Female Characters: Why All Of The Hate?

Fandoms—the community of fans of a particular work of fiction, be it Harry Potter or Doctor Who (and even non-British series)—are somewhat notorious on the internet. Say one thing, and an entire fandom rises up as an angry (verbal) mob. Sometimes, fandoms get their shows renewed (sending a ridiculous volume of peanuts to a network got cult-favorite television show Jericho a second season). A lot of the time, fandoms just exist to discuss their favorite books, films, shows, writers, and characters.

And that can be a very positive thing. It can also be a very negative thing. Sometimes, people in fandoms just detest certain characters in ways that seem to be beyond justification.

Unfortunately, though I cannot name a reliable statistical study to prove this, I have noticed that a lot of the targets of this . . . fan-based vitriol . . . are female characters.

I am not necessarily talking about villains. When a character is said or shown or implied to be a rapist or a child-abuser, these are the characters whom we are supposed to hate. Other villains might be those whom we enjoy seeing but still root against. I am talking about . . . characters. And I am talking about female characters.

Depending upon the genre, a female character might be cited as being “annoying,” “having a chip on her shoulder,” or “forced on us by the writers.” Female characters who cheat on their boyfriends seem to get more hate than cheating boyfriends do. When a boyfriend cheats on his girlfriend with another woman, some fans seem to spit venom at the other woman and even at the girlfriend.

I am honestly not sure why female characters are so very polarizing. But I can guess. And, honestly, it is a discussion worth having. Because the things that we say about our favorite shows, whether talking to our friends or on posts to Tumblr, say a lot about us and our society.

First of all, sometimes female characters just make a bigger impact on us, psychologically. Perhaps because (though women outnumber men in …

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What Makes You Happy?

photo of food is happiness pics
This post isn’t about ABC’s Once Upon A Time series, but a lot of that Disney-influenced fairytale show revolves around people pursuing their own happiness (which, in some cases, means destroying that of those who have wronged them). And that show, among other things, definitely has me wondering about different people’s definitions of happiness, and what sources they find for it.

Plus, you know, happiness is kind of integral to human existence.

And there are a lot of different types of happiness.

For example, there is a sort of happiness that comes from hate. I don’t mean the angry, raging sort of hatred. And I do not mean bigotry. I mean a calm and pure hatred for an evil person who has grievously wronged you to such a degree that you can only imagine what your life would be like if you had never encountered that person. A cold hatred of sufficient intensity is such a sweet and satisfying sensation that it is almost an ecstatic experience. One can only imagine (legally, anyway) how satisfying it would be to erase the object of one’s hatred from existence.

Some people come from a different line of thinking, and believe that true happiness comes from forgiveness—from letting go of that hatred. These are probably the sorts of people who don’t cope with the world by fantasizing about murder (like, is there any other way to read about Chris Brown or Michael Vick or Casey Anthony and stay sane?). Personally, I don’t know how they …

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Blurring The Lines Between Ridicule And Hate

photo of orthodox jew pictures
I’m sorry about the title, but at least I didn’t include the word “unorthodox.”

Have you guys read this article about a group of male, highly Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem who may be taking up the habit of wearing glasses that lessen their vision. They would do this so that, when in public (or, in some cases, in private), they will not find themselves tempted by attractive women who do not dress conservatively (I hate the term “immodest” when describing women’s clothing).

I say may, because this is mostly rumor. I mean, we’ve heard rumors of “epidemics” of teenagers getting drink off of hand-sanitizer and vodka-soaked tampons. These things have a tendency to be a lot less popular than the rumors about them.

Either way, the writer of this particular article, Elad Nehorai, was not reporting this story. He was discussing the various articles and blog posts about it. He took offense to the mocking tone with which the story was reported. To his view, many people are taking this opportunity to ridicule a group of religious people for being “wacky” in a way that does not harm anyone else. He also points out that some bloggers seemed to really just make fun of the Orthodox community as a whole.

I would agree that deeply religious men who limit the scope of their senses in order to avoid temptation are really only harming themselves. I also do not doubt that there are any number of anti-Semitic and anti-religious bloggers who took this story and ran with it.

But that does not mean that everyone who pokes fun at men with healthy vision who are so concerned about avoiding temptation …

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Arkansas Grocery Store Censors Magazine Cover Featuring Elton John and His Family

An Arkansas grocery store decided that this week’s US Magazine featuring the smiling faces of Elton John, his husband David Furnish, and their extremely adorable, newly adopted son Zachary, was too offensive for the sensitive eyes of the young children that frequent their store. As a result they decided …

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