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I support women’s rights AND wrongs!!!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

Edited by: Vyshnevi

For years, female characters in TV shows, movies, and books have been subjected to harsh criticism and scrutiny by both fans and critics. They are often held to different standards than their male counterparts and are judged more harshly for their flaws and mistakes. This unfair double standard is a reflection of the broader cultural attitude towards women, and it has had a significant impact on how female characters are written and perceived in the media. Here is my comprehensive list of women they could simply never make me hate:

1) Skyler White: Skyler White, the wife of protagonist Walter White in “Breaking Bad”, is a character who faced significant backlash from the show’s audience. Despite being a victim of her husband’s illegal activities and trying to protect her family, she is often labelled as a “nagging wife” and receives harsh criticism for her actions. Many viewers see Skyler as an obstacle to Walter’s goals rather than as a character with her own motivations and desires. This perception of her as a burden on Walter’s journey underscores the ways in which female characters are often viewed solely in relation to the male protagonist rather than as individuals with their own stories to tell. Furthermore, the criticism that Skyler faced highlights the ways in which women are often held to different standards than men in the media. While male characters who make morally questionable decisions are often celebrated for their complexity, female characters who exhibit similar behaviour are often labelled as unlikable or difficult.

2) Rory Gilmore: Rory Gilmore, the protagonist of “Gilmore Girls,” faced criticism for her choices and actions throughout the show’s run. Despite being a hardworking and intelligent young woman, she is often labelled as entitled or selfish, with her character arc being criticised for not being satisfying enough. One of the main reasons Rory is the way she is is because of the way she was raised. She was idealised not just by her family but by an entire town, which made it difficult for her character to take accountability. Regarding her character arc, it’s essential to understand that it was not designed to be satisfying or perfect. Like all real-life individuals, Rory had her flaws, and her character development reflected that. Her choices and mistakes served as a learning experience, which ultimately made her a more well-rounded and developed character. It’s essential to acknowledge that nobody is perfect, and characters in a show shouldn’t be held to an unrealistic standard of perfection. Making bad decisions is an essential part of growing up and learning. Yes, she made terrible, TERRIBLE decisions, but who cares? Sometimes being a bit of a loser gives you character; If Rory Gilmore is a loser, then she’s MY loser!

3) Camila Dunne: Camila Dunne is a character from the book “Daisy Jones and The Six” which has recently been adapted as a limited series on Amazon Prime (threatening all of you to binge it right now). In the case of Camila Dunne, many viewers dislike her role because she too falls under the trope of the “nagging wife”. She’s a strong independent woman who’s deeply devoted to her family. She deals with SO much in the show – she becomes a mother at the age of 20, and as soon as she gets married to her boyfriend (Billy), he cheats on her with multiple women. Despite all of this, she forgives him and gives him a second chance—just for him to have an emotional affair with one of his band members. She receives so much unwarranted hate because she gets in between one of the popular ships in the book. Mind you, the popular ship in question here includes her HUSBAND. All Camila does throughout the book is keep the band together and care for her family while supporting her husband, who’s freshly out of rehab. The hate she receives is so wholly unnecessary, and she will forever be the people’s princess. 

4) Captain Marvel: Some viewers have criticised Captain Marvel for not being as likeable or relatable as other superheroes, such as Iron Man or Captain America. She falls under the trope of “ice queen”. If you observe closely (no close observation needed, it’s obvious), it’s apparent that she does not fit into the specific gendered norms a “woman” must follow. She’s cold, dominating, and does not take shit from anyone. She’s cocky and knows what she wants, which is one of the main reasons Marvel fanboys hate her. What’s more insane is the fact that she shares a lot of her “unlikeable” characteristics with Iron Man. It’s pretty clear that there are particular characteristics people prefer not to see in women. It’s also so annoying to hear arguments about her character not being well-developed in comparison to other Marvel superheroes because she has ONE MOVIE in total!!! Give her time!!! Let her cook!!!

Hi! I'm Sanjana Gundu, a freshman at Ashoka University with an intended major in Economics. I enjoy reading women's fiction, contemporary romance, and fantasy, and I love watching sitcoms. I'm quite chronically online and have had Twitter since 2019, so any conversation about pop culture excites me.