Jess's Take: A Lesson in Queer Theory, Feminism, and Fandom

Hey folks, this is another installment of Jess's Take. I'm Jessica, and this is a special article dealing with feminism and queer theory in television as well as the fandom. Before I get into specifics, here lies the definition of feminism.

Feminism (noun) - The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

There are shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Mindy Project, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt that have feminist overtones.

And there are shows like Supernatural and The 100.

Supernatural is an interesting case because the overwhelming majority of convention attendees are women. However, it's a show that has killed pretty much every female character known to mankind. I wouldn't exactly call that show a shining example of feminism, but rather a show that deals with family issues surrounding two brothers. Now here's how queer theory is applied. Ironically, it's also a show that has fans writing fanfiction about the supposed romantic involvements with male characters: Destiel, Wincest, etc. Charlie's death in season 10 was the most shocking of all female character deaths. For one thing, she was the female character that is well received with the fandom. She was also gay, which made it even more shocking since most major female characters were killed if they were somewhat romantically involved with either Winchester brother. Does Anna, Bela, Sarah, and Ruby 2.0 ring a bell? Also, Charlie was more like an equal.

The 100 is another example of showing how the death of a major female character sparks outrage. Lexa was killed minutes after sleeping with Clarke. The fan outrage was extremely massive. Lexa was one of the most powerful LGBT characters on television. The entire fandom has donated a ton of money to The Trevor Project. The week after Lexa's death, The 100 scored a series low in the demo. A 0.4 A18-49 rating to be exact. Also, the showrunner apologizes to fans in a long letter. Interestingly enough, the main character, Clarke, is bisexual.

These are two shows where there are major LGBT character deaths and what is basically seen is the underrepresentation of the LGBT community and women, although it is more so with Supernatural than The 100. However, the basic main premise of both shows deals with survival and how to deal with life. But I digress.

News flash: Lexa's death is not the first female LGBT character death on television. Neither is Charlie's. But they are unfortunate examples of a television landscape that may be largely patriarchal. Public discourse and fandom outrage is not likely to go away quietly. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Lexa's death will be cited as an example in an academic paper for an academic journal that deals with television.

The opinions expressed in this article may not be representative of the TV Ratings Guide and subsequent TV news sites as a whole.

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