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...