Worst Storylines for Women in Soaps Part Two
More ways to make women look bad.
Soaps.com covered crazy exes, desperate measures, drugging men and getting kidnapped in part one of the worst storylines for women in soaps. We love our soaps, we love the crazy storylines, we love the characters. But thanks to our readers, we’ve found more ways soaps can cast women, who make up the majority of the daytime audience, in a bad light. Read on and share your thoughts on the topic below.
Falling for men who wronged them:
Soaps often send the message that bad boys can be changed by the love of a good woman. Spoiler alert, they can’t. But that hasn’t stopped “General Hospital’s” strong, independent Alexis Davis from falling for every bad boy that’s crossed her path. Her most recent love affair with Julian Jerome has taken things to a whole new level, as she fell in love with the former mobster, who, among other heinous acts, ordered Duke Lavery’s death. And even though he put a knife to her own throat, Alexis continued to be sympathetic to his plight and even let herself be seduced by him again. “Y&R’s” model turned lawyer Christine Blair was sexually harassed by fellow legal eagle Michael Baldwin, who also stalked and kidnapped her. But apparently, time, as well as a shift in writing, can change a man, as Christine ended up working with, dating and agreeing to marry the man who once made her life hell.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting children, but when it becomes a character’s sole purpose on the show, things get problematic. Her need for a baby was Nina Reeves’ defining characteristic on “General Hospital” for quite a while. Thankfully she’s come a long way from her days of drugging a pregnant Ava Jerome to induce labor, so she could steal the fresh-from-the-womb newborn. Likewise, “Days'” Nicole Walker may finally be a mother now, but her earlier desperation led to her faking a pregnancy, hiring a baby broker in Dr. Richard Baker and making Sami believe her baby died so she could pass her off as her own. And on “Bold and the Beautiful,” Morgan DeWitt was so obsessed with having Ridge Forrester’s child that, in addition to kidnapping his daughter Steffy, she kept an amnesiac Ridge all to herself in hopes of getting him to impregnate her again.
Turning to stripping:
Women in soaps usually turn to stripping after a trauma or because they’re “damaged” and need the love of a good man to save them. A troubled young woman, who killed her abusive father on “Young and the Restless,” Nikki Reed found the pole after getting caught up in a prostitution ring and then a cult, but she also found a man who would pull her out of the gutter and dominate the rest of her life, Victor Newman. So it all worked out. “Days'” Billie Reed, was the byproduct of an abusive father (Curtis Reed) and turned to stripping and porn as a result. Later, after getting hooked on drugs, she almost fell into prostitution were it not for the love of Salem’s resident hero Bo Brady. In Port Charles (on “GH”), once Karen Wexler remembered the abuse she suffered from her mother’s boyfriend, she started using drugs and stripping at Sonny Corinthos’ club, Paradise Lounge. She got help from Dr. Alan Quartermaine and Gail Baldwin, but of course there was a man waiting in the wings for her, Jagger Cates, who physically fought Sonny for her honor.
Fighting over a man:
Because there’s only one man in town for every two ladies, there is a lot of cat fighting occurring on soap operas. On “B&B,” Ridge’s years of back and forth between rivals saw Brooke Logan Spencer keep the fact that Ridge’s presumed dead wife Dr. Taylor Hayes was alive. As for Taylor, she, many years later, fell into Brooke’s son Rick Forrester’s arms. On “Y&R,” Jill Foster Abbott and Katherine Chancellor’s legendary life long battle, that included, but wasn’t limited to, gaslighting, bribery and sabotage, (and eventually friendship and love) began over a man: Phillip Chancellor II. On “GH,” in efforts to keep Jason Morgan for themselves, Elizabeth Webber kept his real identity from the amnesiac mob enforcer and Sam McCall hired men to threaten Liz and her kids. On a more positive note, even though “Days” has employed their fair share of heated triangles over the years, Sami/EJ/Nicole for example, they recently bucked the trend and allowed Gabi Hernandez and Abby Deveraux DiMera Hernandez to treat each other with respect in regards to Chad DiMera’s affections. Proving all is not totally lost when it comes to soap writers’ treatment of women.
Photo credit: John Paschal, Aaron Montgomery, Jesse Grant, Brian Lowe/JPI
– Lori Wilson