I am so tired of seeing female characters getting raped, beaten, and killed—all for titillation or to move along a male character’s arc. Call her the Manic Pixie Dead Girl.
Or ‘raped girl’, for that matter. I won’t be watching the new season of [SPOILER] because I found out that a major female character will be sexually assaulted. It’s become impossible to enjoy most quality television shows because the hurt or endangered women device is so frequently used. And if a character is pregnant, forget it—you pretty much know she’s a goner.
Yes, dead or harmed women in television is nothing new. There are entire series dedicated to the practice (I’m looking at you, SVU!). But lately, I’ve just found it too…stressful. I watch my favorite female characters with my heart in my throat, just waiting for the inevitable to happen. Women have to fear and anticipate violence and sexual assault in their everyday real life—I don’t want to fear for it in my entertainment as well. It’s bad for my soul.
Edgar Allan Poe once wrote, “The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.” Too many male writers and directors buy into this narrative. But I don’t have to.”