Monday, October 13, 2008

HEROES - Women In Refrigerators reels its' ugly head again.

I didn't plan to spend all of my sick day writing about this. But in the face of some of the comments so far and an article that was just brought to my attention which mentions the tendency of the female characters to be portrayed as victims this season as one of the ten biggest things the show needs to fix.

Of course this isn't the first time I've reported on this. And there's even a whole article on it at HEROESWiki.

I think it is a lot more obvious this Season though. I mean, think about it...

Claire - literally mind-raped by Sylar. Abandoned emotionally by Noah and Peter.

Niki - one of the two main female characters when the show first started - confirmed dead. Killed while trying to save Monica.

Monica - good bloody question

Tracy - started out as a powerful and confident "ice queen" who cracks (no pun intended) after accidentally killing someone, finding out she's the victim of gene-splicing and has sisters she never knew about. Tries to commit suicide and becomes the love interest of one of the main male heroes within minutes. Looks to be a trophy wife/First Lady in The Future.

Daphne - presently a super-fast thief who manages to regularly outrun Hiro physically and mentally. Is apparently destined, sometime in the next four years, to go straight, become a Company Agent, have a baby and become Matt Parkman's love interest in The Future.

Maya - has always been an annoying victim of the male characters' manipulation. This season, suddenly changed into (alternatively) a nag who badgers Mohinder and... I'm detecting a trend - Mohinder's love interest/love slave if my theory about him becoming a cockroach with pheromone powers is accurate.


  1. Yes, Claire got mind-raped, but I think it's important to note that you see her choosing to find a way to deal with it. She's not curled up in a ball somewhere sobbing her eyes out about how unfair life is. She wants to get out and do something to keep shit from happening to other people. Yes, she's doing it because she's angry, but I'd much rather see someone be angry and focused than left to look sad and broken.
    I don't know what to think of Daphene just yet. I thought it was odd that she'd go from thief to Parkman's wife, but at the same time, how much do we actually know about her character? I also think it should be noted that Matt is apparently a stay-at-home father taking care of two girls while Daphene is the one taking care of the superhero business.
    I've got nothing on Tracy, so far. I'm still not sure if I like her or not. And Maya isn't even a character, nor has she ever been. She's a combination of screaming fits, hysteria, crying, and looking scared. That's not a character.
    I admit that I have an issue with the use of the idea of "fridging" being used to describe character development in females that is brought about by something unpleasant. There's character development of male characters through the use of trauma and unpleasantness, but it's not talked about with the same fervor and concern as when it happens with female characters. If female characters are ever to be equal with male characters on television/in comics/in movies, then people are going to have to deal with the fact that sometimes female characters get traumatized.

  2. I agree there's a world of difference between a female character "being fridged" and suffering hardship. And yes, comics - and drama in general - would be a dull thing if none of the female characters ever suffered.
    But cripes - it just seems disproportionate this season!
    Granting that Claire is trying to work past her tragedy, it looks like the end result is to turn her into an cliched "angry at daddy" bad girl.
    I'll admit that I didn't notice "hey - Matt's a stay at home dad" - but that's entirely because I was so side-lined by the revelation that Daphne was his future wife and what a lateral character jump that seemed to be for her.
    And they kicked Elle out of the show so quickly I just now remembered how badly she was treated...

  3. Yeah. Season One, it was pretty even. It just seems worse, I think, because there's such a low number of main female protagonists this season. You've got Claire and Tracy. That's about it.