So Katherine Heigl told The Emmys to eff off because she "did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization." While many (including brother site Defamer) think Katherine is being an ungrateful C-U-Next-Tuesday, crapping all over Grey's Anatomy, the television show that brought her fame, maybe she's just taking a stand against the Grey's constant portrayal of women as victims. Over on Radar's website, my girl Willa Paskin points out that Meredith Grey is the ultimate victim. "The pinnacle of the Grey's star's victimhood really came last year, when the thinnest "doctor" in North America was pushed into the ocean and elected not to swim, in a genuine, if slightly halfhearted, suicide attempt." As Willa says, televised victimhood is not defined by how bad your sob story is; its' your reaction to your lot in fictional life. In short, it's all about attitude. "True victims don't have any." Who's the biggest tv victim of the past 20 years?
Why, it's 90210's Kelly Taylor. "Born to a cokehead mom and an absentee dad, Kelly, in no particular order, lost her virginity via date rape, ODed on diet pills, was badly burned in a house fire, joined a cult, dated a cokehead, became an addict, was single-white-femaled, miscarried, got shot by carjackers, developed amnesia, was sexually harassed by a member of the medical profession, was attacked and raped in an alley, eventually killed her rapist in revenge, and lived through dozens of other comparatively piddling traumas." And Kel's reaction to these unfortunate incidents was always meek acceptance.
An exception to the rule is Buffy, but as we all know, Buffy existed in a supernatural universe. The ladies of Lost are similarly kick ass, but again: they live in a fractured world, not one that is striving for realism. Are there female characters out there taking names who exist in semi-realistic settings? Glenn Close on Damages comes to mind; so does Mariska Hartigay on Law and Order SVU. What other characters are avoiding victimhood successfully (and no, hookers and doormats don't count).