I feel like I go on this rant once every other month, so this is going to be the last time I do it before I become a broken record. Also, this is entirely why my biggest kink in fanfiction right now is well-written Gwen Cooper and Ianto who actually has flaws.
If you ever want to guarantee I never read anything you write again then write a ridiculous Gwen-bashing fic that has no purpose other than for the “writer” to say “I don’t think Eve’s pretty! And Gwen’s selfish! And how dare she flirt with Jack! And Gwen should’ve been fired after Day One!”
Absolutely, Gwen fucked up on her first day. That was awful. Yeah, and no one else on the team messed up like — wait, no, Ianto should have been shot in the head after Cyberwoman. Seriously, I do not get some complaints made about Gwen — people act like that they hate that she’s a complicated character. I strongly feel you should love a character as much for their weaknesses as their strengths. And if you don’t like a character? Don’t write a story about them. Write about something you actually enjoy instead of focusing on such a negative.
My real pet peeve is where I think a lot of the hate comes from. It doesn’t really have to do with Gwen’s personality (though she can get preachy in some episodes, oh man), but her role as main female character. It goes back to, honestly, I think a lot of “Gwen hate” in the Torchwood fandom comes from some very buried sexism or reliance on gender roles. In fact, there is so much ingrained gender stereotyping in the Torchwood fandom — everything from the way Ianto is typically portrayed to the Gwen issue — that I think someone could write an essay on it. I swear, if Gwen Cooper was a man most of the complaints about her character would not be made. In fact, wait a minute, they don’t get made when Ianto does the same thing. Let’s compare.
Cheat on their significant other? (Rhys, Lisa) Check.
Commit such tremendous breaches of protocol that they should’ve been fired? (Day One, Cyberwoman) Check.
Office affair that they try to keep secret from everyone? (Jack, Owen) Check.
Flirt/manipulate Jack’s emotions to get their way? (Fragments, Meat) Check.
Get emotional to the point of nearly not being able to function? (Countrycide, Combat) Check.
Completely disobey Jack to do what they think is right, regardless of consequences? (Adrift, They Keep Killing Suzie) Check.
The only difference between these two is one is a pretty Welsh boy and the other is a pretty Welsh girl and that Gwen’s vocal and opinionated and Ianto’s quiet and opinionated.
I just… cannot stand the level of Gwen-hate. I get the reasons WHY people don’t like Gwen. I don’t like Owen, personally, so I get that you can measure a character’s flaws and strengths and still just go “No, I don’t enjoy them.” However, at least be an adult. Seriously. If you don’t like Gwen because she’s “whore” or “bad at her job” or emotionally manipulative then take a long, long look your favorite character and make sure you’re not missing something.
Brought to you, hilariously, by someone who adores Gwen and Ianto both immensely.