Friday, July 6, 2012

Women in Teen Wolf - The Menfolk Say it's a Matriarchy

Teen Wolf is far removed from the original Teen Wolf movie starring Michael J Fox.  We have gone from camp to a story involving menacing werewolves, and werewolf hunters.  Since the show is still largely aimed at a young audience, we are subjected to copious amounts of angst and the usual social justice fails.  We have decided to focus on gender this time because after a season a half, the women of Teen Wolf are treated quite differently than the males.

When we were first introduced to Erica she was a young teen suffering from epilepsy.  She was sweet and kind but, because she never knew when she was going to have an attack, Erica was quite removed from her contemporaries. When she meets Derek and is turned into a werewolf everything changes for Erica. Suddenly she is turned into a complete sex vixen who draws the attention of others the minute she walks into the room. Erica suddenly goes from weak and forgettable to powerful and desirable; however, her power is limited because as a beta, she spends most of her time doing Derek’s bidding. Erica has the distinction of being the only female werewolf and most of her power is based in her ability to beguile whereas Derek intimidates and did so from the time he was a beta.

Teen Wolf could reasonably get away with having Erica do Derek’s bidding because she is his beta but the fact that they have turned her into a vapid, jealous, angry person is incredibly sexist. Other than doing Derek’s bidding her only other purpose is to drive a wedge between Allison and Scott. This of course serves the purpose of giving the characterless Allison something to fight for. Erica’s sudden obsession with Scott is never explained.

Then we have Lydia, who is actually very smart, but pretends not to be intelligent in the hopes of keeping Jackson’s interest. In fact, Lydia does not show her intelligence until she is asked to translate ancient Latin after Jackson has left her for greener pastures.  Much of Lydia’s life involves putting on a show in the hopes of either achieving or maintaining the acceptance of others. Though she is supposedly best friends with Allison, Lydia is often left to her own devices to deal with her issues and only draws the attention of the group when she is need of saving. Stiles has had a long obsession with her and see her as a prospect for a girlfriend but beyond being physically attracted to her, he makes no real effort to get to know he as a person. In Abomination, (season 2, episode 4)  Lydia clearly needs to talk but Stiles says he will be right back and leaves her sitting in the car for a night. For all of the ridiculous antics that antis Stiles pulls to get her attention, when she really needs him, he is nowhere to be found.