Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An Open Letter to Dean Winchester

Dear Dean Winchester,

Hi. I just want to say that I love your show. I mean, you probably know that by now, what with all of the time I spend talking about it, that paper I wrote on it in college, and the time I posted an anonymous secret where I said that I wanted to marry you. I'm kind of a fan.

But I also have a little problem with you. Are you listening? Put down the beer, this is important.

I don't like how you treat women.

I don't actually like how your whole show treats women (Ellen and Jo are only in 6 episodes and then they die? What is up with that?), but I can't blame you for your show. You're fictional. And I'm sure you're aware that appealing to the 18-34 female demographic is a full-time job. That's fine.

Well, no, it's not fine. But it's not your fault.

The other stuff is your fault.

Dean, have you ever noticed that you have a Madonna/Whore complex?

Put down the whiskey, I'm talking to you. No, I don't have any quarters for the magic fingers machine. No, you can't watch Doctor Sexy. Oh, this is bumming you out? Well, your whole relationship with Lisa bummed me out, so there.

When you first started talking about her, in the beginning of "The Children Are Our Future", you referred to her as "Gumbi Girl" and talked about all the great sex you had with her. She was a whore in your mind, a blow up doll for you to get your end off in. Then you found out she had a kid, and whoa was that a quick shift. Suddenly, she's perfect. She's this virginal, vestal creature who has never heard of sex or naughtiness, who could never dream of defiling herself in such a way. You can't even bring yourself to do her regularly when you're living there playing happy families. She's too pure, you're too dirty, etc.

You have some issues, buddy.

And I get it, I do. Your mother dying is probably the first major thing you remember. Your mother is your world, and she's dead, and no other woman will compare. Plus, you've got that whole low self-worth thing going on, that convinces you that all you're good for in a relationship is sex. Combine these? You got yourself a Madonna/Whore complex so bad that not a single female character on this show has escaped it.

Bela? Whore.

Ellen? Madonna.

Ruby. Whore.





The Sheriff.

You get the idea. They're all pretty clearcut. Sometimes they start out on one side and switch, and sometimes it's just a straight up beacon yelling MADONNA! WHORE! WHORE! WHORE!

Really, you edge more on the whore side.

But here's the thing, Dean-o. When you label women like that, you degrade them. Even when you give them the good label, the Madonna label, you rob them of their person-hood. By idolizing these women and placing them on a pedestal, you make them other than human, and thus shift them away from being viewed as viable characters. When you base all of your relationships on need for or denial of sex, then those relationships are going to be shallow and empty.

You're going to miss out.

You're still a good man, Dean Winchester. It's okay. You can stop crying. I believe that you don't have any intention of doing this. But your actions and behavior effect more than just you--they affect everyone around you. And in order to get the life you want, you're going to have to start being the kind of person you want in that life.

It's time to man up, Dean, and treat women like people, not sex objects. You stopped the devil. I'm pretty sure you can handle it.


Actually a good guy. Just a little terrible to women.


  1. The writers/Dean definitely flipped Lisa from "whore" to "Madonna". But I don't think that's why he wasn't having sex with her that much when they were living together (at least not the #1 reason). While she was providing stability and comfort that entire year he was still depressed and knowing that the person he loved most in the world was being tortured in Hell. Hard to think about sex when you keep remembering your little bro is probably being continually raped and eviscerated by the devil himself. He was only surface happy with Lisa.

    While he did initially put Lisa in a certain box in his mind, she had only been a one weekend stand. Up until that point they were never in a relationship and Lisa probably just saw him the same way he saw her. I mean her friends just knew him as "the best sex" that she ever had and when they looked at him it was with lustful curiosity.

    With Bela, it was that he didn't know her secrets. She never told them why she killed her parents or why she wasn't a hunter when she had so many skills and connections and knowledge. He judged her because all he saw was what she allowed him to see. He was unable to forgive people for killing their family members, even when they are extremely justified. Look at how he treated that teenage boy that tried to kill his entire family after being horrifically beaten by his father and uncle for years and his mom choosing to stay with the child abusers instead of putting her kid's safety first. All Dean saw was "you don't kill family" instead of "you don't beat family so bad they have cracked ribs and live every day in fear of you".

    Ruby, well, she was a demon that was manipulating his brother into being Satan's meatsuit. I'm glad that it was revealed in the S4 finale that she had been playing Sam because I always believed it and knowing for sure is what made me really like her character.

    Pamela was suggesting a one night stand within minutes of meeting him.

    I think that part of what makes it so hard for Dean to initially see women the same way he does men is that he had built-in deep ties with men. Idolizing his mom---that's what usually happens when they die when you are so young and leave a whole in your family that can only be filled up with wishes of what is missing in your life---is part of it, but I think it's more about how he grew up with a father, substitute father, and brother. All of his defining emotional relationships were with males. Women literally were Other to him. They weren't part of his miniscule family unit. He was raised by males and took care of a male and most of his comrades were males. He saw males as an extension of "brother" or "father". So women took up "sex partner" and "mother".

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