WD II, The Women of Walking Dead…

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Television, women

(by request)


Okay, so yeah, what about the women on Walking Dead?  At this point we are down to really four women characters of any sort of significance:  Laurie Grimes (wife of Rick, Mother of Karl, love interest of Shane) who prior to the Zombie Apocalypse was a house wife, Andrea, (who lost her sister to the Zombies in Season One, wanted to commit suicide, has snapped outta that, had a strange relationship with Dale,  had a fling with Shane and is slowly becoming a badass) who was a lawyer, Carol (who had a daughter named Sophia and an abusive husband, Ed, who both ended up dead. Ed got killed by a zombie and Sophia got turned into a Zombie), who was a house wife, and Maggie (daughter of Hershel, love interest of Glenn, lost her step mom and brother) who seems to be a farm girl recently returned from college.

So, here we have our WD Women.  And face it, the world has ended.  In season one, several of the female characters are doing laundry, questioning how the work load is devided -the women being stuck with most of the work, and Andrea comments something a long the lines of  “It’s the end of the world, women’s lib is dead.”   In the show we see Laurie, thinking Rick is Dead, hook up with Shane because he can protect her and her son, Karl.  We see no one say nothing to Ed about the way he  treats Carol and Sophia until Shane looses it and beats the crap out of him for beating on her.  We see Carol herself flip out when it comes time to make sure Ed doesn’t end up  turning and absolutely obliterate his face.  There is, like there is in any post apocalypse thing, from the crappy “Doomsday” Movie to “The Book of Eli” and any other flick of the end of the world genre that women are not safe:  Not from the zombies, and as Randal and crew prove, not from men who have also surivived.  Lawlessness, Anarchy, and Lack of Order never seem to bode well for anyone, but especially for women…  and because of this, for the most part, the women of WD have seemingly accepted their new (very old) roles in society: cooking, cleaning, caretaking, and make an effort to befriend (or more than befreind) strong men:  Laurie has Rick (and Shane), Andrea has Shane, Carol seems to have some sort of something going with Daryl, and Maggie has Glenn.  Maggie however seems to actually love Glenn, and has for the most part been shown as a woman capable of handling herself (yes, Glenn saves her in the pharmacy, but she did save Andrea earlier in the season)…

The one who does not seem so down with the new world order is Andrea.  We have watched her go from ready to kill herself in Season One to certified badass with a gun in Season Two.  We’ve seen all

Andrea & Shane

of the women, except Carol, take on walkers and win in season two  (come on, Laurie, who is pregnant, kills one with a Mag Lite, how badass is that?)  But Andrea?  Andrea seems to have a real taste for it, and in many ways is becoming Shane’s female counterpart.  There are several good scenes with her in Season Two: with Dale, Shane, and Laurie, where she discusses her desire to do more than laundry, to help protect the group and keep people safe, where she is willing to risk herself to keep others safe, and she has generally sided with Shane on many issues where Shane is right…

To me one of the best of these scenes happened in S2E12, the most recent episode, where she and Laurie, the two Main Female Characters of the show, throw down in the kitchen.  It’s a  verbal throw down, but a throw down it is.  Laurie sort of jumps all over Andrea for trying to do jobs that the men can handle…i.e., security, zombie killing, shooting,  making the tough calls, things of that nature- she does in fact even say “leave that to the men” in essence.  This pisses Andrea off, because she’s, well, good at killin’ zombies and one heck of a shot…and is tired of doing laundry, ect.  In fact, the whole scene and scenerio begs some interesting questions:  Should Andrea, who is pretty handy with a gun, the shooting Daryl incident aside, be tasked with keeping watch and going on rescuse missions rather than, oh, Glenn, who is not a good shot and sometimes freaks out under pressure?  Or are the roles in the new world set on biological sex rather than skill?  In the post zombie apocalypse world, much like the present one, Glenn, regardless of marksmanship, is larger and stronger than Andrea, and would probably suffer less if captured by human hostiles (after all, zombies do not descriminate- everyone is good eatin’), so is that reason enough to keep her at home? Randal, the current hostage of the group, states with his crew there are women and kids, but Only The Men go out and forage…and what they do when they find women and kids…heck, kind of supports Andrea’s theory of wanting to be armed and secure.

Maggie & Glenn

Guns and Roles aside for a moment, the four women characters themselves are interesting, as is the interaction between them.  They are varried in age, pressumably from mid 20’s (Maggie) to probably early 40’s (Carol) , and each of them has their own place and personality amid the survivors.  Maggie is not part of the orginal group we’ve followed on the show, but rather Hershel’s daughter and part of the farm crew.  She’s tough, funny, confident, pretty, witty and obviously really cares about Glenn and her family- but didn’t realize the walkers were …well…zombies, until recently.  We know she is college educated and sort of “worldly” compaired to some of the other farm folk.  She’s also apparently rapidly becoming a fan favorite.  Then there is Carol, who is rather beat down, both by life, her now dead man, and the loss of her child- in fact, Carol actually did not say much at all until season two, and filled the roll of the polite but shy, weepy woman for a long time, yet recently we’ve seen her go out of her way to look out for and at least try to befriend Daryl (who is prickly, to say the least).  Even when he says horrible things to her, she takes it and keeps looking out for him.  Is this because Carol is used to abusive men, or is it the mom in her, or is it because he was the only one who really went out of his way to find her daughter?  Andrea, well, Andrea has done a huge 180, from being suicidal to being ready to take up arms and do whatever is necessary to protect her crew, and then…then there is Laurie, who, via of being Rick’s wife, is seen as, to quote Carol, their own first lady.  Laurie is devious too, and uses many “typically female” tactics to get what she wants- from whispering in Rick’s ear about how

Maggie, Laurie and Andrea helping to pull their weight, and Glenn's!

Shane is dangerous to not making decisions for herself merely by doing the “stand by her man” thing.  She is also if not the biggest (Shane may rival her here) drama queen on the show, one of the biggest.  All of these women are interesting characters, and the way they mesh is interesting….but each of them brings up some interesting questions about women in general, in and out of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Personally I favor Maggie and Andrea to Laurie and Carol, but all of them have valid reasons to hold the views they do and take up the roles they have…

So, discuss at will.

And just because….Daryl Freakin’ Dixon!!!


**Sidebar, In Season One, Carol Saves everyone by remembering she has a grenade Rick had left in his pocket, she found it while doing his laundry, and they use it to blow their way out of the CDC….

Daryl...almost getting shot by Rick...

  1. Hate Laurie. Dislike Andrea. Apathetic about Carol and Maggie.

    Andrea is ok, but they write her making too many stupid mistakes.

    Laurie….I’d slap the taste outta her mouth.

    Andrea was getting better until that stupidity with Maggies sister, and had I been Maggie, she’d have a bat shaped concave in her head.

    Carol needs more fleshing out as a character for me to really have an opinion.

  2. xena says:

    Yeah, Maggie’s sister is a fucking princess. >:-( !!! I would have marched girlie to the edge of a cliff and hung her upside-down by the ankles until she screamed.

    More after my smoke break.

  3. xena says:

    Hey, I missed that, Pheeno. You mean you would have beat Andrea if you were Maggie. That was one of Andrea’s stupid mistakes. I’ll meet you halfway on that. It was stupid to give her such a risky way to test her suicidal claims. In that world, it’s very easy for people to die of infections. The writers could still kill her off.

    However, malingerers who whine about suicide to get attention and disability benefits are one of my biggest pet-peeves in life. Chicky-poo really strikes me as that type. Hence my ankle dangling comment. That’s a much easier way to call a malingerer’s bluff, without making her sicker, and an even bigger burden on the group.

    • Ren says:

      I actually think ANdrea was right on that one, bad execution of her plan, but not wrong. However, I can also see Maggie kicking her ass for it.

  4. xena says:

    I think what irks me most about the Doodly-Do-Rite writing on the show is that all the female characters are wives and daughters. All but Andrea, who is bordering on sociopathic. Doodz, I hate to break this to you. Intentionally manless women aren’t all sociopaths.

    That spousal abuse scene with Carol. !&!!!@#!!!#** !! 5 women getting stuck on laundry duty. Ok, I’ll grudgingly accept that as realistic. I’ve shared homes with wifely women who cheerfully wait on men and Oh, the Drama! if I only clean up after myself and the other women. They notice that missing 10% of the housework like a dopefiend notices a missing quarter gram. So I can see why they would all accept it. The men sure as shit won’t pick up the slack. But standing around oggling Carol getting her face busted until Shane takes over? If any of you were standing in a group with 3 other women, all of whom had recently used shovels and screwdrivers, etc. to take down more than a few zombies apiece, wouldn’t you just ask Carol, Hey, can I take that piece of shit down for you, Ma’am? Would you like a nice big rock to pound him with?

    Carol annoys me a little. She’s forgivably weepy, but weepy nonetheless. I’m half hoping Daryl will throw a good fuck into her and give her a bit of backbone for the first time in her life. But I think you’re right, Ren. She’s looking for another abuser. I hope they don’t fuck with my anti-hero worship of Daryl by turning him into Carol’s version of one of those assholes Hugo goes on about in his PUA posts. I will boycott the fucking show if Daryl turns into that.

    Then there’s Laurie. The Queenbee. The strategically married backstabber. The privileged bitch who can undo the life’s work of every man and woman present with half a dozen whispered words. Phyllis fucking Schlafly. I despise her like I despise her RL counterparts. She’ll be the one left standing at the end, with her hair made shiny by fetus entrail conditioner, while she laughs and blames her baby’s misfortune on the nearest group member who pisses her off. Then she’ll laugh while Rick wreaks his vengeance on the sorry sack of meat. She’s a bigger threat to Andrea than any other character in the show, including Shane and the zombies.

    I like Maggie. She’s close to what I look for in a BFF, direct, forthright, likes horses, smart. She’s a good match for Glenn. He’s a cutie, too. Very loyal.

    • Ren says:

      I don’t see Daryl going bad that way…do I think he would hit a woman? Yeah, if she hit him first. It is the Apocalypse after all. I think her thing with Daryl is more a…well, he had no family really aside from his brother who is now gone, and she had a kid who is now gone, so neither of them have ANYONE…and she’s right about him, he is just as good as Rick or Shane…and he is unused to hearing anything complementary about himself, so when people say nice things about him, it freaks him out…

      • xena says:

        Maybe. I guess we’ll see. Carol and Daryl–hey they rhyme, how’s that for a foil–aren’t as easy to predict as, say Rick. We always know what the stand-up Appollonian character will do (unless he’s a character in Pirates of the Caribbean). I still hope Daryl fucks her good. Poor thing needs some of what her husband never gave her.

  5. “You mean you would have beat Andrea if you were Maggie. That was one of Andrea’s stupid mistakes. I’ll meet you halfway on that.”

    You just don’t disrespect an entire family’s wishes on how they deal with a family matter like that.

    That’s what got up my nose about it.

    Had she been my sister, I would have whipped her spoiled ass out of bed and then lit into Andrea for her interference. If I put you on suicide watch, I do it for a fucking reason.

    • jnuneznj says:

      I know I am chiming in a few months late but just caught up with the show. I love it but the women are driving me crazy in this show. Andrea’s suicide assistance (encouragement) was messed up. If it was Daryl on watch he would have the same feelings (just do it) but he would up hold his assigned duty.

      Andrea is can easily go from helping the group to Shane-like endangerment.

  6. xena says:

    Ok, I’ll take it, Pheeno. Family is family.

  7. What I haven’t figured out is why no one has thought to ask Hershel were another self sufficient farm is. You can’t tell me that’s the only one with a water well.

    • xena says:

      That’s probably a matter of RL constraints. I think I remember hearing somewhere that the show was filmed on an extremely low budget. It costs less to rent a lovely farm, or build a set to look like a farm, than it does to clear a few blocks of a large city or highway to fill up with paid extras in zombie suits, or keep carting actors around to different filming locations. True, they could use CGI, but CGI looks kinda fake.

      I haven’t read the comics. This might be part of the story line, so correct me if I’m wrong, Ren. For now, I’ll guess that the producers needed to shave back their budget while waiting to see if the show’s popularity (or lack of) would cause them to sink or stay afloat. I can’t see many other reasons for stretching our credulity with Laurie’s pregnancy. Who would want to deliver a baby in a world with medieval medical technology and only a 50/50 chance of not dying on the labour table? Yes, that’s an actual statistic. Before 1900 (ish–I’m not a midwife–I’d have to research the details to fill in the gaps in my memory. I could probably find the actual statistics if you’d like.) close to 50% of women died in childbirth, due to Rh incompatibility. I believe the infant mortality rate was something like 40% as well.

      So the reason within the storyline for the group staying on Hershel’s farm is Laurie’s pregnancy. When you remove all the characters–Hershel and his daughters, Glenn, Rick, Laurie and Karl, who have a loyalty to each other, or a good reason for staying on the farm, you’re left with 5 people who function less well together than the entire group functions as a whole. Daryl is the only one in the group of 5 who has a good chance of surviving on his own. Even Shane would be likely to piss somebody off, or get drunk and et by the Dead.

      So I’m guessing that the producers don’t want to spend the money to rent another farmhouse (or build another one) right now.

  8. And also..because it needs to be repeated



    • xena says:

      Yeah, he’s growing on me too. He’s in-the-pub-hot, not on-the-telly-hot. I wouldn’t kick him outta bed, tho. So much for my fond wishes for poor Carol’s orgasm-deprived state. I probably just wanna creep out on Daryl’s nekked self.

      LOL back 😀

  9. yes laughing at myself, because not only would I not kick him outta bed, I’d drag him INTO it.

  10. Laurie is seriously the reason I stopped watching that show. She has less emotional range than the drooling, shambling, violent Walkers. If ONLY they could get rid of 99% of the cast and just make it the Daryl and Glenn show. I’d start watching again.

  11. xena says:

    I just saw the rawkin Season 2 Finale. Through most of season one and some of season 2 I was a little annoyed with the way they portrayed too many of the female characters as dependent on the men. Not all of them, but too many for my taste. It looks like this is about to change. Andrea has a new cloaked badass friend who’s handy with a sword. And she has a couple of armless Pet Walkers! You go girl!

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