Annie (annie_oakley) wrote in gendervision,

Veronica Mars: strong woman, or just a bitch?

I know one of the biggest complaints (among many) about this season of VM is the characterization of Veronica. She's been labeled as everything from cold to annoying to bitchy. Fans are concerned that Veronica's trademark prickliness is in over-drive this season, and a lot of her attitude is unprovoked. Why is Veronica being such a bitch this year? Isn't she at a better place in her life? If you're going to blame her attitude on all of her trials and tribulations, then wouldn't it make sense for Veronica to have been colder and harder in the first season? At least more so then than now?

Veronica fans jump to her defense by stating that she's a survivor. That, after all she's been through, she's just jaded and hard. Rob Thomas agrees. So does Kristen Bell. Her creator and portrayer often wonder why Logan is "allowed" to be an ass to people, while Veronica gets called on it. Do you think this has anything to do with one character being a female and the other a male?

One of my favorite arguments is that if Veronica were a male character, nobody would dare call her a bitch (I often reply that that's true: if Veronica were a male character, she wouldn't be called a bitch. She would be called an asshole, or a bastard or a prick...). One of the reasons this reasoning irks me is that I think it's hiding behind feminism; it's using the idea of a strong and empowered woman as an excuse for the inexcusable. A woman does not have to be a so called bitch in order to be strong. But that's exactly what RT and KB are depending on. They fail to acknowledge Veronica's flaws because they have her pigeon-holed as a role-model (I completely disagree) and (shudder) a feminist.

So, do you think Veronica is a feminist? And are the criticisms of her behavior and attitude this season valid?

Additionally, can you think of any strong and powerful female television characters who embody the idea of feminism but do so without the preconceived bitch front?
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