In fandom, there is a lot of hate for the “girlfriend” character. I have discussed this before in a post I did on sexism in Supernatural, where I criticized fans for hating on female characters because they get between their favorite male/male ship, or because they somehow think that the actor or (weirdly) the character belongs to them, the fans. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: hating female characters because of a ship, or because you think you are this actor’s/character’s “true love”, is just silly.
I can’t preach on this topic enough, and I often get annoyed with other fans for immediately hating on a female character after one episode. That being said, sometimes it is okay to be wary of or dislike the girlfriend character.
Alright, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to discuss whether or not Supernatural is sexist. I meant to have this written ages ago, but I have been having a hard time writing this particular post, because there are just so many factors to consider. Sexism is probably one of the most predominant criticisms of the show. Why? Because the women of Supernatural are often killed, portrayed as evil, or written off the show. Almost all of them are sexualized.
This is also because almost every female character on the show sleeps with either Dean or Sam, putting them squarely in the girlfriend category and thus, usually in the damsel-in-distress category. It’s true that the women Dean sleeps with have a higher survival rate, but they still tend to not do much and are often written off the show, though there are a few notable exceptions.
I used to think the survival rate of women on Supernatural was pretty low compared to the men, but one article has shown me that’s actually not the case. Gender Bias in Supernatural: The Cold Hard Stats goes through the meticulous effort to calculate how many women in the show have died, versus how many men in the show have died. Separate charts were used to show the difference between major and minor characters, and surprisingly more women survive then men.