.

          • nooneinparticular
            Posted April 22, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

            “Back then,when people are trying to survive”

            Huh? When exactly was that? And what’s with the onslaught of teenaged MRAs on here? I’d vomit if I wasn’t so busy yawning.

          • KL
            Posted May 26, 2014 at 12:05 am | Permalink

            How old is America? A bit over two hundred?
            Remember when the pioneers were settling America as per Little House on the Prairie? When they don’t have the luxury like we do and when muscle power can be used in the field instead of at home.

            Learn a little bit of history/ Perhaps that is why you are yawning. It bores you. And since you have no sense of history, it is not surprised that you come off like a teenage MRA. Takes one to think everybody else is one.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            So you actually want to see a show where all the action is male on zombie or male on male action (says a lot about you) while the women are sitting around singing songs and gathering berries…who’s going to protect those women when they are out doing the gathering because well, zombies kill and eat people and according to you, women are just too weak to do defend themselves…where are all the men protecting the women NOW? Looks like with more men like you around, women wouldn’t have to worry about rape or getting beat up by their husbands.

          • KL
            Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

            When have I said women are too weak to defend themselves.
            If you need to put words in my mouth instead of refuting my point of how biology play a part in gender roles, then you have lost the discussion.
            Being male and female have both its advantages and disadvantages. Everything is a trade off. You can’t have everything. Only immature babies want everything.

            And also, why is staying at home and doing the dishes and washing clothes so bad? I don’t mind doing that. I can turn on the radio, turn on the TV, work at my own pace.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 9, 2014 at 2:46 am | Permalink

            Again this is not a 18th century show which would of course have gender stereotypes…Really stupid misogyny and sexism exists in this show. This is the 21st century. Throwing a bottle of ‘day after’ pills and screeching HERE ARE YOU ABORTION PILLS is totally inappropriate. Who wants to have a baby during a zombie apocalypse Racist marginalization occurs in the show. There are no black leaders. Women are relegated as a support act. Now. No one is claiming that women are stronger than men. What is being refuted is your suggestion that the reason men are shown in leadership roles is simply because men are stronger. Well, idiot, women can think and be leaders. This isn’t about who is stronger. If it was about who is stronger, than we would have muscle men in the white house. See how illogical your argument is?

          • KL
            Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            Again, you need to put words in my mouth just because I spoke a truth that you cannot refute.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 5, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

            Yes because you obviously ‘get off’ on watching women do the laundry while men go out and save one another on their happy go lucky adventures…are you for real? You stay home and do the dishes and see how fun it is you apeshape.

          • KL
            Posted October 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            Actually I do the dishes AND the laundry. and do not mind staying at home either.

            I see that you cannot refute my statement on gender roles and, as usual, resort to personal attacks.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            Sure you do…and you obviously live alone and if you were married or had a girlfriend, you’d be insisting they do that FOR YOU.

          • KL
            Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

            The difference between you and I is that you make assumptions and sidestep my questions. You still couldn’t refute my assertion that biology play a role in the determination of gender roles. LOL.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

            The difference between you and me is, I don’t use biology to stereotype people into role playing from 200 years ago and expect that I look clever and smart in doing it.

          • lemonfrenzy123
            Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:37 pm | Permalink


            I read a whole lot of crying and complaining.

            Newsflash: It’s not the show’s responsibility to make everyone happy.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 17, 2014 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

            I see your mommy forgot to change your diaper and put your passie in your mouth.

          • lemonfrenzy123
            Posted October 17, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

            That’s a weird thing to say, since you’re the one crying and all.

            Nice try though :)

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

            you’re the one who is typing ‘waaaaaaah’ on here and seem to have no opinion other than to troll. Does your mommy know you’re not in school?

          • lemonfrenzy123
            Posted October 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            Yes she does actually, she knows I completed school about 3 years ago and no longer checks for my attendance.

            Now, moving beyond your weird and borderline pedophiliac obsession with my school schedule, I stated my opinion quite clearly already: it’s not the studio’s responsibility to make every single group happy, but rather to make an entertaining show.

            Are we struggling with reading comprehension? I know if can be hard…

            Are you one of those people that thinks any opinion that doesn’t match yours is automatically trolling? Because that’s Capital Douche.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 22, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

            Yes you just completed 3rd grade. Thanks for the confirmation.

          • lemonfrenzy123
            Posted October 22, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            haha, you really suck at comebacks. I am literally better than you in every single way

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

            I would tell you what you suck but I guess you already know this.

          • KL
            Posted October 17, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

            Again, making assumptions and sidestepping what I did said.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

            Again, being the ass that we all know you are and will continue to be.

          • KL
            Posted October 29, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

            Again, Kirkman’s views and commenst on gender is grounded in reality whether people like it or not.

            As for this article about :”Am I really supposed to believe that if the shit hits the fan, women can’t or won’t be able to pull themselves together and not only survive but take leadership roles?”

            Well, an apocalypse haven’t happened yet in real life for us to find out. I am sure women will do as the article say, but in reality, I am sure women will also look to men to lead. Even today, in times of disasters, I see many more men being among the rescuers than women.
            Making these observations do not automatically make someone NOT want to see women taking less traditional roles on TV and in the movies. THAT is where YOUR FALLACY lies.
            Talk about being an ASS. Only those who are think everybody else is one also.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted November 5, 2014 at 1:23 am | Permalink

            Have you even BOTHERED to watch the show since these comments have been made? You are aware aren’t you that the women are no longer sitting around doing the laundry and dishes aren’t you? They are killing zombies. Good thing that show doesn’t have an idiot like you writing or the show would have tanked long ago due to lack of imagination and diversity.

          • KL
            Posted November 5, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

            Yes. I have watched the show.

            Again, what Kirkman’s view on gender and what he wrote in the show are two different things. And again, that is your fallacy. Just because someone made such an observation, that made that person unable to see women in his show to break out of traditional roles?
            It seems you do not even BOTHERED to see the difference.

            As I said before, traditional gender roles are created based on the application of the strengths of each gender. I never said that women should JUST do laundry and cook. YOU DID. You automatically assume that because of my observation.

            As you cannot refute the reality of that comment, you put words in my mouth and attack me personally as someone who want women to stick to cleaning and cooking. Whether I want to or not have nothing to do with what have occur in human history in terms of traditional gender roles.

            Obviously radical feminism taught you well. When you cannot refute the facts, you went to personal attacks.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted November 19, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            Obviously you are part of some woman hating MRA group and that group is teaching other basement dwellers like you to hate women as well. Apparently you are under the impression that you get more women when you hate them and relegate them to the kitchen. That is YOUR fantasy…that’s always been the problem of the majority of men…keep the little lady at home while you are out getting as much ass as you possibly can. You are just mad because women no longer pretend to adore you no matter what you do or who you screw. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing you never tried to become a writer of a weekly tv show as you have no imagination.

          • KL
            Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

            Your FANTASY is that being in the kitchen and women’s traditional roles are signs of oppression.
            Again, I have no problems with women being in the kitchen or out of, I belive in choice. I only pointed out that women remain in the kitchen in human society stem from the fact in the past it was done out of neccesity and practicality.
            Again, something you cannot refute.
            It is YOUR FANTASY that I think that women should remain in the kitchen.

          • KL
            Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            I have watched the show. Again, there is a difference between making an observation and writing fiction.
            Good things most people can tell the two apart. And you are not one of them.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted November 19, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            So now you are changing your tact? Right. Clearly you would not be a writer as you have no imagination. It is doubtful that in this sort of situation that the ladies would sit around and fix your sandwiches while you went out and killed deer and came home to get your cock sucked…that may be your fantasy but more than likely, the writers of this show have seen fit go beyond the hunt and kill superhero suck my dick and I’ll protect you male fantasy and have women who can hold their own…Good thing the world doesn’t revolve around your ass or your cock because you seem to think with those two body parts the most.

          • KL
            Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            I am not changing my tact.
            For example, I am glad to see that now characters like Carol, Maggie, Tara, Rosita etc are not whimpering simpering liabilities to the group.
            But that still do not change the fact that in human history, men go out and women maintain the home. And it is done not out of oppression,but out of practical neccesity.
            Answer only if you can refure that statement.
            You can’t.
            Because it is fact.

          • KL
            Posted November 5, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

            The only “we” here is you and yourself. A protest march of one. As usual, you cannot refute my statement and hence start with the personal attacks.

            What an ass you must felt like when you realize when someone make an observation , it is not necessarily what he or she believes should remain as the status quo.

            So in order to save face, you have to resort to the offensive.

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted November 19, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

            Your ‘observations’ are broken down into ‘male biology’. That was the only observation you were able to make…oh yes, women pick berries and men hunt deer…that’s your answer to this show. Lame.

          • KL
            Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

            Yes, and I see you cannot refute that simple fact that is historically what happened in human society.
            Did I say that is what should happend in the Walking Dead also? If I did, then please quote me where and when I said that.
            But you can’t, as I didn’t.
            YOU DID.
            And what they say nowadays, EPIC FAIL,

          • the god of common sense
            Posted March 23, 2015 at 12:54 am | Permalink

            you’re a dumb ass

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted March 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

            Great comeback. lol

          • Chuckawobbly
            Posted October 6, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, that’s why this show has a adolescent boy doing the work of a man because you know, he’s much stronger than a 25 year old woman…

          • KL
            Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            What kid Carl did in the show that require strength and that the other female characters didn’t do.

      • bree
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 5:13 am | Permalink

        woman are stronger than men in every aspect except short feats of strength…even still that doesn’t mean men are entitled to a commanding role. And if everyone is entitled to their opinion (silly or not) not everyone (like yourself) has to call someone out on their opinion. Whoever wrote this wasn’t nitpicking its called being analytical and they are taking a view of the dynamic of the show. BTW…there is sexism almost anywhere you go.

        • Eat5hit
          Posted December 14, 2013 at 3:27 am | Permalink

          In what way, care to give examples that isn’t complete bullshit?
          “BTW…there is sexism almost anywhere you go.”

          You don’t say?

        • Ignorance Should Be Banned
          Posted December 19, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          Bree, saying women are stronger than men is equally sexist and just makes you look like an ignorant fool who does nothing for feminism. People get raped, not just women, men too but that never makes the headlines and why? because people assume it doesnt happen and noone cares when it does, infact the majority of people in the world don’t care what happens to men AT ALL and this is the real point, Mysogony works both ways and if you tip too far in one direction your no better than the people you seem to think are so horrible. When men get hurt, cheated on, beaten, or raped they arent comforted, they arent reassured, they’re told to man the fuck up so thats what we do, thats what we’ve had to do since forever so thats what we’ve done, manned the fuck up, bottle it all, then die, arent we the lucky ones? To go through life knowing the world will never pity or care to help you because “your a man, your expectations are higher” Theres no battered mens shelters, there’s no male support groups and why? because the world is sexist towards more than just women, and we deal with that solidarity for our entire lives but you still have the (metaphorically speaking) balls to call men weaker? Open your eyes, fathers that never get to see their children or lose everything they have to sometimes terrible women that divorce them for money or power never makes the news because on the tip of everyone’s mind is the same thing, he’s evil and shes good, because women are always good and blameless and men are heartless where as we all know plenty of evil bitches as much as we know evil bastards. Men and Women have an equal capacity to be strong in any situation, and it depends on the person themselves not the gender. If you want to fight for equality and an equal view of genders it has to be that, EQUAL, not women are better, men are better but equal with the same capacity for good and evil and until you can understand what equality means, stfu. I’m saying this to you from human being to human being, shut the fuck up.

          Oh, and Kate Nahvi, bravo! you wrote a much better version of this entire article and highlighted the true, though few and far between, complexities of male and female characters in this story without just bashing or trying to present an unrealistic, though unfortunate, world view of womens roles. You should be writing these things, thats where my vote goes. Oh, and Bree, you’re a sexist sorry but its true.

      • Irene
        Posted February 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Just take a second and consider this. You are expressing strong emotions — highly reactive anger — while denying that you’re offended. You also accuse Megan Kearns of making a big deal out of nothing — but then you argue that sexism does exist and that is how things should be. And then you resort to sexist, personal attacks (when you said “sweetie” and “hun,” you meant to belittle the woman you’re speaking to, are you not?). Why do you think you’re feeling so defensive?

        • nooneinparticular
          Posted April 3, 2014 at 1:10 am | Permalink

          He does seem highly irrational and driven by emotion- he must be on his period. 😀

      • nooneinparticular
        Posted April 22, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        without “civilization” women would be able to have a fair playing ground and be able to fight back. If the Zombie Apocalypse ever happened, I’d be careful if I were you 😉

      • Chuckawobbly
        Posted October 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        So what? Just because you are a man doesn’t make you a good leader. Have muscles doesn’t make you smart and you’re way too emotional to make any decent decisions because you’re illogical and sexist….

  • Kate Nahvi
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    I’d also like to add, Megan, that I agree that Shane is very much an image of a controling man to Lori’s submissive princess (which is a negative image of women. I don’t want to see women hurt, but as this is the zombie apocolypse, and people are going to get killed, maybe it’s not as bad as if say Michone was taken down. Michone empowers herself, and is a survivor. Lori relied on Rick and Shane to provide protection, and tried to shelter Carl too much. And the show points to the position of Lori as insulated from the rough realities of the new world as something that makes her weak. She’s not inherently weak as a woman. Maggie was also isolated on the farm, and less able to handle herself when she and Glenn are attacked in the pharmacy. But Maggie learns to accept the new dangers, and steps up to the challenge, joining in defense of the group. An example of this is when she and Glenn take up twin positions of defense as the Govenor tries to storm the prison.

    Whoa! That was a segway! Anyways, I think Shane’s portrayal as so out of control and threatening is in a way positive, since it casts that type of a relationship as what it is – an abusive one, and something that hurts people.

    • James Joseph Hazelton
      Posted March 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      First off, you are pulling the sexist card on a a site called bitch flicks… Sexist in itself and deragatory towards women. Now I would like to pull the realistic card and say walking dead does mostly a good job in portraying a realistic position in the hypothetical senerio of a zombie apocolypse…. Throughout history, a true matralienal society has never existed due to the biological difference of physical strength… No offense, but this article is idiotic. If the zombie apocalypse were to happen, sexism would be thrown out the windom. I’d suggest that you need to find better things to do than fitting the stereotype of an emotional woman trying to point the feminist finger at a show that does a damn good job at entertaining their audience… Aka their job!

      • nooneinparticular
        Posted April 3, 2014 at 1:03 am | Permalink

        “Sexism would be thrown out the window”

        You’re right there, it would- and actual real women would be fighting zombies right alongside men. It would be nothing like what is portrayed in this show.

        Which is the entire point. :)

      • Posted August 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Our site is called “Bitch Flicks” because we are reclaiming the word “bitch.” We are taking a word that’s offensive and used to slander and denigrate strong, opinionated women and embracing it.

  • Dave
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Well, you can disagree all you want. I know what I know and I truly could care less about what you think. I fart in your general direction….
    But seriously how can you possibly slam Walking Dead for sexism. There are very strong women all throughout the series. And all you do is critisize them. Of course there are “stereotypes”–of men, of women of all the races and cultures. It’s a part of living. It’s the way the human brain compartmentalizes things,and develops jokes about each other. Oh, did ya hear about the blond who found out all the traffic accidents occured just one mile from home?…so she moved!! And the blond that tried to be a Pharmacy secretary but couldn’t get the little bottle in the typewriter. Anyway, there is so much wrong with your comments I wouldn’t know where to begin to provide a response. And the thing about abortion…abortion is killing babies; you must know that. And it shouldn’t be controlled by just the woman, men should absolutely have a say, that’s our sperm making the baby so we have an interest in whether there is an abortion or not. I have never ever written on a blog before, this if fun when ya got no skin in the game. Ya wanna hear my thoughts about African-Americans?

    • Vivian Li
      Posted April 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t want to dignify this piece of redneck hogwash with a response, but here goes. *sigh* First of all, just because it is easier for our homo-sapien brains to compartmentalize things doesn’t mean that it is acceptable to continue doing so in this day and age. Are you suggesting that we as a society shouldn’t better ourselves? 19th century race “science”, for example, conveniently compartmentalized “people of color” on a lower evolutionary rung than “Whites” — it was not an endeavor of education, but one of seeking justification for slavery and the control of reproduction rates. Yet, with your argument, you’d have to accept that such racial “science” in the name of eugenic purposes should have been acceptable, on the grounds that it helps us humans compartmentalize things, and “this is just the way things are”. Any rational person would see the silliness of this argument.
      Also, you proclaim so confidently that “abortion is killing babies”, yet you clearly have no medical or legal knowledge regarding abortion. Firstly, around 97% of abortions are performed in the first trimester — a period of time when fetuses (no, they’re not called “babies”) have underdeveloped structures and pain receptors, let alone consciousness. Further, nature aborts “bad quality” embryos from the uterus all the time — not through miscarriages, but through a self-filtering, quality-check process during the early fetal development stage. And legally speaking, a fetus is not a “person” — it is not owed any moral obligations, nor does it have any moral duties. Moreover, even *if* you grant that a fetus is a “person”, there is a difference between justified and unjustifed killing. Many academic Philosophy papers have discussed this distinction, and perhaps most notable is Judith Jarvis Thomson’s acclaimed “A Defense of Abortion”. Abortion would be under the category of justified killing.

      And no, men shouldn’t have an equal say regarding a woman’s pregnancy, for the simple reason that the pregnancy happens in *her* body, not his. Since one’s own body is the ultimate domain of self-sovereignty (or should be), one’s body should *never* be subject to the unwanted provisions of another. This is just the consequence of the reality we live in. If the universe were somehow inverted, and men were the ones getting pregnant, women should have no say in the men’s pregnancy either (whether they want to abort or continue the pregnancy).

      And no, nobody wants to hear your trailer-trash thoughts about African-Americans.

    • Chuckawobbly
      Posted October 6, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Using a quote from Monty Python doesn’t make your stupidity look witty and cool. That crap may work with your basement dwelling gamer fellow circle jerks, but it doesn’t work in the adult world. Yeah, there’s some strength in the women but if you look closer, which you’re not and you obviously didn’t read the article, you’d see that most of them are not; they are merely secondary roles. Again, resorting to blond jokes doesn’t make you look smart or cool – it makes you look what you obviously are: an adolescent boy who can’t make logical retorts….as far as your stupid assertions about abortion…REALLY let’s consider this: pretend you are a woman in the middle of a zombie apocalypse are you really telling me you wouldn’t consider having an abortion because bringing a child into the world in the situation might not be a good idea? We’ve seen what happens to babies in the show…it doesn’t turn out well for ANY of them. Yeah, it’s your sperm and you better control your sperm and not put it somewhere that doesn’t belong to you because if you think so highly of sperm, then you are killing potential babies every time you jerk off which makes you a murderer.

  • Chris Burns
    Posted November 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Great post. I am appalled by the weirdly misogynistic writing of the show. I didn’t have the same reaction to the graphic novels at all, but perhaps it was there and I just didn’t see it. Andrea is my favorite character from the novels, but what they’ve done with her in the show is a travesty. Don’t get me started on Lori … I might throw my keyboard around and break it.

    Not that it really matters, but I am a male. I have a wife, a daughter, sisters, a mother, and so on. I feel deep down that I respect women and yet the female characters of this show grate against me so badly that sometimes I wonder. Is it that the writers are all cavemen, or they just get forced into writing them that way? Sincerely confused.

    Sometimes I honestly wish they had changed Rick into a female lead and done some decent character work with it (somewhat like the BSG remake changed Starbuck into a female … which soooooo worked!). Then woman-Rick could have decided to abort the pregnancy and make all the social-conservative religious nuts blow a gasket 😀

  • Posted November 7, 2013 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    i have watched maybe fifteen minutes of this show… and in those fifteen minutes i realized the show was a bunch of sexist bullshit and decided to never watch it ever again.
    now everyone in my neighbourhood is watching it.

    • Untame Able
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 4:46 am | Permalink

      Thats how i felt when my girlfriend suggested i should watch Sex and the City with her….barf!!

  • Vivian Li
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I was appalled at Kirkman’s answer during his interview. Physical strength doesn’t have much to do with characters’ survival at all. The slaying of zombies is mostly accomplished by weapons and guns — feats that do not need much more than dexterity in handling them. Yet, Kirkman tries to justify the horrible portrayal of women as due to general differences in physical strength between women and men. No, Kirkman, you’re wrong. You go out of your way to portray your female characters as weak, useless, dumb, and unlikeable, in order to sate the thirst of your internalized misogyny. Because it’s unthinkable that any woman could be an ass-kicking heroine in the event of a zombie apocalypse, right?

    Don’t get me wrong — I love The Walking Dead. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to most other zombie flicks that focus too much on gratuitous gore and nothing much else. However, all throughout the series, it has been nothing but painful for me to watch due to all the sexism and misogyny. Not even Michonne — who is presented as a token exception to the “weak woman” rule — can make the insulting sexism any more palatable.

    • Tom
      Posted October 19, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I find the Walking Dead TV series such a disappointment next to the Walking Dead games. The characters and plots were so much more interesting in the games.

  • Eat5hit
    Posted December 14, 2013 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    OK let me make this clear, the only reason women in our society don’t get treated like sex slaves, and useless whores is because we live in a society that is functional today. in a zombie apocalypse what the fuck are you going to do? call a cop, have the state take care of your problems? there is none of that. the only way a woman can survive in this world with zombies is to play the part and get in line. So all this Bullshit about sexism go eat shit.

    • nooneinparticular
      Posted April 3, 2014 at 1:05 am | Permalink

      Most women are tougher than you, conservatard. You would know that, if you knew any 😉

    • Vivian Li
      Posted April 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Go kill yourself, seriously. You’re a disgrace to your own mother.

    • Untame Able
      Posted April 4, 2014 at 1:52 am | Permalink

      I see you have great plans for women when the “zombies” take over….not if Batman can stop your evil plans!

  • Untame Able
    Posted January 5, 2014 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    So we’re pissed off about a tv series that doesnt have strong female leads?….really? *cough* Sex and the City *cough*. Much like the chick flicks around that only focuses on women and belittles men’s value, this flick similarly only focuses on the men. Maybe you should stick with Sex and the City where women (in a controlled environment) are scripted to be the more superior sex.

    • nooneinparticular
      Posted April 3, 2014 at 1:01 am | Permalink

      lol SATC is a misogynistic nightmare written by a male.

      • Untame Able
        Posted April 3, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        Would you conceive it on a higher regard if it was written by a woman?

        • nooneinparticular
          Posted April 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          Nope- oppression and rigid application of gender roles can occur by the actions of men or women. In my experience I’ve found that women are much more oppressive and rigid regarding the “rules”.

          • Untame Able
            Posted April 4, 2014 at 1:11 am | Permalink

            Your views differ from the author of the article. At least common sense hasn’t escaped all feminist. The zombie apocalypse has hope for us humans yet. However i do find it contradictory that you protest against sexism towards females, yet hold your tongue with sexism towards males when you clearly admitted that women are more oppressive.

      • nick
        Posted April 3, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        17 total writers… 12 of which are women.

  • nick
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Put the best chick in the UFC against the best guy in the UFC. Game over.

    • nooneinparticular
      Posted April 3, 2014 at 1:00 am | Permalink

      Personally the main issue with this show, and it truly is a massively apparent and colossal issue, is not the basic gendered biological stuff but even deeper, the utter lack of humanity to the women (at least in the first season). No bravery, no loyalty, no brains, no passions, skills or drives. I have never seen women so devoid of humanity in all my years of viewing media. Women devoid of any ability to even recognize injustice. Is this male fantasy? Yet a horrendous reality. For shame.

      • nick
        Posted April 3, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Well its quite possible in this ‘world’ of zombies that everyone had pretty much lost their humanity. Most of the women and children are also dead (if you havent noticed). You did read the graphic novels this show is based on correct?

        • nooneinparticular
          Posted April 3, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

          lol no…never read comic books. I barely even watch tv. (Actually, I don’t own a tv.)

          • nick
            Posted April 4, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            Then seriously… what are you even talking about. You have no context to formulate your opinion so you’re just trolling.

      • Vivian Li
        Posted April 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        Completely agree with you — the stark misogyny in the first season was more alarming as an “existential annihilation” of the female characters more so than as merely a note on biological differences. The female characters lacked all manner of personality, brains, abilities, and desires — it’s as if they were merely lifeless props upon which all the male characters developed around. Fortunately, the ensuing seasons have gotten a little better.

        • nooneinparticular
          Posted April 3, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely! Couldn’t have said it better myself. The writing for this show in general was horrible (not just the characters- before I noticed the 1-D characters I noticed the cheesy narrative and lack of rich storytelling) but, as a people person I do “like” the male characters due to their heroism and bravery, whereas I am just revolted by how one-dimensional the women are comparatively due to their utter uselessness and incessant, impotent supplication rather personal actions which propel any part of the narrative forward.

          I find less concerning the writer’s conviction of women’s innate biological ‘disabilities’ amid a desperate dystopia (problematic itself) than how easily and suddenly he conflates our supposed biological weakness with the sort of ‘existential annihilation” portrayed throughout the show you mentioned. Women are weak= women are nothing/not real/not like us. (Isn’t there a scene in the Atlanta apartment buildings while searching for Merle when one character says to another, in fact ” it’s always been like this, the weak die by the strong”?) Said with disdain for that state of affairs, yet clearly a theme in the show that does take on a nihilistic tone. Here again, women take the place of a man’s inner demons. Logical fallacies abound in the world of misogyny….yet I also feel a kind of pity for someone with such completely unrealistic and untenable expectations of women.

          The Village Voice (my hometown paper) article along with the comment section was a pretty enlightening reaction to this show (which I might add is quite fun to watch- if your principles don’t prevent you from doing so) 😀

        • nick
          Posted April 4, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Spare me

      • Untame Able
        Posted April 4, 2014 at 2:14 am | Permalink

        I cant believe you ladies have a problem with devaluing female roles, yet it was perfect entertainment for what the writers did to the male roles in Resident Evil, Charlie Angels, Sex and the City, Everybody loves Raymond, Dead or alive etc or any series that portrayed women as clearly superior to the men. Walking dead is just another flick! You all whining and complaining that it should have more lead female roles in a flick that was created for purely entertainment purposes, is the perfect example of why women can only thrive in controlled environments. Behind every misogynist theres a misandrist holding a sword without a hilt.

        • nick
          Posted April 4, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          They won’t be happy until every woman in every film beats up every man and saves the day every time. I mean there is political correctness, and then there is this shit.

          • Untame Able
            Posted April 5, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

            OMG speaking of which, did you hear that theres going to be a rating that informs viewers whether or not the article contains female cast playing important roles???? Yup it’s already happening in Sweden =_= next they’ll be banning men from walking in public after certain hours!

  • Italy GG
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    I’m tired of sex/role homogenization.
    In a setting like the end of the world, do you actually, unironically believe that the vast majority of women wouldn’t just pick the easiest option aka let strong males fight and do their laundry?
    Oh most of them would. It’s human nature. Regardless how much you Americans try to deny biology, medicine and science in general, this is how we work, period.
    Nobody PREVENTS you from playing another role though, just don’t demand that television must depict society as an unrealistic, wet feminist dream.
    Both feminism and chauvinism are extremely retarded, we are all human beings but genders exist and they do somehting better than the other, and this applies to both.

  • nooneinparticular
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Lol we have ourselves yet again another stereotypically juvenile, conservative misogynist’s ideal planting ground: the apocalypse. A setting that never was. This way, he can reap the benefit of a scenario he is *certain would happen* without ever having to give evidence that it *would actually happen*.

    Because? IT’S SCIENCE! #itsscience

    • nick
      Posted April 4, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Its pure biology that men are physically stronger than women which is required to survive in a world where everything is trying to physically kill you. I mean when you see the walking dead what do you see? I see the only women who survived are those with strong leadership skills, strong physically (such as carol, michonne, amy, or the US Airforce chick from Woodberry), or was a natural killer. In a zombie apocalypse you can bet your bottom dollar that we would resort to a ‘wild west’ mentality where rape, looting, everything would go crazy and you would be forced to defend yourself from every scenario. Its not ‘misogynistic’ to say men were hunter / gatherers in the earliest parts of humanity and would be again once society collapsed. Would some women survive and fight? Of course but is it possible more men would survive than women? Its simply an interpretation of what would happen in a realistic viral outbreak that caused zombification and people to attack other people. You couldnt yell “Help me” in a situation like that you have to fight for yourself. Are you telling me you could take down zombies left and right?

  • SmokeyPancakes
    Posted May 21, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Lol @ all the insecure little men jumping on here with their ignorant comments. Why don’t you boys take your whining elsewhere?

  • KL
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Like Shane, the Governor and Merle are such positive depictions of men.
    Perhaps the so-called misogynistic depiction of women in the Walking Dead were a bit too accurate for the average man-hating American woman.

  • Cuervo Jones
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Nuke the Earth.

  • Rebekah McQuown
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I kind of feel like the anti-abortion lines such as “Here’s your abortion pills!”- Maggie (after she comes back from the run with glen) were a testament to some strongly-held and potentially ignorant beliefs still present in the south. With Lori’s pregnancy, came a whole flock of issues. I think it’s meant to be not satirical, but alliterate to the bigger problem that is religious beliefs vs. proper medical treatment and education in today’s age. My first reaction was that it was sexist, but I think it’s accurate to what a lot of people believe today. Think, the argument of the word “n*****” in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain. The book is by no means meant to be racist, but satirizes the ignorance of the use of the word.

  • Sieben Stern
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I watched less than half of the first episode then shut it off. I should have turned it off on after the first conversation about women not turning off lights. Saved myself 20 minutes. Barf.

    • Chuckawobbly
      Posted October 6, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Yeah the show pretty much opened with a misogynistic conversation with two blokes in a car ragging on women and then moves on to women cleaning clothes by a lake…this pretty much sums up what the writers think about females.

  • Posted October 13, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    It must be horrible to sit down and watch a TV show or a movie with you.

    • Posted October 13, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Or awesome. It all depends on your perspective. Some people love to analyze, critique and discuss media…others not so much.

      • Posted October 14, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        Well, if you are the like that, but also respect other’s people right to just zoom out in front of the screen for a while, that’s awesome.

        My experience with people who watch TV and over analyzes every frame is terrible. A hardcore feminist on a movie theater, a wannabe critic watching a sunday night show, that kind of experience.

        Discussing how Hollywood can improve storytelling for the years to come, on the internet?, great, we need that. Doing so while Megan Fox is trying to blow up a building?, not so much.

  • Norma
    Posted October 22, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    What a ridiculous, mind-numbing heap of nonsense! The idea that the suffering of female characters in the show only seeks to enrich the plot/plight of the men in the show is the point in which I couldn’t stand to read any longer. I think someone has gotten so drunk off of delusions of persecution that they can no longer distinguish reality from fiction. The assumptive accusations in this forgettable slew of garbage and overall whiney tone should indicate how seriously any reader should take this (which is not at all).

  • Guest
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    It’s a realistic show. Women would not be the leaders in a real zombie apocalypse …men would be. Just like men became the leaders of the human race and women only get the power that men decide to give them.

  • Guest
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s a pretty realistic show. Women would not be the leaders in a real zombie apocalypse …men would be. There was no system to blame the oppression of women on when the homo sapien species began, but men always had power. And men still have power. Women are given power by men because it is the right thing to do and helps from a public relations perspective.

  • John Accardi
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    It’s a pretty realistic show. Women would not be the leaders in a real zombie apocalypse …men would be. There was no system to blame the oppression of women on when the homo sapien species began, but men had power from the beginning. And men still have power. Women are given power by men because it is the right thing to do and helps from a public relations perspective. But just because women are given power in today’s society, does not mean they would realistically hold power in an apocalyptic world.

  • KL
    Posted February 6, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I guess female characters have to be Mary Sue types in order to be acceptable. They must do no wrong…God forbid if they display faults and weakness and actually have some traits that show that they are human.

  • panzerboy39
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Really? Seems to me it is now a SJW/Feminist wet dream. Rick, Darryl and Morgan aside, the top warriors in the series are now Carol, Rosita, Michonne and (pregnant now) Maggie. Hmmm, in what world would women outnumber men in the warrior/defender roles?

6 Trackbacks

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