Is “Supernatural” a misogynistic show? Does it have to be?
These questions may need to be thoroughly discussed, thanks to a series of semi-humorous answers given by Misha Collins (Castiel) at a New Jersey convention in May 2013. The actor had been asked about female characters on the show, and the audience may have heard more than they expected in response.
It seems that the lack of much in the way of a female presence on “Supernatural” has bothered Collins. “I think that there are small ways in which the show is gratuitously misogynistic,” Collins said as part of his answer. He later added, “It kind of makes me cringe sometimes,” when he spoke of the situations and language that can sometimes surround women on the show.
Of course, there are many who would argue — as some in the room did — that women have been a part of “Supernatural” since its beginnings. The character of Charlie (Felicia Day), for example, was noted as a positive and recurring female presence in recent seasons.
On the other hand, as Collins quickly pointed out, Charlie isn’t “a threat to the boys.” Most of the other multi-episode women have been killed or otherwise removed from the show.
That “threat” may lie at the heart of whatever misogyny there is on “Supernatural.” Audiences tune in for the relationship between the Winchester brothers, and anger can easily develop against anyone — especially a girl — who comes between Sam and Dean in any meaningful way. Sometimes that anger is justified, like in the case of the demon Ruby seducing Sam. But mostly the anger simply expresses a desire to keep the boys together.
We should also keep in mind the rather significant contingent of the “Supernatural” fandom that has a crush on one or both of the Winchesters. Those TV characters that show up to seduce the boys are, in a sense, taking Sam and Dean away from their adoring audience.
It’s not real, of course. But this is “Supernatural.” Real isn’t a major factor in anything.