Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies) is arguably the most hated non-zombie character in "The Walking Dead." Fans of the show and comic criticize her for her choices, appearance, relationships, social interactions, and parenting skills. Lori even has her own hate club on Facebook. Why do fans criticize Lori in particular? Many fans seem to think she should live up to some sort of feminist standard, and she's failing.
Some fans criticize Lori's parenting skills. This post-apocalyptic mama often gets made fun of for asking about her son Carl's location (he's never in the house where he should be). With so much stress and drama, some fans also think she's a bad example for her son.
However, it seems that Lori is the one constantly blamed for this. Carl has two parents: Why isn't Rick (Andrew Lincoln) ever blamed for a lack of parenting skills?
When Lori originally got together with Shane (Jon Bernthal), she thought her husband Rick was forever missing or dead. When Rick came back, she did her best to make things work. However, "Walking Dead" fans still seem to detest Lori for this. Several popular Facebook memes label her a "slut" for her decisions. In contemporary society, disdain for a woman who has multiple partners is known as "slut shaming."
If the situation had been reversed, would audience members have felt the same way about a man making those choices? In a survival situation, it makes sense that a woman with a young boy would look for a protector and firearms expert. Although Shane isn't exactly the most stable person in the group, the choice makes sense given the information Lori had at the time.
Some fans also blame Lori for the issues in her marriage. However, even the strongest marriage would be negatively impacted by a zombie apocalypse and a severely wounded child . Lori and Rick must also see their son come of age much faster than he would in their former society; it's hard to cope with change.
Lori is often blamed for this -- even though she's the first one to defend Rick and his decisions in every situation.
As Rick's wife, it is Lori's duty to act as his support and second-in-command. Multiple characters even express this to Lori in the show. It makes sense that fans get annoyed at Lori's lack of leadership at some points, but when she does take charge, she is also criticized. One Facebook meme criticizes her for ordering other women in the group to do laundry.
In a survival situation, all of the chores must get done. Is this an issue of sexism?
Confronting Tough Issues
While many characters on "The Walking Dead" hide behind difficult issues, Lori is often the catalyst for confronting them or bringing concerns to her husband's attention. While this shows strength of character and leadership, it's a quality fans often criticize her for possessing.
As mother of Carl and a pregnant woman, it makes sense that she feels the passage of time and a sense of urgency in the actions of the group. Instead of praising her for her willingness to care for her young, fans often shame Lori.
While it's possible that fans may dislike the way the character handles things, many of their criticisms relate to her identity as a mother, wife, and woman. Viewers are hard on Lori despite her extenuating post-apocalyptic situation. Is that justified?
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