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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    I always had a bad feeling about this show

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    Haha. You women.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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: http://www.btchflcks.com/2013/02/the-women-of-walking-dead-comparative.html

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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???

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    Yes, yes, yes. Completely agree.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    Nope.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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’: http://www.btchflcks.com/2012/04/walking-dead-and-gender-why-im.html –> “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.”

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

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

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

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

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    THEN DON’T WATCH IT!!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    “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?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    “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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

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

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    (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.”

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

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

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

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

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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 (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-lori-t-dog-robert-kirkman-glen-mazzara-386275).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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’).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

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

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    Wow. Way to be transphobic.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

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

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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: (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-lori-t-dog-robert-kirkman-glen-mazzara-386275)

    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?? (http://www.btchflcks.com/2012/04/walking-dead-and-gender-why-im.html) 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.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13042740730713682014 Bitch Flicks

    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.

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