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24 August 2011 @ 01:30 am
SPN: In Defense of Amelia Novak  

I have seen a great deal of negativity towards Amelia Novak, and while it's unsurprising considering the fandom, it's still alarming and saddens me. After reading the reasons people have given to rationalize their dislike for her character, I feel the need to comment on them since I think her character needs some kind of love and defense.

We don't know much about the Novaks. The episode, 4.20 "The Rapture", was meant as a backstory for Castiel's human vessel, which did include his family although not enough to know every little detail. The assumption that Amelia was just as religious as Jimmy is just that, an assumption. We don't really know for certain how deep in her faith Amelia was, or how she would react in the same situation. I feel that people are oversimplifying things by suggesting that she should have believed Jimmy, that she should have been behind him 100%. When she saw her husband have his hand in a pot of boiling water, there must have been a thousand things whirling around in her head right then, and when Jimmy said that it was a miracle and that he could communicate with angels and that he was chosen? Can you imagine what was going on inside her head at that moment? This isn't a question about her faith or how religious she was that she couldn't believe him, it was a matter of what would really happen in this situation? Most would be in shock, in disbelief, trying hard to understand what was happening and why and ask for explanations and so forth.

To me, Amelia's reaction was entirely believable.

Then there's the whole argument when she forced him to seek psychiatric help and threatened to move out with their daughter if he didn't, because clearly she's a "horrible bitch" for worrying and his and their daughter's safety, amirite?

First of all, humans aren't perfect. We're contradictory beings and we make difficult decisions and choices underneath certain circumstances that we may not like. I believe that Amelia was thinking about her family's safety, she wanted her husband to be okay but was worried about what else could happen that might endanger their daughter. This is placing her underneath a difficult position, as a mother and a wife, who is witnessing something that she can't explain (again, this is not a question regarding her faith compared to Jimmy's.) She was using tough love which I believe was a last resort for her, and she clearly didn't like it. She was crying in that flashback scene, for goodness sakes. But she believed it was the best thing to do, because she couldn't handle it anymore. Does this make her a horrible person? Of course not.

It's interesting to me how many are quick to claim, "oh, I would have believed him!" -- it's easy to say that when we already know what is going on, however when in reality you're faced with something like this it's a completely different tune. Everyone reacts differently to a situation. Some might believe, some might not. Some might even take a while before being convinced of anything, and some might be scared shitless. The thing is, we can never predict how we will react to something.

Also keep in mind that we don't know everything there is to know about the Novak family. We only got a glimpse into their lives, saw bits and pieces of selective scenes but we don't know the whole story.

Can people be irritated at Amelia for not believing in Jimmy at first? Of course, since we the audience know what has really been going on it's only natural that we would feel slightly more defensive on his side of the story and wanting her to be just as convinced as we are. However, to call her vicious names and outright hatred? I feel that is uncalled for, particularly for a minor one-episode character.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Angel Kinkangel_kink on August 24th, 2011 09:08 am (UTC)
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philstar22: Supernatural: Womenphilstar22 on August 24th, 2011 09:42 am (UTC)
I saw the secret this is in response to. This fandom and their reaction to women just piss me off. Seriously, even if you think Amelia was wrong, you honestly think something this small is worth hate? Really?

I liked the way Amelia was done on the show because it was completely realistic. That is probably how a modern person would react, even a religious person. We've been trained to believe in the rational and to deny the irrational. Even religious people tend to believe that miracles are something that happened in the past (or only happens in "unreached" places). I mean, we can say that maybe she should have been slightly less doubting, but who are we to say we wouldn't act the same way. It certainly isn't worth name calling or hatred.
Renée: Mary Winchester.rogueslayer452 on August 25th, 2011 07:04 am (UTC)
It's not just that secret, I've seen it elsewhere too, Tumblr most of all.

I also hate how fandom reacts to women, and it's a direct reflection of how the show itself treats women through their writing. It's a vicious misogynist cycle that should be stopped.

As if my post wasn't and indicator enough, I, too, love how Amelia's character was handled. When you take ordinary people and present them an extraordinary situation, nobody is going to have the same reaction. Even those who are religious with have different reactions; some will claim a miracle, others will be skeptical. Amelia was placing her concern for her family first, she wasn't at all interested in being ~intrigued by the fact that her husband was not burned after sticking his hand in boiling hot water. She took control and tried to keep the family together.

The Novak story was depressing and sad, but there is no blame to be put on anyone. They were all victims of circumstance.
kaiyotekaiyote on August 24th, 2011 10:29 am (UTC)

Although I haven't actually seen any Amelia hate (thank fuck), but given this fandom I am really not at all surprised. Ugh.
Renée: Cara. Warrior.rogueslayer452 on August 25th, 2011 06:29 am (UTC)
It's not a whole lot, but it's still quite a handful that it makes me quite angry seeing people spreading their hatred for no reason. This fandom just loves to spread their hate, and the harassment going around to other fans lately is just taking the cake at how cowardly and petty people can be. :/
Dom sits down: Cas Friendmercury973 on August 24th, 2011 12:27 pm (UTC)
Hating Amelia? Seriously? I'm actually hoping Misha leaves the show so I can escape this lame fandom.
Renée: SPN. Castiel.rogueslayer452 on August 25th, 2011 06:27 am (UTC)
I wish I were making it up, bb. :(

Honestly, I hope the show just tanks horribly so the actors can go off doing something worthwhile with their talent instead of being wasted of their true potential.
Tori Sakanaepicycles on August 24th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
Wait, there are people who think that she was wrong to not believe Jimmy immediately? WTF. The correct loving, supportive response to "Look honey I can hear angels!" is to take your husband to a doctor. That was one of my favorite things about that episode, the way Amelia could be faithful without being credulous, that she could believe in angels and schizophrenia.

*loves Amelia and doesn't get people hating on her*
Renée: SPN. Castiel.rogueslayer452 on August 25th, 2011 07:20 am (UTC)
I liked that balance too, that isn't not a simple fact of that all religious people will automatically believe in anything miraculous. There are people of faith who are skeptical, and of course there's the sense that some will act on human instinct rather than believing. Amelia felt uncertain, she felt scared, for Jimmy and for their daughter, and I think she acted the only way she knew how in that situation.

Was their regret on both their ends? Of course. Jimmy felt bad for leaving his family behind and Amelia felt bad for pushing him away -- and while the Novak family story is depressing in the end, it was shown to be realistic in the sense of the emotions between the characters and their relationship as a family. And that's why I love that episode more and more when I rewatch it.
Kevin Jonesmulder200 on August 24th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
TBH, I wonder often why this show has so many female fans considering it's gender issues. I don't get it.

As for Amelia, I think her reaction while harsh was completely understandable. I mean from her POV, Jimmy was acting crazy and she her daughter to think about it.
Renéerogueslayer452 on August 25th, 2011 06:34 am (UTC)
Believe me, I have been questioning that for a long while. :/

Exactly. I mean, I can't really think of any other way she would have reacted, to be honest.
chosenfire28: SPN - Castiel chosenfire28 on August 25th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
My first reaction was "Who?" I honestly forgot all about her and clicked because I thought she might be Jimmy's wife from that one episode.

Honestly, I haven't seen any hate because I haven't seen her at all, in fics or discussions. I think she was entirely justified in the way she reacted and tbh if I were in her shoes I would have taken my kid and left the crazy man talking about angels.
Renée: Dean/Castiel. Fuckery.rogueslayer452 on August 25th, 2011 07:15 am (UTC)
There are times when I think this fandom likes to hate on anything just because, no matter how small and trivial it is. There's been such an overwhelming amount of wank happening just recently that it's giving me a migraine just hearing about it. :/
as good as baby Jesus in velvet pants: cas treeshigh_flyer87 on August 25th, 2011 05:00 am (UTC)
Yes. To everything you just said.

I'll never ever understand the hate towards Amelia. No one has, or will ever come up with a logical reason for hating her.

Jimmy as well. I saw someone on tumblr the other day defending Amelia, calling out all the haters, and I was going "Yes! Yes! Yes!" through the whole post, until I got to the part where she said if we wanted to hate someone we should hate Jimmy. And then she proceeded to list off all the (asinine) reasons for hating him.

None of the Novaks should be getting hate. End of story.
Renée: Castiel. Guardian angel.rogueslayer452 on August 25th, 2011 02:33 pm (UTC)
It's just really sad how this fandom can be outright vicious with their hate, and honestly most of the time it's not even justifiable at all. Like this. There really isn't a reason to irrationally hate on the Novaks. Dislike how things happened? Sure. But hate? Unnecessary.

But people will find any means of hating and putting something down. With this fandom it's like a constant black plague of it, unfortunately.
forwardish: WTF? ani Marshall HIMYforwardish on August 29th, 2011 08:06 am (UTC)

Also, I appreciate this well thought out post.