Talk:Women in Refrigerators

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Women in Refrigerators vs. Girlfriend in Refrigerators[edit]

To anyone who's interested--this was done to correct the terminology, references, and url references for the site 'Women in Refrigerators' (as the term was originally coined). No offense was intended to the creators of the original 'Girlfriend-in-Refrigerators-Syndrome' entry. Significant portions of the entry have been incorporated into the new entry, along with several corrections, and some historical background for the term and the site that was created in support of it. Hopefully, this will be alright with everyone involved. Thanks for your time! Fcr 07:00, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Impressive. Really well sourced. Onomatopoeia 16:41, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Speaking as someone who, had I been in on the debate of termination for this page back in January probably woulda said delete, I am pleased with the outcome of this entry after such debate. Predominantly because of the relative significance of Gwen Stacy mentioned in the article. Personally I have never heard this "Girlfriends In Refrigerators" meme before. My instinct is to say this is mislabelled, and the proper reference usage should be in deference to Gwen Stacy. Though not the earliest example, hers was the earliest culturally significant example toward this abuse of women in graphic storytelling. Whenever I see a female character killed or maimed for purpose of plotline, I have always called it a "Gwen" in honor of Spidey's first gf, and it's easy to see that it happens all too often in modern storytelling, even after the equal rights movement of the 1960s. As a contributor to MetaFilter once pointed out, "Find me a comic book character (male or female) that hasn't had some pretty f'ed up things happen to them." I guess the "gf in fridge" meme is due to its significance to the younger generations and I'm just showing my age, but the phenomenon actually predates even Spider-Man, and can arguably be more attributed to the end result of a failed "Damsel In Distress" plotline. If Dudley Doright is unable to Save his Penelope from the evil Snidely Whiplash, the end result would most certainly me maimness or death. I question whether this meme is not just a result of the younger audience not being well educated on the history of the comic book medium and other mediums that have inspired it. Still, this is a well written and edited article. ZachsMind 16:27, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Rachel Summers lobotomized?[edit]

What's this about Rachel Summers being "lobotomized"? There's no mention of such an event in her own article, and I don't remember it. She's also possibly the most powerful telepath in the Marvel universe, which would be quite impossible for somebody who's been lobotomized. 18:35, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm removing that one, since other than being on one website there is no reliable citation for it. -- Noclevername 20:54, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Jason Todd and Bucky[edit]

First of all, the statement is false. Neither character was returned to their original heroic state. Jason Todd was brought back as a brutal killer. Bucky is currently alive, but was brought back by being turned into a brainwashed Soviet terrorist. He was eventually cured, but the character is by no means anywhere near his original state and probably can't be used any more except as a traumatized wreck.

Second, the sentence is obviously trying to imply that bringing back Jason Todd and Bucky somehow disproves the original statement about male characters being as badly treated. You aren't allowed to draw a conclusion yourself--that is prohibited as original research, and you can't get around this by just making leading statements to get the reader to make the conclusion instead. Even if both characters were brought back as heroes (which, as shown above, is not true), that would not imply that the original statement was false unless similarly-situated female characters were not also brought back.

This is actually one of the most biased articles I've seen. In this case the bias happens by selectively quoting sources that present WiR's claims nearly uncritically. This works because comic book reference sources are not typically carried by libraries or otherwise available for research, so about the only people who can contribute to the article are those who initiated the controversy or have been following it for some time and already have their sources on hand. Even the link to the Dead Men Defrosting rebuttal is not actually a link to the original source, but to a WiR rebuttal of the rebuttal. Ken Arromdee 00:06, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I'd hate to see this article get dragged into a 'wikiwar', but the conclusion about deleting the line in question because it is 'original research' doesn't make sense. Wikipedia defines original research as "... research that is not exclusively based on a summary, review or synthesis of earlier publications on the subject of research." The line that was removed said simply, "In 2005, the characters Jason Todd and Bucky both returned as characters in regular publication." That's a statement of fact that was gathered from the wikipedia articles on Jason Todd and Bucky. I'm not sure how the line could qualify as original research, given that the information is based on previously published material--which is factual. Jason Todd and Bucky both returned as characters in regular publication. If someone is interested in the publication history of either character, they can read the wiki entries on both characters--links to both are provided in the article.
Second, the article is about the website 'Women in Refrigerators' and the origin of the term. Debating the validity of the term itself would qualify as original research. The opinions above regarding 'Jason Todd/Bucky' would qualify as original research, since.
As noted on WP:RS#Unattributed Material, if you honestly believe an unsourced statement is wrong, you should remove it. I'm explaining why I honestly believe the statement is wrong. In context, the statement implies that the characters returned heroically, and they didn't. Decisions about whether to include sentences in articles aren't subject to the original research rule; otherwise, nobody would be allowed to remove sentences unless they had a source stating the sentences are incorrect.
The article 'Dead Man Defrosting' is a link to an original source--namely, the article called 'Dead Man Defrosting.' That is not a 'rebuttal of a rebuttal', but a link to the original article mentioned in the entry.
It's a link to a version of the article with commentary explaining what's supposedly wrong with it.
I'm all for additional research, but simply destroying an entry because an editor finds the content objectionable for a marginal reason seems ill-advised. Wouldn't a better tact be for the editor to execute more research on the subject and add to the article rather than redact lines of fact? User:fcr 18:58, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

First of all, the statement is trying to draw a conclusion that is not in any reference source. That is original research. Just because it's trying to imply the conclusion by juxtaposition rather than stating it outright doesn't change this. And as for your "better tact", I already covered this. The problem is that the kinds of sources used in this article are inherently hard to find. I can't just go to a library, look up Women in Refrigerators in the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, find a reference, walk to the shelf, and pick up a few magazines about comics. All but a very few people are not equipped to add anything to this article; the research can't be done. Ken Arromdee 13:44, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea what the original 'intent' was of the person who included the line. The idea that the intent is self-evident (my words) seems to lack logical thought. I don't know what the original intent of the person who put it into the article was--but my intent by placing it was simply to include the commment in a relevant portion in the article.
As for the 'better tact', if the reason for vandalizing an article to remove a statement of fact is simply because someone finds factual content objectionable AND is unwilling to spend time doing research, then so be it. It isn't worth arguing about. As for the statement, "the research can't be done," that is assuredly NOT a statement of fact--it's an opinion and marginal justification for an unwillingness to back up an opinion with facts.
I'm not going to put the line back in because it'll just be vandalized again. I just can't believe that a longtime wikipedia editor would consciously remove a statement of fact AND be unwilling to do research simply because, in a marginal fit of judgement, they concluded that reading and researching is, "impossible," simply because it's, "inconvenient."
Fcr 03:38, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I rewrote that section because I thought it was a bit messy. In doing so, I took out the entire reference to Jason Todd and Bucky. The reason why is that it no longer fit either argument. As they were both resurrected into current continuity in 2005, they're not good examples of second-string characters who have died "permanently". On the other hand, they're also not good examples of male characters who achieved "status quo" upon resurrection. In both cases, they were significantly altered from their last incarnation. Consequently, their inclusion muddies both arguments. So, I took them out and attempted to better summarize the pros and cons. Feel free to improve this section as you see fit. --GentlemanGhost 04:57, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Looking at this, I can't for the life of me follow the thinking. Just because a user honestly believes, for example, that the sky is pink, that doesn't mean it's so. Anyway, I'm going to restore some of these edits in the rewrite. Fcr (talk) 22:00, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Gwen Stacy Syndrome[edit]

I edited the the section on Gwen Stacy to reword the phrase "editorial mandate". This phrase makes it sound as though the editor of Amazing Spider-Man dictated to the writer that he must kill off the character. However, this does not match the accompanying reference. Rather, the referenced webpage indicates that the writer made the decision to kill off the character (at the artist's suggestion) and this idea was supported by the editor. Granted, the source indicates that untenable editorial restrictions influenced the "authorial cowardice", but this is distinct from an "editorial mandate". After an unsatisfactory first attempt, I have now changed it to read "editorial reasons". Not much different, I know, but I think it more accurately reflects the source. --GentlemanGhost 00:12, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

I was under the impression that they killed off Gwen Stacy because they knew they couldn't keep them from being married forever, and they didn't want to risk Spiderman's status as a tragic hero by letting him be happy for once - leaving them with little choice but to either force them into a break-up that would seem unnatural or to shove her into the refrigerator. "Gwen Stacy Syndrome" seems to be more about offing somebody to either make writing easier or to escape a corner than to provide motivation and trauma. Fdgfds 13:58, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the link that was originally used as a reference for this [1] has gone dead. Someone replaced it with a different link, but didn't correct it in the references section. As I recall, according to the old link, it was the artist who suggested killing her off, which the writer thought was a good idea, largely for the reasons you mention. As the current link indicates, the editorial staff also didn't want a married Spider-Man because it would not appeal to kids. --GentlemanGhost 12:15, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Now that I know about the Internet Wayback Machine, I was able to find an archived version of the original link.[2] Even better than this would be the Comic Buyers Guide article which the writer of this webpage mentions. Apparently, they researched the decision to kill off Gwen Stacy. I'm not sure when that came out, but this webpage was written in 2003 and the author described the article as "recent". --GentlemanGhost (talk) 16:22, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Forerunner to Gwen Stacy Syndrome[edit]

Steve Trevor was gratutioustly killed offed one year before Gwen Stacy was, if not more. 03:01, 10 December 2006 (UTC)Enda80

John Byrne Examples Deleted[edit]

I remember viewing the site years ago and seeing a section which used writer/artist John Byrne was used as an example of someone who consistantly uses the Women in Refrigerators plot device. Somewhere along the line this part of the website was deleted. Does anyone know why this was the case and should this be included in the main article? Artemisboy 22:51, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I believe this is faulty memory. There are several archives of the original site, none of which contain references to John Byrne. So, unless a link can be found (or someone who either knew the original creators or WAS one of the original creators) creates a reference, it isn't appropriate to keep including this. Fcr (talk) 02:56, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

I undid the recent (January) move of this article to Women in Refrigerators (comics). As there is no other notable article or topic with this name, disambiguation is unnecessary. --GentlemanGhost 12:44, 18 March 2007 (UTC)


Could editors who work on this page please take the time to CITE their statements? There was a long process to even keep this article on Wikipedia that involved lots of reasoned debate and a considerable number of citing of sources. It's become disheartening to check in on the article from time to time and find more and more unsourced material creeping in. PLEASE cite your sources! Fcr 03:32, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

"In an interview with Wizard magazine, Marz said that censorship made this scene far more horrific than he had intended it to be; DC edited the panel in question so that the refrigerator door was slightly ajar (as opposed to completely open), only partially revealing Alex's limbs, which led many fans to assume that she had been dismembered (and subsequently to ask Marz if this was indeed the case)." - citation?

"However, in the latter instance, Mike Grell, writer of that scene, has stated repeatedly that Dinah Lance, the Black Canary was never raped; this is only an assumption many fans make." - citation? Fcr 05:07, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Mike Grell says she wasn't raped here: , which is an article written by him and located on his official website. There are plenty of fans who continue to believe that she was raped, contrary to Grell's insistence otherwise, but it's clear that in his mind she was not. I added a statement clarifying this to the article, but my sentence structure is somewhat clumsy. Maybe someone else can improve it; nonetheless, I think it is important to note that the writer/creator did not intend (or at least claims not to have intended) to imply that Black Canary was raped. Bananafish00 23:00, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

What about the opposite?[edit]

The same is true of the opposite in some cases. - The female hero's boyfriends getting killed/mutilated. For example, I've heard mention of the female lead in Stargate SG-1, Samantha Carter being referred to as 'Black Widow Carter' due to her succession of male love interests that get killed and mutilated in all sorts of nasty ways. NomaDanine —Preceding comment was added at 00:56, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

There may be websites which cover the "black widow" phenomena, but this article is specifically about the Women in Refrigerators website. --GentlemanGhost (talk) 21:04, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Female Sidekicks[edit]

Would the attacking e.g. of a female sidekick (Like what happened to Jubilee couint as an example of this? Emma Hordika (talk) 15:26, 19 August 2008 (UTC)( P.S. Women in Refridgerators Stinks)

Probably, but that's a question for a forum, not for Wikipedia. --GentlemanGhost (talk) 22:39, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

C-Class rated for Comics Project[edit]

As this B-Class article has yet to receive a review, it has been rated as C-Class. If you disagree and would like to request an assesment, please visit Wikipedia:WikiProject_Comics/Assessment#Requesting_an_assessment and list the article. Hiding T 14:51, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Definitely needs a rewrite/clean-up.
This article needs a rewrite. There's a lot of trivia that's been added since the original article that doesn't have much to do with the website. In addition, some of the previous edits have rendered parts of the article nonsensical.
At the least, the trivia should get separated into its own section. Fcr (talk) 21:56, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Original research?[edit]

Re: The metatextual part. Seems original research to me. Hal hates Major Force for many reasons; one because he killed his friend's girlfriend in the fridge. Smashing MF with a ring-created fridge would be irony to him, a logical extension of the story's circumstances. As for Bulleteer, her house guest went evil and attacked her. Most houses have fridges. Lots42 (talk) 12:50, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Neglected mentions[edit]

You forgot to mention the original depowerment of several Golden and Silver-Age female comics characters. One was WONDER WOMAN of the late 60s. (1) Diana Prince looses her powers through some infraction of conduct in Amazon law. She is also exiled, and loses her memory and ability at martial arts. While her title comic book continued for a couple of years, she acquired a fabulouse contemorary wardrobe(all white, in which she had to do battle in,) a mostly noir and supernatural theme to all her stories; and a strange little china-man who trained her to regain much of her mortal physical ability and confidence. (These changes had the editors desired effect of forcing Wonder Woman out of the JUSTICE LEAGUE roster for much of the 70s.) (2)Supergirl. Linda Danvers' superpowers go awry and leaves her sporadically super-charged (This was in tandem with the Jack Kirby-inspired powering-down of Superman in the early 70s. The appparent vunerability of Supergirl made for some pretty adult story-lines for that era, taking the character out of her rather goofy malaise. Oh, and yes, she also obtains a rack of racey, provocative new costumes. (3) Black Canary. It had seemed confusing whether or not Dinah Drake retained her "carnary scream" power. She still seemed to have them in the Justice League (of whom she, and Zatana filled the immeasurable void left by Wonder Woman). Dinah seemed too pre-occupied playing nurse-maid to the increasingly self-destructive Oliver Queen and Roy Harper to be an effective crime -fighter. (Actually many would figure that Ms. Drake would have been so fed-up with these two misfits, she could have comtemplated suicide and put herself in a refrigrator to be discovered by the two just to spite them for the misery they caused her). (4)Bat-Girl. Albeit, in the late 70s and 80s, Babs Gordon is made an invalid by the Joker. Before that, her responsibilities as congresswoman limted her activities. (5)Wonder Girl. along with the 70s "TEEN TITANS",Donna Troy, as traumatized as the rest of her team-mates over an unstoppable political assasination, decides to retire from super-heroics and takes up with her co-horts to become social workers(?) (6)Giant-Girl(of the original"DOOM PATROL"). After their demise by their arch-foe, she is the only one who never returns from death, as inexplicably all the males do. (7) Duo Damsel(formerly TRIPLET GIRL). Well, that'll teach ya: The price of getting too romantically involved with either Superboy, or Lar Gand (Mon-El)is DEATH (of multiple personalities)!!! (8) Sue Richards' pregnacy need not be reviewed here, although in hindsight I wonder if the editors at Marvel weren't reacting to the late 60s Young Republicans\Nixon backlash of the so-called femmensit movement. I would also put "THE WASP" in thsi category. I didn't read enough of her comics to find out why she seemed to "fade away" as the 60 wer coming to a close. (9)HAWKGIRL. Strained under the shadow of her husband. (10)Finally, Electra and the Black Widow. I lump these two because they haven't been given their propers either among female characters. One was killed off then brought back in posthumous, narrative retrospective. The latter never achieving the status of full vigilante. The only exception to this neudering of female characters was (11)LOIS LANE. In fact being that she never had any powers to begin with placed her in a rather unique advantagefor an upgrade as an action character. The persuit and death of her young sister, Lucy, sends Lois into a spiralling fugue state in which she rejects Superman, quits her job at the Daily Planet, walks on the rain-soaked streets of Metropolis in a daze, gets mugged in an alley, but is instantly delivered by three bouty-licous "liberated babes" who later offer her food, lodging, and companionship. She then emerges as a crusading free-lance vigilante-reporter (in hot pants and platform-spiked shoes, I might add,) kicking butt, but still still snubbing Superman. That series' plotline also ran a couple of years, and I'll bet JACK KIRBY had a hand in this also as the plot-lines intersected his "fouth world' revison at DC comics. So, there you have it. the "GIRL-IN-THE-REFRIGERATOR" PHEMNOMENA would seem almost a staple in comics as 'cops and robbers! [[Special:Contribution] (User talk) 02:03, 5 February 2011 (UTC) (talk) 02:06, 5 February 2011 (UTC)Veryverser

The WiR website may be missing examples, but this article isn't the place for updates. This article is to provide an entry for the website itself, not to offer corrections or debate the merits of its content. Fcr (talk) 04:45, 14 April 2011 (UTC)


So is this topic on women killed or depowered or women killed or depowered to further a male character's story? The article is contradictory. Lots42 (talk) 12:46, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Accusations of Feminism?[edit]

I've read through all the comments on the WiR site and none of the comic creators accused her of feminism. Better source?-- (talk) 23:59, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Source for Joss Whedon as a Feminist[edit]

I deleted the phrase "The practice of treating female characters in this manner is contrasted with the work of writers who are felt to exhibit feminist sensibilities, such as Joss Whedon." seeing as the link is dead and the statement is more opinion than fact. (talk) 17:06, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi, Welcome to Wikipedia. Thank you for expressing concerns over the passage on the link. Let me see if I can address them:
  • The link is not dead. I just checked it, and the article/column is still there.
  • Even when dead, removing links, and the material they were originally cited to support, is considered inappropriate on Wikipedia, as explained by Wikipedia:Link rot.
  • Also, when an editor has valid grounds for removing content, they are expected to provide an edit summary briefly summarizing the rationale for the edit.
  • That the notion is indeed an opinion is why I wrote the passage with the phrase "are felt". I thought that phrase conveyed that it was an opinion. But we can rewrite it to something you think better conveys this. How about replacing that wording with something like "The practice of treating female characters in this manner has contrasted with the work of writers such as Joss Whedon, who writing has been hailed for exhibiting feminist sensibilities."? Would that be better? Or do you prefer something else? Let us know. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 20:07, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

WIR website moved[edit]

Per one of the creators of WIR (Beau Yarbrough), the website has moved from to I do not have privilege to edit the page, though (not enough edits). DanCrank (talk) 16:45, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Done Fcr (talk) 18:09, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Thank you! Could you please change the link in the summary/overview section as well? DanCrank (talk) 18:34, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Should Anita Sarkeesian aka FeministFrequincy represent this trope.-- (talk) 12:57, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Women in Refrigerators Syndrome[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result was merged. This appears uncontroversial. --BDD (talk) 19:09, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

It has been suggested to merge this article here but there seems to be no discussion set up here - anyone care to comment?-- 🍺 Antiqueight confer 10:21, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.