Mon
Jul 2 2012 11:00am

The Problem with Lori: Feminism and The Walking Dead

Got 99 Problems and we REALLY wish Lori wasn’t one of them!As someone of the female persuasion, I have long lamented the lack of strong ladies in the horror genre. Too often are women cast as damsels in distress, empty-headed spazzes who endanger the rest of the group, or mere objects of desire that die bloodily in the traditional sex-leads-to-dismemberment moral code of the horror universe.

This is partly why I’ve been such a devoted fan of The Walking Dead comic series. Yes, there are female characters who do stupid things and die quickly. But there are also characters like the sword-swinging Michonne (who appeared in dramatic fashion in the season two finale) and the sniper Andrea (who will hopefully be more like her comic counterpart next season) who prove that the ladies can hold their own in the zombie apocalypse, too.

And here lies the root of my biggest problem with The Walking Dead TV adaptation: there’s an unnecessary focus and importance placed on Lori.

Why all the hate, you might ask—though judging by popular outcry, most fans agree with me. As the wife of the lead hero, the former lover of another, and the mother of a third character, why shouldn’t Lori get so much screen time?

Oh, let me just count the ways . . .
 

Lori has no grasp of the realities of the apocalyptic world.
Months have passed since the zombies began attacking, and Lori continues to act as if things will return to the former status quo. In the season two opener, the group find themselves on a congested highway. When the others begin to go through the cars for essential supplies, Lori protests, saying it doesn’t “feel right” because the highway is “like a graveyard”.

*Crickets chirp* . . . Seriously? You’re struggling for survival day by day, you have a child to provide for—and you want to waste time respecting the dead? In case you hadn’t noticed, Lori, the dead certainly aren’t respecting you, what with all the “trying to eat you” and such.

At least one of Carl’s parents has his prioritis in order...To further hammer this point home, Lori is also against Carl learning how to handle guns. Yes, he’s a child, and yes, it’s terrible that the current situation necessitates such a thing. But what’s the alternative? Leave the kid vulnerable and ignorant of how to handle a weapon that could save his life—and the lives of others—simply because he’s young?

With monsters around every corner eager to rip your throat out, the innocence of childhood is a luxury of the past. Carl has already proved to be remarkably resilient and adaptable, and is certainly more pragmatic than either of his parents. If I were a mother in the zombie apocalypse, I would want my child to learn as much as they could in order to be a better survivor.

And while we’re on the topic of motherhood . . .

Lori is an incredibly inept mother.
I’m a really bad mom, aren’t I? ...Yeah...Now, I don’t want to sound misogynistic here, because that’s the opposite of what I’m getting at. My point is that the writers have hammered home the fact that Lori sees herself as a mother first and foremost—her number one priority is her son. A lot of her actions can be seen as motivated by her need to protect Carl. Yet she constantly fails as a mother because she a) is against her son learning vital survival skills; b) never truly talks with or listens to her son to find out how he’s dealing with the horrors they encounter, and; c) never keeps an eye on him.

It’s become a joke among fans that Carl is constantly slipping away from the group and getting into trouble, and all the while Lori and Rick are completely oblivious. The reason this is such a huge flaw in Lori’s character is that she sets herself up as The Mother of the group and yet consistently fails in this role.
 

Lori, the woman in the group with the voice most likely to be heard, is anti-feminist.
I’m going to shoot you in about two minutes, Lori, if you don’t shut up...This is a huge problem with me. For being the “First Lady” of the group, her personal views on gender roles are hardly helpful to the other women. Andrea in particular is verbally attacked by Lori—simply because she refuses to conform to Lori’s idea of what a woman should be.

Take the fight the two have in the episode “18 Miles Out”: Lori thinks that Andrea is being lazy because she’d rather “work on her tan” and stand watch with a gun—a man’s job, in Lori’s mind—instead of doing laundry or fixing meals for the men. In a world full of cannibalistic monsters, why shouldn’t the women learn how to handle firearms and take their share of the guarding duties? Lori tries to force the other women to follow her lead, rather than allow them to make their own decisions.

And talk about juxtaposing a useless character with one coming into her own: Despite her suicidal depression, Andrea is already a better survivor than Lori because she’s committed to learning skills that will prove useful in the future. She also understands that suicide could be the kinder option if the alternative is being ripped apart and eaten alive. Andrea gets it, whereas Lori still hopes that PTA meetings will be a possibility again someday.
 

Lori’s decision-making skills are atrocious and she resorts to emotional manipulation to get what she wants.
I can’t choose, can one of you just kill the other? Writers, I have a huge bone to pick with you over this. Are you trying to turn Lori into a caricature of a shrewish, unfaithful woman? If so, you’re doing an upstanding job!

I can give her a pass with the Shane issue prior to Rick’s return; she was in pain, Shane was a good support system, she had no idea Rick was still alive. But everything she did concerning Rick and Shane in season two makes me furious.

First she tells Rick that Shane is dangerous and urges her husband to kill him—real concerns and a solid course of action, to be fair, but the way the entire scene was framed made it look like she was a creepy Lady Macbeth more than anything.

She makes it clear to Shane that her baby is Rick’s no matter what, that they are over, that he meant nothing to her, etc. etc. Then she goes to Shane and thanks him for everything, talks about how much he means to her and Carl, how grateful she is. And all of this just when he’s at the tipping point to dive into full-on crazy.

Cut to the inevitable face-off between Rick and Shane where Rick comes out victorious, and when he tells Lori exactly what went down—she recoils from her husband in horror.

WOMAN, YOU ARE KIDDING ME, RIGHT? Everything was set into motion thanks to your emotional see-sawing, and when your husband does what you told him to do ages ago, you act shocked and repulsed? Please.

And do I even have to get into that whole “takes a car without telling anyone, then crashes it in a superbly stupid fashion” situation that made me literally throw things at the TV while screaming obscenities?

Conclusion: Lori is the absolute WORST.
And as horrible as this makes me sound, I cannot wait for the Governor to show up next season so long as the prison arc ends as it did in the comics.

Now here's a list of 5 Superior Alternatives to Lori Grimes, women who can really hold their own in a Zombie Apocalypse.

And if you're fired up to talk about that episode of The Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 4 “The Killer Within,” here it is!

See all of our matter on Zombies.
 


Angie Barry wrote her thesis on the socio-political commentary in zombie films. Meeting George Romero is high on her bucket list, and she has spent hours putting together her zombie apocalypse survival plan. She also writes horror and fantasy in her spare time, and watches far too much Doctor Who. You can find her at Livejournal.com under the handle “zombres.".

Read all posts by Angie Barry at Criminal Element.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Individual - You will receive an alert for each comment added to this post.
Digest - You will receive an end-of-day alert for all comments added to this post.
59 comments
1. Matt S.
Fanstastic article Angie! I agree with you 100%. Let Joss write for her character, then she may be of actual use in the show.
Allison Brennan
2. Allison_Brennan
Agreed! Lori is one of the reasons I haven't finished watching Season Two. (There are a few other reasons, but the first few episodes of 2 didn't hold up to the quality and story arc of season 1. But, I plan to finish it ...) I actually haven't liked any of the female characters, even Andrea (though for different reasons than my dislike for Lori.)
3. Stephanie R.
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes to all of this. Her character makes me snarl at the TV.

She also understands that suicide could be the kinder option if the alternative is being ripped apart and eaten alive. Andrea gets it, whereas Lori still hopes that PTA meetings will be a possibility again someday.

EXACTLY.
4. Lauren S.
FABULOUS ARTCILE IS FABULOUS

Seriously, your thoughts are my thoughts Angie. Well done! Another great article!
5. Leah Adams
I don't really have anything else to add to this! This is exactly how I feel about Lori.
Christopher Morgan
6. cmorgan
You know I feel the same way, but I also lament T-Dogg and Carol. Both those characters DO NOTHING except take up space or moon over Daryl.
7. Zadok_Allen
One thing I didn't care for concerning show/Lori vs. comic/Lori was that in the graphic novels Lori isn't certain that Rick is dead in the hospital. She pretty much falls on top of Shane as soon as it seems feasible that Rick has died. This creates a huge rift of anger, guilt and jealousy between Rick and Lori that stretches throughout the story line. We don't have that well of emotions to draw from in the show - Shane told her that Rick had died so we can't really blame her for hooking up with Shane; luckily we have plenty of other reasons to dislike her.

I suppose the trade-off was that it did serve to make Shane a bit creepier. Just how hard did he really check to see if Rick was dead or not? Did Shane tell Lori her husband was dead because Shane had intended to cause Rick's death by leaving him in the hospital?
8. Rena
Fantastic article!! I agree whole heartedly... I also threw things and cursed when she stupidly crashed the car. I was praying she would have been eaten then! Lol
BTW, I had completely forgotten she urged Rick to kill Shane! What a bitch....
9. Michael Crooks
Lori is a hell of a lot smarter than Andrea, straight up if you're going to compare her to anybody don't use the dumb-ass feminist who only believes she's important because she has a gun. She shot Darryl, she sucks.
10. CKendrick
I LOVE THIS! And I agree 100%!
11. Seleneh
If you reed the comic, you will not talk like this about her. The problem is the fucking e.e.u.u. tv that make a fucking garbage series that censore everything.
12. brian
have you read Men, Women and Chainsaws by Carol Clover?
13. brittany
I agree 100%. Lori is the moron of the group. I also read the comics and the thing that irritates me the most is that the comic was so good (not saying thait t the show isn't) but it doesn't follow the comics too well. Shane should have been dead but no, instead, we let the audience get attached too shane as a good defender of the group then we let rick kill him. There is also extra characters and characters missing. I love love love the show but I am a bigger fan of the comics. Lori is dragging everyone down though including her son. She just needs too stop!
14. Finaleve
Thank you. She is part of the many reasons I have not gotten into the show. I love the comics a lot and how they were handling the female roles were awful to me because they lacked the depth the comics held. Andrea didn't feel right at first but she is slowly growing into her character. Lori though, I hate her in the show. It feels like she's being written by several people who do not talk to each other.
15. Matt12345
While I do agree with your post on some accounts. I would like to add my opinion that perhaps the reason that Lori is the way she is stems from the fact that Rick is a different character between the show and the comic. If you remember, in the comic Lori was also against Carl having a gun, however, Rick was not afraid to go against Lori and give him one anyway. The fact that Shane lived longer than his allotted time in the show really screwed up everybody else's character development. Rick was supposed to become the gritty intelligent leader who would do anything to protect his family, but instead, due to Shane's presence, he became an indecisive leader who failed to earn everyone's trust, and frankly he was boring to watch on many occasions. Personally, one thing I like about comic book Rick is his slightly crazy attitude when it comes to the safety of his family and later the group. That part just isn't there on the show. They had to go somewhere with Shane's character though because he had no more story to be based off of so they took the gritty craziness from Comic Book Rick and gave it to Shane. This might explain some of Lori's confusing behavior. She has to react to two different characters (TV Rick and Shane) who are based off one character (Comic Book Rick).
16. Dave O.
My two favorite characters in the comic are Michonne and Andrea. But I ALWAYS hated Lori. There wasn't a single panel where I didn't think that she was needy, selfish, manipulative, and worthless. And that's realistic, because some people, regardless of gender, are like that. Michonne is tough, Andrea rises to action, and Lori was worthless. It happens. I was glad when she got killed off.
17. Freddy
If it's any comfort, I think that the writers are pretty clearly displaying that Lori is "wrong" while women like Andrea and Maggie are "right". I think it has less to do with feminism in general and more to do with Lori specifically. If a woman is bad or evil or incompetent, that doesn't automatically follow that it's because she's a woman. Especially when you have the other women around.
18. Matthew6:5-6
Angie, your analysis is spot on from my perspective. Since early on, I realised that the TV Lori is the stereotypical Republican woman that I grew up knowing as my mum's friends from cocktail parties and PTA. Had it not been for her machinations and ability to 'ensnare' a man-protector, surely she would've perished in the first season.
19. Lotski
I love this blog. I think it's been written very well and I enjoyed reading it!
I agree on most parts, but personally I don't hate Lori (nor in the comic, nor in the tv show). I am a huge fan of the comics, and Lori was always one of the first characters to 'piss me off' in a way, but I always understood why she did or said stuff. In the comic, she's like a real mother figure. Although most people are like 'jeez, you're in an apocalypse, get your priorities right!', I understand her. Some moms stay moms during such stuff (not that we had a zombie apocalypse behind us to refer to), and Lori is one of those. Everybody knows one of those moms who is a typical mom, in the way that she always does and says momstuff (and who can be quite bitchy from time to time, lol).
For Lori in the tv-show I agree with Matt12345. I think he has a good point there! But still, I don't hate her. When she does something stupid like taking that car without anyone knowing I'm all like 'so typical', but it doesn't make me rage on her character. I think I can take a lot from a character before really hating or fisliking them, lol.
20. John W
Angie -
While I agree with every problem you have with Lori (and could add a ton of fuel to your fire), I'm baffled that in a show absolutely festering with logical impossibilities and character contradictions, you would spend an entire article focusing on her.

Oh - you're a socio-political commentarist.

That explains it.
Alicia .
21. Alicia_
I feel like you somehow listened in on my conversations with my sister about this show. You've nailed everything I've said to her about Lori down to the Lady MacBeth reference.

Her little tirade to Andrea about 'women's work' was the final straw that made her a waste of oxygen to me. I hope the show converges with the books more where she's concerned.
22. Rafael
The counter-argument to this is that Lori is actually a very well written character who is in denial and is therefore also extremely well acted.

Now, she's not in a state of total, non-functioning denial, but her brain shuts out certain realities of the apocalypse that make her actions seem ridiculous if you don't realize this. This is why she still looks after her son as if she's still living in the suburbs, and this is why she's sticking to traditions like not disturbing the dead and playing the traditional female role.

She's able to talk about the apocalypse with the same suspension of disbelief that we talk about it, but when faced with the realities of it, she breaks down. Her reaction to Rick actually killing Shane even though she basically suggested it herself is a perfect example of her ability to talk about things regarding the apocalyopse but not actually see them done.
23. Mihai
OMG! I thought I was the only one who felt this way! Lori is not well written as she has no continuity in her point of view or action. If she is a woman torn between two men, it fails. If she is trying to choose who is the best protector for her (not her and carl, cus she never knows where he is!)
it also fails. Even her character existing only as a plot device fails...thats what Carl is for anyway.
24. nicole mccutcheon
I dont like any of the women in THE Wallking Dead there all bitchs .I love the show its the best but i thank they need to write better roles for the women. I AGREE in every thing you said.
25. Linda3M
Thank you! You hit every single point precisely.
26. brent
I don't mean to disrespect your opinion, but I feel every point you make goes against dramatic storytelling. In particular, your first assessment seems to completely ignore the themes of the story. The major complication is that question of "can they hang on to who they are/were given the circumstances?" In this undead world, will lose what makes them human? You have Dale, Herschel, and Lori advocating for humanity, Shane pushing to leave it behind, and Rick struggling in the center to find a middle ground. If all of the characters were to "grasp of the realities of the apocalyptic world," the major theme of the show is gone.

2) I think Carl's freedom on the farm is meant to show the (false) sense of security they felt there. Also, Carl continually disobeys his parents' orders and I feel the consequences of Carl's action are the result of his rebellion rather than Lori's negligence. And to return to dramatic storytelling, how would the show have been better if Carl was always under the watchful eye of his parents?

And Lori vs. Andrea? This goes back to the conflict at the heart of the show. It's the Dale/Shane debate from the female perspective. Again, what is the show about without this? I don't think the show tries to convince viewers that one character is right and the other is wrong, but rather makes us asks ourselves, "what would you do?" Clearly, you agree with the Andrea/Shane philosophy of "survival above all else," but you cannot simply dismiss the other perspective as invalid. If you think the opinion of "I don't want to live in a world where I've lost touch with my values of my former life" is unreasonable, I feel you miss the point of the show.

Furthermore, I'd like to add that I don't think anyone expects you to like Lori all the time. She'll make mistakes. She'll make poor decisions. She'll act selfishly, just like everybody else, fictional or otherwise. Not liking or agreeing with her doesn't make her a bad character, it adds drama to the story. What you see as "emotional manipulation," I see as a plot point. One moment on the show that I thought was brilliant visual storytelling, was the scene at the end of the S2 episode when Lori tells Rick they need to "deal" with Shane. In the shot, she's composed in a way that frames her literally as the devil on Rick's shoulder. The lines of good and bad, right and wrong have become blurred and Lori is one of the voices in Rick's ear, tearing his conscience apart. To assert that "there’s an unnecessary focus and importance placed on Lori" is the same as saying there is too much emphasis and conflict, drama, and storytelling.

In conclusion, please think back over your points and imagine what the show would be like if none of these, as you see them, "problems" were part of the show. Would you prefer an action-based horror survival show full of Shanes and Andreas? Would it be a better story if it were about a co-ed group of badass zombie assassins, roaming the South, taking out zombies, and never making a mistake or having a disagreement?
27. Val-zombie obsessed
Everyone I talk to is male about this darn show & it's rough at times. lol I am, however, glad that I have fallen in love with the show first and am waiting (impatiently) to read the graphic novels. I'm looking forward to comparing characters. Yes, I've been told how different it is lol

That all said, Lori barely held my attention in the first 2-3 episodes. She's a completely worthless mother, wife and female role model. Even in season 1 she was more worried about getting HER comfort than anything her son might be dealing with. Season 2? FORGET ABOUT IT. She's horrendous. His best friend, the only friend his age left on the earth to him, is missing, then found as a zombie and killed in front of him. WOW, that might be a good time to be a Momma and see how your kid is dealing with it?

Everything else you hit was right on with her. I need to put up a post or 20 about her. However, she is really fun to hate ;)
28. Matt Triano
I don't understand this vitriol; it's as if all female characters need to be everything to everyone. Her decisions, complex and specific, make her an interesting character. You don't have to agree with her, but in that world, who knows what you'd do? You don't. I guarantee. Because it's impossible to choreograph. So the trajectory of her decisions, albeit frustrating at times, makes her an equally complicated piece of the family. You can like her or not, but actively hating her (a fictional person) just seems odd.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
29. tnh
Matt Triano, please look up "vitriol" and find out what it really means. It doesn't apply here.

===

I'm inclined to blame the Lori problem on bad storytelling. What's the easiest way to generate a little easily resolved conflict? Have Lori do something stupid, or have Carl wander off and get into trouble.
30. Audrey
What a great article, Angie! I was looking forward reading it as soon as you announced the theme, and it didn't disappoint. You pinpointed all the things that I found aggravating in Lori, especially in season 2; I was shouting at my TV when she acted all disgusted and horrified when Rick confessed having to kill Shane. I mean, it's not like the guy was a psycho and intended to kill Rick first.

What annoys me with Lori is not so much her awful anti-feminist thinking, but the fact that she's supposed to be the First Lady of this group. Her opinions are thus more valued, and given more prominence, and I'm not okay with that. Fortunately, the writers addressed that a bit during the "kitchen scene," with Andrea calling out her BS. Still, I was expecting a much-more badass First Lady...

As a fan of Sarah Wayne Callies, it pained me a great deal not to be able to relate to, or even just enjoy her character. I hope things will improve next season.
Christopher Morgan
31. cmorgan
I tend to agree with tnh, both Carl and Lori are just plot devices at this point. They are a way for the writers to create filler. We need a minor argument, I know, we will have Lori take the opposite view of someone else to generate conflict, she's the groups contrarian. Just like they used Dale as a mirror to show the audience just how far the group had fallen in terms of "humanity" and the loss of Carl's innocence.

I really love the show, but they aren't exactly nuanced in their story telling. They tend to bludgeon the audience over the head with their themes. Lori is just one of the insturments they use for that.

I mean what point does T-Dogg, Glenn, and Carol serve at this point? Carol only wines and cries for Sophie, I wish they would have worked in more of Carol from the comics, at least that one has a voice, and T-Dogg doesn't ever say anything at all. Glenn is starting to get more complex with the intro of Maggie, but they completly glossed over him having to deal with the death of his father-figure. It's a failure of dramatic story telling that makes Lori a bad character.
32. notathe
Although i agree with most of this, I think saying there is a 'lack of strong ladies in the horror genre' is kindof bull.
There are loads of movies horror movies with 'strong' women leads/characters (or at least women who are ingenueous/clever enough to push through the horror even if they can be oversexualised at times)
33. Anastasia
I love the women in the comics. I haven't felt like for any of them their strength and awesomeness has translated into the show. I have complained for a long time that the people who write it have this one note stereotypical way of writing women. They are all portrayed as selfish and bitchy. But Lori is the worst. I spend half the time yelling at the screen. Why did you think it was a good idea to go look for Rick in town? What in the hell were you going to do to help? Oh yeah that's right, you end up putting yourself and everyone else in danger. Good fucking job, asshat. Every episode we hope that she gets eaten. Or the series ends the same as the comic, as you said. Great article. It's like you read my mind.
34. CamiTR
You're right, Lori is horrible and I hate her. But that's the point. That's why her character was written that way. Everyone loves to have a character to hate. She's a train wreck and you can't look away.

So quit complaining and enjoy the show!
35. Jay Kay
I agree, Lori is kind of a bad mother strolling on the river denial. That said, I think that's absolutely exactly what they're trying to do, and it's not an example of bad storytelling.

That said, after watching it again during the whole preview weekend thing, I think Lori moving away from Rick after telling her everything had nothing to do with Rick actually killing Shane, but rather that Carl was the one who put Shane down when he became a zombie.
36. Ritter
Hallo Ladies,

Schwerter gehören in die Scheide!

Und jetzt Ruhe
37. Dogman
I am quite pleased to see a perspective with some fresh insight here. For myself at least. Perhaps it's my own ignorance, but as I watched season 1 & 2 0ver the past few days, I kept getting the oberwhelming impression the Lori character was written as some kind of champion or example for what "the modern woman" was supposed to be and could do no wrong. Ever! Similarly I thought this of Andrea and I saw their moments of confronatation about their roles as a ruse to highlight the diversity and choices that a woman in that situation has. With no female villains or antagonists, I was starting to think that the script had been ghost written by Ellen's militantly misandrist girlfriend or somebody similar. Lori's words were consistantly portrayed as so wise and righteous I just wanted to wretch. Truly the scariest part of the show! Yep, her "graveyard" on the highway philosophy made me want to throw her to the zombies.

Seriously, all but maybe two of the white males portrayed besides Rick Grimes the leading male, were either- the; racist, wife beater, potential rapist, murderous theif, reformed alcoholic ideologist, or an alpha male bully cop/stalker/cold blooded killer.

Dale got off light by just being an over protective father figure, but still gets chewed out beyond comprehension by Andrea, who can't even thank him for saving her life. Then there's young Jimmy.. well he's the "immature", boyfriend of Beth, so Hersell took him in, but has to keep an eye on him and his daughter. This guy is mainly seen "helping out" and not heard, until his death scene he screams pretty well. I'm pretty sure that was his main purpose all along.
38. Denise
YES!! How I loathe Lori!

I scream at the TV when she is doing her "I am such a great mom and a leader" and then Carl goes missing and she is yelling "Where's Carl?! Where is Carl?!? Who was supposed to be watching him?!"

If she would be watching him, then he would not get into so much damn trouble!

And she just acts so morally superior and it makes me want to kick her.

That Lady Macbeth-like stuff you mentioned is a prime example! was like she was playing one off the other.

I kept hoping she would get bit so Andrea could shoot her.
39. Kevin Smith
I'm still trying to get over the 1st season episode where a gaggle of women are standing there like frozen lumps, clucking for help from the men when a zombie staggers toward their kids.

You don't even have to be a feminist to realize how patently stupid & unbelievable that was. And this is a show people keep saying has "good" writing? HAH!

These women survived the zombie apocalypse, but can't think of anything to do except call for help from the men? Utterly ridiculous. I've seen more protective mothers in a grocery store. What 12-year old boy wrote that scene?
40. A Boyd
I totally agree with the entire article, and like you, I thought all of the same things as you as they were happening. Now that season 3 has come out I have this wierd sympathy for Lori. I can't help but wonder now, if her character weren't such a filthy whore, would every little thing she said or did get under my skin soooo bad? Given I have.never read the comics. I think it just irritates me that one of the moral voices in the show is such a morally bankrupt skank.
41. serdar
Many series and movies are wortless tanks to woman bullshit. Yeah sometimes women add good things to it, mostly only bullshit. She made prison break a lot less fun to watch. She looks like a crackwhore anyways.

batman,superman,spiderman, pearl harbor, avengers and many other films and series are all fucked up to watch because of all those stupid woman adding notting to it. This aint titanic keep that feminism crap out of it. Not everything has to have a love part in it. Tombraider, resident evil nothing wrong with that. They play their role good in it. Before you know everything is like twilight.
42. mahoney
she´s dead!!!! yes!
43. dark_jonny13
Seriously...she's awful even in the comic book and it's even worse in the comic. I like better what happens to her in the comic because it's more brutal hahaha.
44. Jafafa Hots
The other problem I have with the show is that the one really strong woman, Andrea, who is tough, independent, won't be bullied into obeying, is resilient and capable...

...always falls for the "strong man." The alpha male, duplicitous and abusive jerk.

So we're given a choice - the woman who represents what the patriarchy wants - obedient, quiet, housewifely, but with those negative attributes of women that all poor oppressed men have to deal with and watch for - unreliability, lack of emotional control, airheadedness... but she fulfills her role by being an incubator for a baby. Dies right away, but that's OK, she served her purpose.

OR we can have the tough, independent woman, the closest thing to a feminist, BUT we get to see just how disastrous to everyone else those traits are in a woman, and how despite her tough girl act, what she REALLY craves and needs is to be controlled by a strong enough man.

Blech.
45. Milena
brent of comment #26 explained my views much more eloquently, but for the more emotional bits:

What irks me about this article from the start is that we're given an assumption that Lori is a problem. Lori is not a problem, the audience watching this show is a problem. Never, in any fandom I have ever been in, have I seen such a distortion of what "feminism" means and such hatred for anyone that doesn't measure up. To see it coming from seemingly intelligent women just disturbs me all the more.

Feminism, and being a strong woman, does not, in fact, mean acting out the traditional stereotype of a "man". It doesn't. So Andrea doing so, does not, in its simplicity, make her a strong, or positive female role model. Lori adhering to the traditional stereotype of what women do, does not, in its simplicity, make her a weak, or negative female role model. That you (and so many others) can't see that makes me a little bit sick.

On the motherhood front - excuse me, but are you honestly blaming her for not giving her child a gun earlier (which would have meant being out and nearer to the danger) WHILE AT THE SAME TIME blaming her for not sitting on him 24/7 so that he can't run off? Are you serious? What kind of idiotic, finger-pointing, misogynistic hypocrisy is that?

As for "skills useful for surviving in the future": no, you're right. Who needs to know how to cook or prepare food in a zombie future so that one doesn't contract a disease and die? Who needs to know how to clean clothes so that poor/lack of hygiene doesn't batter down what remaining survivors there are with rampant disease. Who needs to know how to simply live? Every argument I've seen about the women who don't hold a gun make me want to punch their teeth out. Andrea holds a gun, and she has every right in the world to do so, no matter what Lori may think, so good for her. HOWEVER. If you think Andrea is doing it for any reason other than almost pathological self-obsession...well given your skewed view of Lori, I would actually expect that. Lori getting and keeping a gun is the adult version of getting sick on candy because your parents told you you couldn't have the one piece you wanted to begin with. There's an expectation in the group that the women will take care of everyone, and there's already been an attempt to take away her agency (that she's seen anyway, I call so much bullshit), so she does the opposite of what anyone wants her to do, what even common decency would say to do in the case of Beth (I'm not saying it wasn't right, but her reasons for doing it had nothing to do with Beth, and everything to do with her internalized self-appointed sainthood). And not only does she do it with no regard for anyone else, she becomes a hero in her own mind. Just like in your delusional minds, you who hero-worship her.

Nevermind that while Lori has made decisions with the group and her child in mind, that Andrea is making them with solely Andrea in mind. And they're ALWAYS wrong. It was wrong to sleep with Shane (she can have sex with whoever she wants but almost everyone at that point could see he was unhinged), she was wrong to shoot (hitting Daryl) when everyone told her not to, she was wrong to be an aboslute child of a bitch to Dale (though this point could be debated), she was wrong to stay in Creepsville when Michonne, who had always led her right, begged her to go, she was wrong to sleep with the Governor (again, have all the sex you want, but seriously? no creepy vibe-detection here at all?). She has horrible instincts, she makes horrible decisions, and she's absolutely the most selfish of all characters on the show, man or woman alike.

And yet you worship her as the ultimate "feminist" and kick Lori to the dirt. Seriously. What. Is wrong. With all of you.

I have so much more I just want to eviscerate in your article but honest to god I'm having a hard time typing without resorting to all caps and swear words because it's people like you who just destroy my faith in women, viewers, and humanity all at the same time.

Enjoy your bandwagon of hatred (and yes, it is misogyny you were getting at, sorry if you didn't think it was), that's all this fandom seems to be good at producing.
46. robmemorablerobb
@Milena.......OMG I think I'm in love with you!You said everything I was thinking and made me feel so much better...Andrea has done absolutely NOTHING but put the group in danger...
47. Michonne
The comments here about wanting to see Lori die brutally are sick.

And I don't get why the the Rick/Shane face-off was so bad either. Rick was being such an alpha male tool, and I think people have forgotten that SHANE ALMOST RAPED LORI. Shane getting ANY sort of sympathy is just sick. I actually blame Lori's irrational actions to Rick and Shane, they're the ones who are so hellbent in proving who's the alpha male that they make everyone on edge.

I agree with Milena, even if I like Andrea. I'd rather we not pit women against each other. Now that I'm in Season 3, I actually ended up hating Rick more.
48. Lala
Milena on comment #45 has hit all my thoughts on this article. I am now just about to finish season 2 of the show and honestly do not at all understand why everyone hate Lori so much. If anyone on the show is a terrible character, it's Andrea. She has no one but herself to care for and all she does is go out of her way to prove that she is just as good as the men, which resulted in her shooting Daryl. No, I'm not saying women shouldn't be allowed to protect the camp, but her calling out Lori for "playing house" isn't exactly right either. If all the characters on the show were out there shooting and keeping watch, who'd be left to make food and clean clothes and care for everyone else?

Lori, on the other hand, is a mother and a wife. Her #1 priority is her son and then it's her husband, and now her unborn child. She has made mistakes, sure, but that what makes her a realistic character. I for one completely see myself acting the same way as her so far (I hear she's done bad things at the end of season 2 and throughout 3, but not there yet).

Andrea's choices and poor judgement BY FAR exceed those made by Lori or anyone else on the show. She has no sense of right and wrong and is terrible at choosing the men she sleeps with, as well as the men she believes make the right choices. After losing her sister and her parents, Dale becomes a substitute father figure and looks after her. Rather than appreciating this, she instead pushes him away and fully ignores any and all warning he gives her.

The fact that nobody can appreciate a woman for being a woman and taking care of everyone else is so completely disheartening. Whichever way the women on the show decide to help doesn't matter so long as both sides appreciate what the other does. Anyone complaining about Lori seems to not understand what a fully-developed, realistic character is like.
50. Luis Omar
Desculpa ai gente, na minha opinião a Lori é uma peça importantíssima nesta trama toda, eu particularmente sou fã dela, fiquei triste com sua saída , tinha que ter ficado mais tempo, acho que perdeu um pouco da graça, queria ela nesta temporada .
Pra mim ela agiu de maneira coerente, pois a vida nos prega cada peça, e temos que ir dançando conforme a música, principalmente na situação de caos que estavam vivendo.
Só isso.
51. KL
Lori knows that someone has to do the cooking and cleaning....and her being out there with the men will only prove a liability...chanes are, instead of her contributing, the men will wind up looking out for her. Might as well apply her time and energy to something where she would not be in the way.
52. Nina Bell
Could Lori be the worst because the writers are men and used her character to screw everything up. Kind of like blaming eve for the world gone to shit? We need to be careful here. Lori is a character created by men. The behavior she shows, in my experience, has been witnessed in men way more than women.
53. Someone's mother
My guess would be that the writer of this article and most of the commentators are none of them mothers or parents, right? Why is doing laundry and taking care of other people so undervalued. I love Michonne's character but I think its unliklely most of us would flip the switch and suddenly become zombie killing machines especially if we had to do this while caring for a child. So I understand the ambivilance Laurie's character feels. I think the writers realize that complex characters are more realistic than myth making and heroics.

I also don't believe in the feminist belief that women should adopt masculine characterisitics. Andrea and Michonne in my opinion choose actions that are selfish and for their own survival, and that sounds like masculine egotism rather than feminism. I think characters like Carol, Maggie, and Laurie have the difficult job of taking care of others and that divided effort makes it more difficult to protect themselves. Characters like Daryl are important because they protect the group but I think the show represents how important the different roles are to the group.

We see Michonne join Rick's group and her character evolves but Andrea doesn't make it because she won't listen to her friends. It the group that is important and makes life bearable. When did feminism get so wrapped up in individualism and egotism that we can only celebrate mythic and heroic women instead of real ones?

And alsoJoss Whedon's standard of one sexy female nerd and one sexy female fighter in his shows and movies doesn't advance feminism. I like his writing but I dont think he's written anything specialfrom a male perspective.

Also what doesn't help women is saying that they should be anyone ONE thing be at mother, soldier, or whatever.
54. LovesAndreaFromTheComics
Awesome and poignant blog. I'm just now watching S3 and I'm so saddened to see the dilusional Andrea supporting the Governor, and not listening to her friend Michonne or waking up to smell the coffee. Andrea from the comics is a hardened sharpshooter with a scarred face by now. TV Show Andrea is a total dipstick.

I happen to be a man, but I had a mother, sisters, a wife, and a daughter ... I feel like I don't hate women, and yet this show makes me think I do! ARRRRRRRRG!!!!
55. Rosa
I'm like a year and half late for this, but Excellent post! Sums up perfectly why I hate Lori so much and how she is the craptasticest anti-feminist I've seen in a while. In the zombie apocolypse, I sure as hell am not going to be doing laundry or cooking. Would have loved to see Andrea lay into her a little more for that. Am re-re-rewatching the series and am really struck this time about how manipulative Lori is re: Shane: Lady MacBeth-ish with Rick, then playing nice with Shane, then disgusted and horrified when Rick tells her how Shane died. I would have said "Amen, good job, honey, sorry about your best friend."

I feel like that might be why, in the prison, Lori gave Rick the green light to kill those prisoners if he had to. Kind of making up for her shit attitude of putting down the rabid dog Shane.

This time around I was also sad and struck by the last time Rick saw Lori, which is when he is outside the fence with the boys, she is taking Herchel for his first walk. Their eyes meet, and there's warmth there, like a promise that their next talk will be nice nice. And I still cry when she is preparing for her C-section and saying goodbye to Carl. I'm so sad for them both.
56. jordan12345
it seems to me that 'hating Lori' has become a bandwagon that people just can't resist jumping on. I understand how she is annoying, but I don't agree that she is the worst, or even a bad character. she is complex, and interesting. dale was also an extremely annoying character to me, but more so because he was so hung up on holding on to humanity. I think Lori is also hung up on it, just in a different way. she never asked to be the 'first lady', and certainly never referred to herself as such. people have put unfair expectations on her because of who she is.
she never explicitly told rick to kill Shane; it may have been implied, but it was not stated. as an audience member, we can take that for whatever we believe it to mean. as far as Carl goes, how many times did we see her comforting him, or trying to continue his education. she definitely wasn't an inept mother. she did the best she could given the circumstances. I mean look what happened to Sofia, I don't see everyone bitching about carol. in fact, i am more apt to put the blame on Carl, but that's just me. he annoys the shit out of me.
her reaction to rick killing Shane was uncalled for, but at the end of the day, she was torn between her feelings for those two men, so I imagine it hurt all the same. again, we can't assume she wanted him dead, maybe just banished from the group. and her horror did seem to come on when she found out Carl had to shoot him. she held rick throughout his telling of events until the Carl part. she didn't want to let go of her son being able to enjoy the innocence of childhood, but I hardly think that makes her a bitch.
i also don't agree with her stance during her argument with Andrea, but remember, she had a husband who was a police officer. in her world, she didn't have to wield guns and stand guard, that was a mans job. she could be a product of her upbringing, they were in the south, after all. I just don't think it's fair to bash her so harshly and consistently. there have been quite a few annoying characters on this show, but for some reason she takes the brunt of the hate. people blame her for their own assumptions of why she did or said what she did or said. regardless of how she handled things, she did what she had to do in order to survive, just like everyone else, albeit in a different fashion.
was she stupid at times? yes. was she annoying at times? yes. selfish? yes. but all of these things make her rounded, and not a one-note character. I for one, was sad to see her go, it would've been interesting to see a proper redemption arc for her.
sytlp55
57. sytlp55
Love this show it is absolutely frightening to see how low people will go when they are faced with nothing but trying to stay alive one day at a time.
Anyone out there read the Arisen Series written by Michael Stephen Fuchs and Glynn James. I read it and was blown away. It is Strike Back, Walking Dead rolled into one.
58. Eric
In S2 Lori said "This doesn't feel right. This is a graveyard" because she's the only one smart enough to recognize the situation for the deathtrap that it is. More and more cars and deaths pile up as people show up, park in the back, scavenge supplies, and then get wiped out because they're on a zombie herd trail. She's not addressing morality. "This doesn't feel right" was an inclincation, and "this is a graveyard" was the realization.
59. NickWalkin
The fact that shane is a murderous psychopath trying to kill lori's husband, and that lori still has feelings for that murderous psychopath, is a clear indication that Lori's character is supposed to be the ultimate irrational, emotional and ignorant woman, she is the epitome of a instable and unfaithful character as she is not guided by reason, but her womanly desires which make her love a psychopathic killer who is trying to kill her husband. You gotta be pretty anti-women to write a character like this. And when Rick tells her he killed shane, all she can think about is herself, and that she still had feelings for Shane. If at this point Rick abused her and then left her on the side of the road, suddenly lori would find herself in love with Rick... because Lori, like the women she represents, likes mean guys, psychopaths with big muscles rather than the slightly less built good guy who is in reality tougher ;)

anti-feminist character for sure.
60. vyseo
In fact, 90% of the american films/movies/series is feminist bullshit. The women are always extremely overpowered. At the end always the women win, despite they would die in the real-life situation.

In real life, the women are much weaker than men. Women have much less chance to survive things like this. But since the american film industry is totally bullshit, always the opposite of the reality happens in them.

The only reason why I didn't watch The Walking Dead is that I thought that it's just another american feminist bullshit. But if it isn't feminist, then I may watch it.
Post a comment