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In response to some correspondence I received on Tumblr relating to my tags on this gifset, I wrote a post about Jody Mills as a mother figure, which I'm crossposting here. (Hint: I am opposed.)

I don’t mean to diminish the importance of Jody’s history as mother to her deceased son or what that past relationship means to her. However, I think it’s totally possible to acknowledge Jody’s role as a literal mother without then implying that she must necessarily act as a mother figure to every person she meets, including men that are only 8-12 years younger than her and therefore in her own peer group. In fact, it’d seem fairly peculiar to me if she was positioned as a mother figure to Sam and Dean, due to how close she is to them in age.

It’s arguable that that is precisely what canon does with the dialogue from that gifset - Jody threatening to use her ‘mom voice’ - but that strikes me as less an ongoing positioning of Jody as a mother figure and more a one-off joke, one that it seems in-character for her to make without her implying that she plans to take over mom duties whenever in the Winchesters’ vicinity.

That said, even if canon did make an ongoing effort to position her in that way, I’d still be plenty annoyed about it, because I’d then see it as part of a broader cultural trend of disparity between the acceptable age for a woman in a romantic relationship and the acceptable for a man. According to IMDB, Jared was born in 1982, Kim Rhodes was born in 1969, and Jim Beaver was born in 1950. If we assume that character ages and actor ages are roughly equivalent, which we know is the case at least for Jared/Sam and Jensen/Dean, then there’s only a 13-year difference between Sam and Jody and a 19-year difference between Jody and Bobby. Yet Jody and Bobby are an acceptable romantic pairing for canon to hint at, and Jody/Sam were apparently so obviously unsuitable that it doesn’t appear to have occurred to anyone on the writing team that they might be taken that way.

(For that matter, Samantha Ferris was born in 1968, which puts an 18-year difference between Ellen and Bobby, another romance canon teased us with for an episode.)

This phenomenon of older man/younger woman is a prevalent one in entertainment and it suggests, in our culture that values youth so highly, that women age - and thus lose value as a potential romantic partner - much more rapidly than men do. It’s gross and I defy it by shipping Dean/Ellen and Sam/Jody at every opportunity. And also writing blog posts like this one.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2013 04:31 am (UTC)
I absolutely agree, with all of this.
Jun. 21st, 2013 04:38 am (UTC)
Yep. *nods*
Jun. 21st, 2013 01:42 pm (UTC)
I saw several comments from fandom about the age gap between Bobby and Jody, and yeah it always bothered me that the writers seemed to assume they would make a more or less equal match, even though Jim Beaver is in his 60's. You would never get the reverse with a Dean and Ellen match being presented as acceptable, even though she can't be that much more than 12 years (?) older than Jensen, but she was immediately portrayed in the motherly role for them

Mind you in the ghost episode from season 7 it is implied that Annie slept with Bobby, Dean, and Sam!
Jun. 21st, 2013 09:18 pm (UTC)
IMDB tells me Jensen is ten years old than Samantha Ferris, so, yeah.

You make a good point about Annie, although I'd be more impressed that she was written as having slept with men younger than her if she also got to interact with them during the episode. She and Bobby are shown having a relationship; her sleeping with Dean and Sam is a one-off joke. Point taken, though.
Jun. 21st, 2013 09:24 pm (UTC)
Heh it never made sense to me that the same woman would sleep with Bobby along with Dean and Sam frankly lol. She was another love interest that was really too young for Jim Beaver as I think the actress is in her 30's?

ETA No I just googled it and Jamie Luner is actually 42. So only a 7 years age difference with Jensen, but very much on the young side for Bobby. I'm pretty sure there was a reference to the character of Annie being in her 30's too, so she would only have been a few years older than Dean in the shows canon

Edited at 2013-06-21 09:30 pm (UTC)
Jun. 21st, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
All I have to say is, Bobby must have some serious game that we never see on screen. Jody, Ellen, Annie? That's a pretty spectacular line-up, IMO.
Jun. 21st, 2013 09:52 pm (UTC)
Also the Leviathan from season 6 that he unknowingly slept with, she was a little closer to his age I'd say, but still definitely very attractive. Landing that many women really doesn't seem to fit with his grumpy old man personally and scruffy appearance though :P
Jun. 21st, 2013 10:15 pm (UTC)
Do you mean S7? Or do mean something other than a Leviathan? I have no recollection of this.
Jun. 21st, 2013 10:20 pm (UTC)
Sorry she wasn't a leviathan, she was something from purgatory? She first appears in Like A Virgin as a medivall studies professor that Dean goes too for the dragons sword, then in Let It Bleed we found out that she's from Purgatory and Bobby notes that she could have told him that before she slept with him.

Edited at 2013-06-21 10:21 pm (UTC)
Jun. 21st, 2013 10:27 pm (UTC)
OH OH RIGHT. Dr Whatserface. Yes. Granted, it was a while ago that they were together, so he was younger. Still. He's a scruffy guy in a baseball cap who owns a junkyard and is apparently locally considered the town drunk. She's class.
Jun. 21st, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
I don't have anything constructive to add other than I AGREE WITH ALL OF THIS YES I DO. Dean/Ellen is a particular favorite of mine and Jody/Anyone on the Planet works quite well for me too.
Jun. 21st, 2013 09:20 pm (UTC)
Would you believe my first serious SPN fic effort was a fairly long Dean/Ellen fic. Obviously, said I, the fandom is in desperate need of Dean/Ellen fic. Not so much, it turns out, but I'm still proud of it.

And man, all that Sam/Jody stuff in "Time After Time" was just lovely.
Jun. 21st, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
It was! We need more Dean/Ellen so very badly. smilla02 has some lovely shorts but a meaty novella would be heaven.

"Time After Time" was an amazing ep for Sam and Jody. I loved everything about them and it seemed so natural that they'd be a fandom pairing darling... except not really. I am still sad-faced.
Jun. 22nd, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
!!! How did I miss this. /stomps to masterlist
Jun. 22nd, 2013 07:39 pm (UTC)
:D I assume you found? If not, it's here. :)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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