Alright, so, I had to write a paper for my English Composition 102 class about an ideology shared by a community that I am part of that I would like to see change. I chose the Criminal Minds fandom as my community, and the way that female characters are viewed as my topic. I sent out a request for people on livejournal and tumblr to let me know their feelings for Elle Greenaway, Jennifer Jareau, Emily Prentiss, Penelope Garcia, Ashley Seaver, and Haley Hotchner. I received over seventy responses - not all of them negative - and I am extremely grateful to everyone who was involved.
I neglected to add screen names into this, so all quotes are instead accompanied by a gender and an age (where applicable). I would like to stress that not all of the responses I got were negative - even some that I quoted had positive things to say about other characters.
Due to time and length constraints, I was unable to get into Garcia (who most people have no problem with) or Haley. The two of them, along with Strauss and Jordan Todd, are characters that I intend to talk about in another post.
One last note: This paper was due the Tuesday after "Lauren" aired. That is the time frame that I was working in.
“She’s a female agent. Sometimes being a bitch comes with the territory.”
These are the words of a nineteen-year-old female fan of CBS’s hit crime drama Criminal Minds
. When I asked people in the online fan communities—on blogging sites tumblr and Livejournal —their opinions on the female characters of the show, I was expecting negative responses. I wasn’t disappointed. This comment is just the beginning of an onslaught of misogynistic, unfounded hatred for many of the female characters on the show, especially those who don’t fit into the stereotypical female roles. I am personally a huge fan of Criminal Minds
and of nearly all of the characters. I’m an active member of the online fanbase (or “fandom”) for the show, but the constant bombardment of misogynistic comments about the female characters is disheartening. If there was anything I could change about the Criminal Minds
fandom, it would be the overall consensus that characters like Elle or Ashley Seaver are considered “not submissive enough” to be tolerated, while characters like Jennifer “JJ” Jareau and Emily Prentiss are only liked after they become more nurturing.( The rest of the essay under here.Collapse )