No one gives a single micro fraction of a shit about how much you hate Skyler White. I mean i know passionately hating the leading woman in a popular television show predominantly featuring male characters is like, totally unheard of and you want to share your ground breaking input on skyler’s character with everyone you come in contact with, but there comes a point where that shit gets kind of exhausting for those of us that happen to like her.
so yeah go fuck yourselves and keep it out of the tags.
Not that I particularly LIKE Skyler, but I know she doesn’t deserve the hate she gets while Walter gets so much praise when he’s seriously a monster.
this is another post about breaking bad and Missing the Point (and for once it’s not about skyler):
the thing about this show is that it exists within the same violent, chaotic, hyper-masculine framework as mafia movies—see also: why it was important on a symbolic level that walt and jr were watching scarface. that much is obvious. it’s the difference of messages that people aren’t seeming to grasp, which is that those movies are glorifying that kind of mindset where breaking bad is acting as a cautionary tale against it. those movies are saying the man who perpetuates these ideas always comes out on top; he is able to shoot up a room full of people without giving it a second thought and be without morals (or at the very least ambiguous with them) while still being heralded of as the hero by the audience, his peers, the woman he loves.
breaking bad is not that show. walt is not tony montana.
the masculine undercurrent of the show started really coming to a head when gus entered the picture, reminding walt every so often that his “duty” as a man was to provide because that’s what men do and subsequently feeding this delusion of power and masculinity walt was already building for himself. this season has amped it up even more—the aforementioned movie and the intro of the last episode with the revving of the car engines being the most stand out moments so far. however, the further walt falls into this lifestyle, the worse things get for those around him.
so that’s where the divergence happens. the thing i’ve always admired most about BB is that it strives to tell an unforgivingly realistic narrative, and the hard truth of this violent, chaotic, hyper-masculine reality is that it is destructive. from the moment walt begins to give into it he starts down a path of systematically ruining the life of every person he loves; even complete strangers aren’t immune. there is no one rushing to shake walt’s hand and go “great job murdering, manipulating, and basically shitting on every moral code you ever upheld in order to get what you want” (especially not skyler, but that’s a rant for another post). and eventually this rampage of destruction is going to catch up with walt himself. because if only one thing was taken away from this season’s opener it should have been that walt is going to lose everything.
besides the more obvious reasons having to do with skyler, that is what bothers me the most about walt stans/apologists: how off the mark they are about what it is we are meant to be learning from walt’s downward spiral. every decision that walt has made—despite the intent behind it—has been leading to his demise. they have (and will continue to) cost him dearly. the outcome of walt’s story will not be a good one, and he only has himself to blame for it. what about that is admirable?
walter white will go down as one of the most extraordinarily written, interesting, and complex fictional characters in television history, but he is not a hero and his behavior is not meant to be applauded.
Another beautifully written and relevant Breaking Bad post here about the hyper-masculinity displayed in the show (at least in Walt’s character) and the lessons that we should be learning from it, and how disturbing it is that a lot of people simply refuse to do so.
“I find this contrast to be one of the brilliant resonances of this season thus far, reminding us that Walt’s slide into monstrosity was due to a series of active choices & moral failings, not the reactive “shit happens” that Skyler calls out as part of his perpetual series of rationalizations. And now his path has taken him to another fork in the road: see himself as the man that his wife sees to try to save his marriage (and perhaps his humanity), or puff himself up to bully or manipulate her into accepting Heisenberg, just as he did with Jesse. And he has clearly chosen to double-down as Heisenberg, continuing his color palette redesign with the matching black hat and macho car. The argument in their bedroom was one of the most violent scenes the show has ever done – despite the lack of physical contact, it is clear that Skyler is now a battered spouse, desperately seeking any way to protect her kids and self while she waits for Walt’s cancer to overtake his body. So why do so many people hate Skyler, despite her clear position as victim? Aside from the knee-jerk misogyny that Rosenberg discusses, I think a large part has to do with the power of first impressions: the first season of Breaking Bad did a pretty mediocre job developing any character beyond Walt and Jesse, and of those undeveloped characters, Skyler was the most central in the story. Thus we didn’t see that much of Hank before he became more nuanced in the second season, but we’d seen enough of Skyler to cement a sense that she was unappealing. Plus in those early days, we were rooting for Walt to break out of his boring life into the more exciting world of crime, and Skyler’s primary function was to ground him in mundanity. But just as Walt has transformed as a character into a hateful and repulsive man, Skyler became more fully-realized and complex, far more nuanced than her first impressions. But seemingly, many viewers cannot get beyond those initial impressions to see and appreciate Skyler’s transformations, both as character and person.”
I don’t generally post about the handful of shows I watch because mostly, they’re irrelevant to what goes on, on this blog. But I’ve been working on a post about the hate Skyler’s character gets (seriously, go to the “skyler white” tag if you wanna see), and how I can’t see it as anything but based in misogyny, but this does a better job than I could have of explaining it.
I understand people not liking Skyler because I don’t think she’s a very likable character (in my opinion). But she’s not a terrible person; she has her kids’ best interests at heart. All these people that are calling her a “bitch” and a “whore” (and worse, there’s worse) and begging for her to be slapped or killed, or saying they would do it themselves… Seriously? You’re all terrible people. If you can’t recognize that she’s a victim of domestic abuse, and have sympathy for her and all the abuse that Walt’s doled out over the course of the show, then there’s something seriously wrong with the way you see things.
You don’t have to like Skyler, but you do need to recognize that she does the things she does because of all of the danger Walt has put her and her kids in. That she’s an abused spouse. That even if you don’t like her, you should feel some sympathy for her. And you need to recognize that Walt has become a terrible person (he poisoned a kid, for fuck’s sake, just to manipulate Jesse into getting on his side) and we’re NOT supposed to be rooting for him.
[And before I hear any, “But it’s just a show!” nonsense, NO. No, no, no. Because someone who feels that way about her character after what she’s been through is someone I believe would feel the same thing about any living, breathing woman if she were in the same position. And that’s unacceptable. Pop culture is a mirror and a creator of culture, as are our responses to it.]