• James

    Walking Dead is awesome in all it’s forms, you’re probably wrong about the sexism, I don’t remember it and my atheist/feminist/liberal mother(who also enjoys it in both comic and TV form) never noticed. It’s probably just one character you’re thinking of.

  • “you’re probably wrong about the sexism” That just makes me giggle a little.

  • There doesn’t seem to be a youtube video of the scene I was talking about, so I have taken the liberty of transcribing it. It happens at around 30 minutes in Season 2 Episode 10:

    “Andrea: I contribute, I help keep this place safe.
    Lori: The men can handle this on their own, they don’t need your help.
    Andrea: I’m sorry, what would you have me do?
    Lori: Oh, there’s plenty of work to go around.
    Andrea: Are you serious? Everything falls apart you’re in my face over skipping laundry?
    Lori: It puts a burden on the rest of us, on me and Carol, Patricia and Maggie, cookin’ and cleanin’ and carin’ for Beth. You… you don’t care about anyone but yourself. You sit up on that RV workin’ on your tan with a shotgun in your lap.
    Andrea: I am on watch against walkers, that’s what matters, not fresh mint leaves in the lemonade.
    Lori: We are providing stability. We are trying to create a life worth living.

    Basically, shut up and let the men handle things. In fact, earlier in that episode Lori literally says “let the men do their men work.”

    This is not to mention that her seven year old child is given more decision making power than her, and that Lori is so submissive that she capitulates to whatever her seven year old child wants on a regular basis, even when it would put him or others in danger. Or that the show determines that Lori is not allowed to make her on choice regarding an abortion, so everyone around her harries her until she realizes she was wrong. Or that she nearly gets raped at the end of Season 1, but by Season 2 she’s pretty much cool with the guy who did it. It’s all good.

    But she’s not the only one who’s treated like a child. Andrea is determined to be irresponsible and dangerous, and there’s countless scenes of her being paternalized by Dale and others. They are proven to be correct when, for no reason, Andrea suddenly becomes so stupid as to mistake a human being for a zombie and shoots him right in the face. Ooopsie! The mother of the little girl (I can’t remember which one she is, Carol?) is basically a brain-dead zombie herself, and her sole skill is breaking down into hysterics. At least, she does that whenever she’s not busy being beaten by her abusive husband.

    That this is all set in a farmhouse that looks like it came through a time portal from 1836, complete with daguerrotypes, only heightens it to a level that approaches comical, but never escapes just-plain-fucking-lame.

    Also who the fuck names their only black character T-Dogg? I use the term “character” loosely, as he had approximately seven seconds of screen time in season 2.

  • James

    Actually, if you remember the scene, Daryl looks a lot like a zombie, they all worry he might be at first, even WE aren’t supposed to know. They’re in the south, of course they disapprove of the morning after pill and erroneously, as you have done, label it abortion. There may be some general sexism as you say, but again it’s the south, that’s pretty damn realistic, not something to blame the creators for, not to mention as far as that quote goes, only LORI is being sexist, not to mention Maggie does some not-typical-woman stuff, and Carol saves Hershel’s life for crying out loud, her doctor(esque) activity is hardly sexist. Andrea and, let’s not forget, MICHONNE are totally bad-ass, so again, refuting the sexism, as far as the creators go, and you don’t address the comic AT ALL, but say you don’t like it either. Normally I really like you guys, but you are so far off base this time, it’s sad. I’m not going to stop listening to you guys or anything, but I’m sure as hell taking your entertainment critiques with a grain of salt from this point forward.

  • James

    I partially agree about T-Dogg, but I think that’s more idiocy than racism, not to mention everyone in the comics has perfectly reasonable names.

  • Graz

    Depicting sexism in the south because it is “realistic” doesnt make it not sexist? Lets dig into this a little. What youre essentially saying is that it is a period piece, and that period is now, and the place is the south, and everyone is so charmingly ignorant, so the creators just get a pass. Hmm except I seem to be having a memory of some racist characters, which as you say for the south is “normal”. Oh wait except with the racist characters, they get their comeuppance, and the show actually addresses their racism. Harshly. So we dont have a show with a bunch of racist assholes as unproblematized protagonists? No? Gee thats weird. Because its the south. And that would be normal. Instead what we have is crazy over the top old school sexism being enacted by both men and women. I was really -completely- shocked by what I’ll just call the ‘laundry and lemonade post zombocalypse finishing school theory of femininity’ scene. I was certain the show would actually do something with it, and then I was even more shocked when they never did. Because that would be precisely the same as having had Darryl’s brother continue to be a main character after learning he was a shit for brains racist asshole and portraying that as…what did you call it? Oh yeah “normal”
    PS The evangelical farm daughter is the one who calls the pills “abortion pills” and you can certainly have characters with beliefs that differ from your own, thats not the problem. The problem is that Lori wants to be not pregnant, but that her ability to make decisions for herself on every level is completely undermined at every conceivable turn. Its the womans work stuff, its the general shaming and degradation of Lori, that she is literally there to support her husbands decisions and never to make any for herself, that her own 10 year old son views her as someone he can boss around and make decisions for, plus the fact that she CANT DRIVE A CAR FOR 5 MINUTES without getting into so much trouble we all decide that her menfolk need to come save her from certain death. It all combines to make a sickeningly pathetic picture of the self-proclaimed-female-model for all future females.
    Look if you think the show isnt problematic then make some arguments as to how its addressing the issues that the show itself has raised. Because honestly i cant imagine the laundry/lemonade womens work diatribe being included thoughtlessly. I really thought they were going somewhere. But then they completely undermined gun lady’s position against the lemonade argument by making her incompetent to the point where she is literally the only person in the show that has mistakenly shot a human thinking it was a zombie. I just cant find anything in the show that defrays the characterization of women as nearly all weak sniveling creatures that are entirely incapable of making decisions, who are only good for getting beaten or killed or committing suicide or getting attempted raped. Its a lot of grief to throw at your female characters and to only muster as a response that “well in the south there be sexists” is completely unacceptable.

  • Graz

    Ok my tone was super argumentative, but that show just gets me really hot under the collar. I would actually be really interested to hear how your mom interprets that scene, and the role of women in the show in general.

  • T-dogg is a dumb name, but it’s amazing that a black character has lasted this long. I wish they put Tyrese in here, who was a much better character in the comics, but what’re you gonna do? Also, there are HORRIBLE nicknames that black rappers have given themselves. T Dogg is better than some.

    Dave is OBSESSED with the old farmhouse! You really hate that someone owns an old farmhouse!

    Someone goofed on exactly what you’re talking about:

    I tried to find any sort of interview or comment made by the writers, but of course all I get is typical fluff interviews. Maybe my search engine mojo is weak, or maybe there just isn’t anything out there where they address the role of women in the show- at least in the way you would like them to.

  • Listening to Fast Karate over the years has given me a great appreciation of Halo, as dumb as that sounds. For such generic science-fiction (and fps) there’s a lot to talk about there

  • That’s awesome! I’m happy we’ve assisted in that!

    I said my piece (and then some) on the podcast, but yeah. They get a bad rap from a lot of quarters. Our roommate has started playing them from the beginning, and he’s been conceptually against games like Halo for a long time, and is coming around and being like “there’s some cool stuff here.” Which is satisfying.

  • To the day I still remember the ODST podcast; the point made about how with a triple a franchise Bungie could run wild with story experimentation. Nobody buys games (currently) for story and I don’t imagine they’re greenlit based on story, so why do we keep seeing the same shit

  • EzeKill

    I thought I was the only one that noticed that scene where Lori basically gives up her “women’s rights” and expect all the other women to do the same. I am by no means for feminism but that scene still bothered me.

    I don’t think the sexism is a huge problem in the show. Yes it’s a bit blatant at times but this is the apocalypse. If society were to crumble women would get shoved back into that old supportive role. Some people may not like seeing that but chances are extremely high that’s how it would play out.

  • “If society were to crumble women would get shoved back into that old supportive role. Some people may not like seeing that but chances are extremely high that’s how it would play out.”

    You know, it’s funny how people invariably bring that up, but everyone thinks the “schlubby internet nerds with zombie survival plans” contingent will be just fine. Having a vagina has no statistical impact on your ability to fire a gun, for example.

    Saying you are “by no means for feminism” pretty much makes you a bad person by default, because feminism is largely about leveling the playing field. If you can say that in good conscience then you should reexamine yourself or you should reexamine what you think feminism means.

  • Darin

    Eh, I haven’t watched much Walking Dead, only some of the game, but I can see where you’re coming from.
    However, I find it kind of ironic that “we” (whoever that is, other nerds I guess) expect nerdy guys who were probably losers in high school – maybe a stereotype, but it seems to be accurate – to write “powerful female characters” and generally display no sexism at all. Would we expect the same from a woman who had been similarly treated? Or had even just had bad relationships with men?
    In a way, it almost seems like reverse sexism, as if we’re expecting more of men than we are of women. The onus is generally laid on guys to act a certain way, and women supposedly will respond appropriately. In a way, it seems to be taking away women’s agency just as much, to deny them equal responsibility for their attitudes, whether that be towards men, or just in general. And we really do have this imbalance.
    Maybe women don’t see it, but in our “patriarchal” culture, we contribute to the problem by assigning men the sole blame for their attitudes. Again, it seems to be a funny way of being feminist, to pretend that the imbalances have all been created by men, and as soon as they clean up their act, everything will turn out all right. This basically turns women into moral automatons, if you ask me. Just put in the right command and you’ll get the proper response. Do they really want their agency to be taken away like that?