The writers of “The Walking Dead” have a problem.
That problem is they have no idea how to write women. Hell, after two seasons, I’m not even sure they’ve ever actually interacted with women in real life beyond fantasizing about June Cleaver wiping their butts for them or something.
You would think, in a zombie apocalypse, survivors would have bigger concerns than who’s conforming to what gender roles.
While I enjoy the show (mostly…halfly), it’s been harder and harder each episode to ignore the fact that these writers have little respect for their female characters. I can mostly steam in silence when I see yet another woman washing laundry or cooking dinner while the men folk run off and play heroes, but this past episode brought the issue of gender roles front and center with what has to be the most asinine diatribe ever muttered by a woman on a TV show (“Jersey Shore” is a category onto itself, let’s be real).
Straight from the 1950s, housewife Lori, deeming herself the all-knower of what women should be doing in a zombie apocalypse, tells Andrea she’s not pulling her weight around the farm because she’s not helping with the laundry and cooking duties. Andrea, who has been the only woman on the show to take an interest in learning how to shoot a gun and defend herself against flesh-hungry zombies, is clearly only interested in sitting on an RV and working on her tan. Because, obviously, a woman could only be interested in her appearance, even when everyone around you is covered in dirt and zombie gunk. Of course.
But Lori didn’t stop the gender shaming there, finishing up her lecture with a hearty reminder that killing zombies and protecting the little women are men’s work and they can handle that just fine (nevermind the fact that, under the watch of the men, Sophia got turned into a zombie, Carl got shot during a useless deer hunting excursion, and Rick and Shane can’t even dump a fairly harmless teenager without getting into a pissing-contest fist brawl and drawing the attention of all the surrounding walkers, COME ON).
OK, let’s leave aside how little Andrea has contributed to the plot, rendered useless by shitty writing. What about the other useless characters of Dale or T-Bone? Pretty sure Dale is just a grumpy old guy sitting in a rocker chair, complaining about what everyone else is doing and tinkering around on a broken down RV and doing little to “protect the farm” himself. Meanwhile, T-Bone ain’t doing shit either, other than providing throw-away one liners like the good token black guy that he is. And Lori’s not mad at them for not doing their fair share or helping with the wash?
But it’s cool, they’re guys, and they can sit around with their feet kicked up, working on their tans, as long as Andrea and all the other women know where their place is, and that’s in the kitchen.
I don’t blame Andrea or that other disposable blonde girl for wanting to kill themselves. If my options were either hang out the laundry or chop some vegetables, Lord, TAKE ME. But this is also a problem. Only the women on this show seem to lose the will to survive, portrayed as too weak or emotionally unstable to face the reality of their current world, and usually need to be rescued by someone else. I didn’t see Dale trying to stop the CDC guy from killing himself like he did with Andrea in season 1. But I guess only the women are too stupid or childish to make decisions for themselves.
Do people really lose all common sense when the world goes to shit? Wouldn’t you want every person in your party to be armed with the ability to shoot a zombie trying to kill you? Why is Andrea the sole woman on this show wanting to learn how to defend herself and actively participate in protecting not only herself but the others around her? If all these women get killed because the men can’t stop showing each other whose dick is bigger, what are they going to do then? These guys need to learn how to make their own food and clean their own stank ass clothes too.
I just can’t with the constant infantilizing and patronizing of the women on this show. Can we just get ONE woman on “The Walking Dead” who isn’t completely helpless or despicable?