The Hated Women of Fandom
Mary Watson wakes in a white room, sitting in a plastic chair. She’s surrounded by girls and women, some of whom are drinking heavily. There’s a banner hanging overhead, which reads Female Characters Anonymous. A redheaded teenage girl pats her on the knee.
“Don’t be frightened. We’ve been expecting you.”
“Where am I?” Mary asks.
The girl raises an eyebrow. “You don’t know?” She spreads her arms out. “This is the place where good female characters come to die.”
Mary frowns. “Oh, because I died in my show?”
“Honey, I wish!” A woman with dark eyeliner calls out.
“Ignore Lexa. She’s still angry about the bullet thing.” The teenage girl looks Mary up and down. “Then again, you would know something about that, wouldn’t you?”
“Oh, you know. Being killed off for drama. Or in your case, man pain.”
“Don’t get me started on that,” a woman to Mary’s right grumbles. She’s got bright red hair and a shirt that says Supernatural: Was it ever a good show?
“That’s Charlie. She had a good run until the writers didn’t know what to do with her.”
Mary, who’s starting to get an idea about where she is, shakes her head with a little laugh. “No, you must be mistaken. I was a good, strong character. I don’t belong here”
A few chuckles at that. Someone mutters, “I’ve heard that one before.”
The teenage girl gives her a sympathetic smile. “Have you taken a look at the fandom lately? They hate you. Always have.”
Mary frowns. “But–”
“I know it must be hard to understand at first, but let’s face it. You were an imperfect female character. You had flaws and a dark side, which would have been fine, if you hadn’t posed a threat to the Main Ship.”
A cold wind passes through the room. Everyone shudders.
“Johnlock. The ship of an era.”
“Oh, that,” Mary says with a smile. “That’s perfectly fine! There’s no reason to hate me just because you ship Johnlock.”
“No, it’s not that. Some of the fandom, certainly not all of them, hate you because in their eyes, you’re the thing that’s blocking them from easy access to their ship. Trust me, I have experience with this.”
Mary squints at the girl. “Who are you?”
The girl smiles. “I’m Ginny Weasley.”
“Oh. Oh, dear.”
“Yup. I’m a bit of an old-timer around here. Boy, I cannot even begin to tell you the number of Drarry fanfics wherein I either cheat on Harry with Dean, turn into a monstrous bitch, or simply disappear altogether.”
“Don’t forget the ones where you start dating Neville for no reason!” A woman shouts out.
Ginny laughs a bit. “Those are usually alright. I have to go somewhere, right?”
Mary is starting to panic a bit. “I…I don’t think I understand.”
Ginny nods. “Don’t worry. There’s someone whom I think you should meet.” She pulls Mary to her feet and leads her towards a dark corner in the room. “This girl hasn’t been here for as long as me, but she’s certainly suffered worse. She not only got in the way of a Main Ship, but a canon Main Ship. And a straight one, at that. She’s been shat on, villainized, ignored, pretty much everything in the book. A true warrior of her time.”
Mary starts to get nervous as they approach this girl. She’s seated at a bar, head down on the counter, twirling a paint covered finger around a whiskey glass.
When they’ve reached her, Mary clears her throat. “My name is–”
“I know who you are.”
“Oh. Well, who are you?”
After a moment’s pause, the girl downs the whiskey in one gulp, and slams the glass on the counter. She slowly turns to fix Mary with a battle-hardened stare. “My name, is Rachel. Elizabeth. Dare.”