The first time I watched The West Wing I was maybe fourteen years old. From the moment she first appeared in season three, I hated the character of Amy Gardner. Now I’m twenty, and I still hate her. Let me tell you why.
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE WEST WING.
Amy Gardner gives feminism a bad name. She is the reason ignorant people hate feminists. She is the reason the despicable term “feminazi” is still in use. She symbolizes a worldwide phenomenon of feminists being depicted as crazy, and it’s incredibly harmful to the women’s rights movement.
Now, I would be the first to admit that The West Wing is fraught with misogyny. It took me a re-watch as an adult to realize this, but it’s true, and I think it’s largely Aaron Sorkin’s fault. C.J. Cregg wasn’t promoted to Chief Of Staff until Sorkin had vacated the writer’s room. Kate Harper was only conceived of after he was gone. And in the absence of Sorkin, Donna blossomed into the strong independent woman we knew she was all along. Even Amy became more likable after Sorkin vacated the premises. That doesn’t change the fact that at first, she was a nightmare.
We are first introduced to Amy when Josh invents a problem in order to go see her and ask her out. She’s hardly likable. She’s sarcastic to the point of being mean. I admit freely that at first I did not like her because I regarded her as an obstacle dividing my OTP. As long as Amy was in play, Josh would not realize that he had always, always, always been in love with Donna from the very start.
I mean can this guy get his eyefucking under control, maybe? Or replace it with some actual fucking? Donna wouldn’t mind, Josh, she loves you just as much as you love her. Continue reading