Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What's wrong with this picture?

It's in my crazy nature to try and address the counter arguments of my own argument beforehand. Yes, it's both a flaw and an asset, but be that as it may, It's who I am and so having said that let me point out three things: 

1. Yes I know this is a character, fictional, from a very fictional television series.
2. I do believe that fiction is very relevant and revealing of our cultures view on many "real" issues facing us today. It both informs and reflects us. Society.
3. I don't buy the "it's just a joke" explanation for promoting this very oppressive and sexist viewpoint. Underneath the surface of this "joke" lurks a huge problem in our society regarding women, sex, and even rape.

For those of you who do not follow the series The Walking Dead and have no idea who this character is let me give you a little back story. Her name is Andrea. Before the world ended via a Zombie Apocalypse, her character was a Human (Civil) Rights attorney. Probably not a gig for an unintelligent slouch. Post apocalypse, her character serves first, as the raw nerve. She was filled with despair and hopelessness after the death of her sister, motivating her to contemplate and then attempt suicide. Later she was filled with anger and resentment when her attempts at suicide were thwarted by a fellow apocalypse survivor.  She has made some very questionable decisions, decisions I have theorized were made out of anger or a need to prove herself. Two of those decisions were having sex with men who  have questionable to downright bad characteristics respectively. She slept with these men on separate occasions. One was a causal tryst based on human sexual desire and probably a momentary kinship, the other man she developed feelings for. These incidences happened with over a year dividing them and yet somehow that makes her a slut.  In addition to sleeping with one of these men out of purely sexual desire, she also decides that her function and role in the surviving group should be one of a less domesticated variety and that makes her a woman who "thinks like a man". Shame on her right? I will be the first to admit that I really disliked the character of Andrea for the better part of the series. I felt she was written as being a woman who acted out of negative emotions and that she was far too smart to make some of the choices she made. However I have a thing against characters written to react out of fear, anger, or despair all the time. But, although she may at times have been weakly written, as a time went on she's proven to be not a weak character but a human one. 

So there you have it. A woman in a zombie apocalypse who sleeps with two different men in one year and learns to shoot, fight, forge, and protect herself and her loved ones is a slut who is pretending to me a man.  I call sexist bullshit on the meme in a public forum and I'm accused of "not having a sense of humor", "over thinking it" and even being a "slut apologist". Yeah, slut apologist people. What the fuck would be the appropriate response.  

So again, I admit. It's just a show, not a real person, etc, etc. But really? Do you not see a larger problem with this brand of thinking? Do you not see a problem with this picture?