When is a slut a whore, and other attempts at impossible math.

Hey, you guys! Did you know that Elizabeth has had sex? More than once? And also her kids have different dads?

Apparently, the show doesn’t think that you do, because it’s really been going out of its way to bring it up over and over again the past few days.

This fact, of course, makes her a Slutty McDirtyWhore who deserves to be sneered at by PC’s finest (and half of the soap-viewing internet population, but that’s a rant for another day), including: Ethan, a con artist who spends half his time flirting with a high school student; Luke, who himself has fathered three children by two different women and perpetually cheats on his current wife with prostitutes; and Maxie, who once spent months supplying a married man with drugs in return for sex and then attempted to lure him out of rehab with a pillow baby. Well, clearly, they would know.

The thing is, Elizabeth is in fine company in her outrageous sluttiness, as there isn’t actually a single woman currently on the show with more than one kid with the same biological father. But it’s she, Carly and Alexis who make up that special top tier to which all good soap whores should aspire: three kids by three different men. The Golden Uterus, if you will.

(Strangely enough, that fact that Sonny actually has them all beat with his seven — seven! — children fathered with six different women never seems to garner him the same level of puritanical scorn. I can’t imagine why, can you?)

But if you’re so crass as to think there might be a hint of sexism in Port Charles, well…

MAXIE: We’re calling it “The Woman Behind the Man.”
MATT: Sounds… sexist.
MAXIE: What? No. This is a fashion magazine, Matt! I mean, most of our readers our women, so for once, we’re actually celebrating men.

You guys, I stand corrected. Soap operas are primarily watched by women! Which means that if General Hospital wasn’t a total sausage-fest with an understanding of women’s issues that makes Don Draper look like Andrea Dworkin — well, that would be the real sexism, damnit. Or something! I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s all very meta and enraging.

Here’s the thing: I love Elizabeth Webber. But she’s no saint. She’s way too concerned with what other people think of her. She makes terrible decisions and then never learns from her mistakes. She’s obsessive. She can be selfish. She lies like she breathes.

But she’s no more promiscuous than anyone else on the show.

Five partners in fourteen years is practically chaste for a soap character! (And nothing to be ashamed of in real life either, to be honest.) And the obsession with the number of her babydaddies! What is that? Like if she’d been infertile or gotten abortions, but still slept with the same number of men, that would that somehow make it more acceptable to the slut shamers?

Give me a break. Maxie should just be thanking her lucky stars that her protection didn’t fail when she was cheating on Spinelli with a serial killer. (Or sleeping with Kyle. Or Jesse. Or Coop. Or Logan. Or Lucky…  good gracious! That is some glass house she’s got going there.) Otherwise she might be the proud bearer of a Golden Uterus of her very own.

In conclusion: dear show, your double standards are showing again. Kindly zip those things back up before they hurt someone.

Having said all that in defense of Elizabeth… girlfriend, meet me at camera three. Because you and I need to have a talk:

ELIZABETH: I’ve got to hand it to [Siobhan]. She was a way better manipulator than I thought. […] Lucky and I have a child together. Something we have always wanted. And do you think Siobhan could give us one second to be happy?

What? What is that? Listen to the words coming out of your mouth! The woman was murdered. Horribly. Like, two weeks ago. I don’t care if she was the devil incarnate. Stop talking shit about the dead!

It’s as gross and unclassy (and, frankly, out of character) as Siobhan accusing you of using your dead toddler to get sympathy.  Yeah, remember how annoying that was? And how good it made you look in comparison? Your losing those points now. SO STOP DOING IT.

And while we’re at it — hey, Ethan?

ETHAN: My father felt trapped, right? In a life that Laura created, a life that she fought like hell to hold to.

Kindly shut your mouth about events you neither witnessed nor understand, okay, hon? I realize you’ve only heard the party line when it comes to Laura, so maybe you can’t be blamed for having swallowed that insulting, revisionist bullshit hook, line, and sinker. But seriously, it’s annoying enough hearing it from people who actually should know better. I’m not also going to take it from retconned interlopers whose very existence is an insult to the history we actually watched on screen.

Damn, I’m cranky tonight. Thoughts on the Murder Mystery at Sea! plot to come at some point, I promise. (Hint: I’m not entirely hating it so far — wonders never cease!)

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21 thoughts on “When is a slut a whore, and other attempts at impossible math.

  1. Perfect! This show is giving me a serious headache right now. You forgot about Ethan’s new creepy hobby of walking around town with a painting of Laura. I think I caught him flirting with it. Very weird.

      • Right?! However, I will accept the creepiness if it’s a sign that they are de-Spencering Ethan. (if only!) then at least it would only be slightly less creepy!

  2. I just think that it’s hilarious that Liz gets called out all the time and no one really mentions Carly and Alexis. I mean, I give Alexis a bit of a pass because she is both self-deprecating and aware enough to laugh at her own poor judgement with men, but Carly is anything but self-aware. The woman not only had three children by three different men, but she drugged her first baby daddy and made him think that he fell off the wagon, had three potential fathers for said baby (including her stepfather that she stole away from her mother for revenge), let said child be raised by a completely different man who was a violent mobster, said child became a whiny little bitch that ended up killing someone and went to jail, and last but not least, that child is the show eater named Michael. Even at like six Dylan Cash got more airtime than the entire Q family. One can only hope Cam is destined for such airtime (hopefully he leaves the self-entitled, spoiled brat thing Michael has perfected at the door). I think Liz should just hang in there because if her luck is anything like Carly’s in 5-10 years the entire canvas will praise her for being the ideal of womanhood (really, Jax, really?) and also the bestest mom ever to be a mom.

    And not leave out the ultimate procreater, Sonny. No one seems to care about Sonny having rogue children with woman all the time. Out of all Sonny’s children/miscarriages only two were with women he was in long-term, committed relationships with (and I am counting Lily, who he was married to but was ready to leave). And he is a horrible father and no one except Lulu seems to care (Dear Brenda, I have been the president of your fan club since like the 4th grade, but I am 100% sure Sonny shooting Dante was more painful for Dante than it was for Sonny-at least Brenda got out with her child while she could) and no one calls him out on his inability to use contraceptives even after his BFF died of AIDS.

    • OMG, Lily! I totally left her out of the count. I can’t believe I did that! Sonny: always even sluttier than you thought he was.

    • What the three of them are is hypocrites. And Liz can be one too, since she’s thrown her fair share of the same insults around. The fact is that every single person on a soap opera could be considered a slut by real world standards, which are ridiculous and sexist to begin with. The fact that ANY of them have the balls to call anyone else out for promiscuity (note: not the same thing as calling someone else for lying or cheating, which is perfectly acceptable) is amazing to me. Truly.

  3. OMG you are my hero! I am just totally baffled at what the point is of a daily rehash of Elizabeths sins. I am pretty sure we are supposed to discount Maxies ravings but since we got the same crap from a normally fairly laid back Ethan, I was left scratching my head. Liz hasn’t so much as kissed a man in about 2 years unless there has been some serious whoring going on offscreen, so I am going to need some onscreen action or these bastards need to zip it.

  4. The difference between Liz Carly and Alexis is. Alexis and Carly were are least married to one of their childrens fathers at the time of conception and birth. Liz can’t say that. You are right though, she is no worse than any other woman on the show and the constant put downs are too much.

    • Well, as you might have noticed, I’m not terribly impressed with the idea of “slut” as an insult in general, so the distinction between whether or not a person is married or not to the father of their children means very little to me.

      But really, Carly’s first child was conceived in a drunken one night stand with a complete stranger at the same time as she was sleeping with her mother’s husband. Alexis’ first child was a teenage pregnancy and her second was a one night stand with a client. Personally, the only thing that bothers me morally about any of that is Carly sleeping with Tony, because that was a betrayal of trust for Bobbie. But to someone who’s interested in slut shaming? I really can’t see how the fact that they each had at least one other baby with a man to whom they were actually married would make much of a difference in a judgment of their character.

      … unless, of course, the person doing the shaming is really just looking for an excuse to call a character who they already don’t like for other reasons. But I’m sure THAT never happens!

  5. Thank you ! After a hiatus we are back to insulting Elizabeth Webber (again).

    How many times have Maxi called her out in fact the whole town has for the most part so now its round 2?

    Although I haven’t seen this yet I’m wondering did Elizabeth just stand there and take the beatdown or did they give her some snappy comeback? (Usually they barely allow her to speak) it was refreshing when Ethan insulted her she gave as good as she got.

    They have spent “YEARS” vilifying Elizabeth Webber as her fan I’m fed up with how she’s been written and how Frons is marketing her (with a negative focus). Becky Herbst is a trooper and deserves better. But he’s pretty much done the same with all the “originals of the old GH either they are made to look like crap in story or/and they are fired. Its the Fronsonian way.

    This re-emerging after clubbing me to death with it nonstop for over four years is insane there are other mother’s with babies by three different men. Every character on the show has called her (including her self abasement in the classic scene with her flipping out at the nursing station. I thought it was done, over finished yet here we are again with a con-artist and a pimp (Ethan) as a voice of reason when previously he supported her in her doom and gloom storyline with Nikolas.

    I don’t see Lucky’s sins being reiterated and bellowed by the entire town or that Sam hired thugs or slept with her mother’s husband on the floor of her mother’s house or that she married men for money and pleaded no contest to prostitution.. . all this was hushed up during operation whitewash.

    why?

    because it was said by Brian Frons that she can only be written with a “positive” focus so I would venture to guess by what I have seen since he came on board that is when Elizabeth started being written with a “negative” focus. Elizabeth Webber has not caught any breaks in writing and I believe it is to stifle her popularity. He hired her back only to trash her more thoroughly. For quite a few months after her return I saw improvement in the writing of this character.

    But now its back to this redundancy (just as they reiterate Jason’s wedding date (and he’s on his honey moon) to absurdity what is the point of this character “never catching a break?” Unfortunately being called by newbies Ethan and another round w/Maxi and being thrown overboard by another newbie is messaging by Frons on what he thinks of Elizabeth Webber. Its all there…this one reason why I’ve tuned out they can beg me back all they want but until I read that politics will stop dictating storylines to pimp their pets I’m over and out of this farce of a soap opera.

    • Elizabeth wasn’t actually present for the Luke and Maxie conversations. And to be fair, Maxie was the only one who flat out called her a slut. Luke and Ethan were less blatant but equally judgmental, IMO.

      As for why… I’m not much for conspiracy theories; I think simple incompetence explains most of the crap we get more than any actual malevolent intentions. That said, there have been rumors for years that Frons doesn’t find her attractive or believe the character is appealing. *shrugs* I am hopeful that all this tearing Liz down is going to precede something good — I’m actually enjoying her with Matt, so… who knows?

  6. Wait a second – how does Sonny have 7 kids by 6 women? Unless I’m majorly missing something, I only count four, by three different women. Dante, with Olivia. Michael, who is biologically AJ’s. Kristina, with Alexis. And Morgan, with Carly. Unless we’re counting babies who were never born, like the baby Lily was carrying when she died, I’m pretty sure that’s it. And if we start counting unborn babies, that would push Elizabeth’s count up too, since she was pregnant with Ric’s baby (and Jax’s too at a later point, but that was as a surrogate) before she miscarried.

    That’s not to say Sonny isn’t a complete slut, of course. He is. I’m just not sure how you got that number.

    As for the rest of it – I think both the writers and the viewers of soaps get pretty confused about whether or not we should be judging these characters by real-life standards. It’s something I waffle back-and-forth on quite a bit myself. The fact is, if I looked at these characters the way I would look at real people, there would seriously not be one character left for me to root for, except perhaps Robin. Aside from all the cheating, how many of these characters have not killed someone, and/or committed a serious crime at least once? Not many. Elizabeth is far from the worst of the bunch. If I knew Elizabeth in real life, I would probably think “Wow, three kids with three different guys? I wonder how THAT happened. Still, she seems very nice, and it’s not honestly any of my business.” If I knew Sonny in real life, however… well, I *wouldn’t* know him, because the second I saw him, I would start running in the opposite direction and not stop until I was sure I’d lost him.

    As for how the characters interact with each other, obviously there is pretty much not one single character, male or female, who has room to judge Elizabeth based on their own past. But in the real world, as on the show, that probably wouldn’t stop them. Maxie doesn’t talk trash about Elizabeth because her delicate and exacting moral code is offended by Elizabeth’s indiscretions. She talks trash about Elizabeth because she is jealous and threatened by her, and has been since the days she was still being played by Robyn Richards. Maxie doesn’t care whether she’s morally entitled to judge the people she hates. She’ll do it anyway. There are a lot of people like that in real life too, and even the best of us often find it a lot easier to judge other people than to focus on our own flaws. As for Ethan and Luke, if anyone treated someone in my family the way Elizabeth has treated Lucky, I wouldn’t be half as nice as Luke and Ethan are to her. It wouldn’t matter whether or not I was being hypocritical. It wouldn’t matter that Lucky has done at least as much to Elizabeth as she’s done to him. When it comes to protecting the people you love, objectivity doesn’t always factor into the equation.

    The real issue here is that the writers choose to write these sorts of scenes more for some characters than others, and they choose what history is brought up constantly and what is forgotten. Most characters on the show have been called out for bad behavior, sexual or otherwise, at one point or another. Sonny just went through a period of being called out by almost everyone who used to like him (NOT that is wasn’t totally, 100% deserved – it totally was. And it was awesome to watch. I just wish it had led to some actual character growth.) Elizabeth is frequently told how wonderful she is by people like Robin, Patrick, Matt, Steve, Jason, and Lucky (who, despite thinking their relationship is toxic, pretty clearly does not blame her for what went wrong) so it’s not as if she’s the town pariah. I don’t know if I can honestly, accurately measure which characters get this treatment the most. How I judge these sorts of scenes depends a lot on whether there seems to be a purpose, and how recent/relevant the things being brought up are. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see Elizabeth being portrayed horribly negatively right now. I think the scenes with Ethan and Luke were more about her putting the past behind her. And Elizabeth was literally bashing Maxie at THE EXACT SAME TIME that Maxie was bashing her. To Maxie’s boyfriend, no less. So I didn’t really see this as one big “Let’s hate on Elizabeth Webber” party. But I know a lot of people feel differently *shrugs*.

    • Yeah, for Sonny, I’m counting any biological child he fathered, so: Dante, Kristina, Morgan, Baby Girl McCall, Carly’s baby that miscarried, Lily’s baby that was blown up, and Claudia’s baby that miscarried. And you’re right, including miscarriages, Liz’s count goes up by one (I wouldn’t include Jax’s surrogate because we’re talking about “sluttiness” and surrogacy doesn’t really fit that rubric.) Mainly, I wanted to make the point that when it comes to not being able to keep it in his pants AND not being particularly responsible in terms of birth control… Sonny takes the cake.

      Anyway, to address the meat of your comment, here’s my problem: I don’t watch this show for realism. I watch it to be entertained. And frankly, I deal with enough nasty misogyny in real life. I don’t want to see it here, in characters I’m supposed to otherwise like and support.

      It’s fine for Maxie to not like Elizabeth and to feel insecure about Matt. It’s fine for Luke and Ethan to think Liz is bad for Lucky. It’s not fine for the writers to choose to have them express those feelings by implying she’s a whore. That’s where it becomes no longer fun for me. Are there people in real life who react like that? Sure. And I don’t really want to spend time with them either. There are plenty of ways to have them criticize her without turning it into a slut shaming festival, you know?

      The real issue here is that the writers choose to write these sorts of scenes more for some characters than others, and they choose what history is brought up constantly and what is forgotten.

      Agreed.

  7. Luke should keep his mouth shut where Liz is concerned since she forgave his drunk azz for running over and killing four year old Jake! No, I have not forgotten that that Luke basically was given a free pass and wasn’t even arrested for leaving the scene of an accident after killing a child. GH for all intent and purposes, act like Luke killing Jake was not even a blip on their radar.

  8. If there is one thing I am sooo happy and grateful about that I could just fall on my knees and thank these writers it’s that someone has FINALLY stopped dumping and flinging mud at Elizabeth! IT was awful, so bad I actually thought maybe BH would do better on a soap that actually appreciates her! I love BH, she’s a great actress, and I love Liz. It’s so nice and so refreshing that Elizabeth is back to Elizabeth, being the caring, loving, hardworking and dedicated nurse and mother that she is. No, she’s not perfect but saying she was WORSE than Maxie, or Sam or Carly? Give me a break, please! Three kids with three different fathers in Soap Opera Standards is actually pretty clean.

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