The Walking Dead Creator: Women Are 'Generally Physically Weaker. That's Science'


If you’ve ever had an issue with some of the women’s characters on AMC’s The Walking Dead — the root of the problem might be in the source material. Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comics, definitely has some… issues… with women.

Simon Abrams from the Village Voice reports Kirkman told him in an interview for The Comics Journal four years ago:

I don’t mean to sound sexist, but as far as women have come over the last 40 years, you don’t really see a lot of women hunters. They’re still in the minority in the military, and there’s not a lot of female construction workers. I hope that’s not taken the wrong way. I think women are as smart, resourceful, and capable in most things as any man could be … but they are generally physically weaker. That’s science.

First up, Kirkman, you totally do mean to sound sexist, so shut it with the crappy, disingenuous concern.

Since when do you need massive amounts of strength to hunt, even as they do on The Walking Dead? The average fit person would be good to go — especially if they’d all been living under the same circumstances for so long. Plus, if we want to speak “in general”, then women have more stamina than men — even swole bro trainers agree — and that’s probably more crucial than being ripped when it comes to hunting.

Besides, none of that explains the disparity in strength of character between the sexes. As Abrams writes, “why are all the strong female characters either crazy or dead?”

While the TV show is not nearly as obvious with its gender issues, there are some problems that stem straight back to the sexist source.

Abrams writes:

So much of season three revolved around male community leaders making decisions, leaving the women to be companions at best, and accessories at worst. Rick is only more emotionally balanced than the Governor because he listens to Hershel and Daryl first, and his group’s less powerful members second. He’s sane because he’s got a village of friends supporting him, which makes that village’s old-fashioned gender divisions that much more distressing. So while Kirkman’s comics series has been, to some extent, organically exclusive the whole time, that doesn’t mean that that exclusivity is a good or even a necessary part of the show.

Since the show isn’t completely faithful to the original comics, they have an exciting opportunity to create a world with more women leaders (and more women viewers).

[Village Voice]

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