oh you're in my veins (hbics) wrote,
oh you're in my veins

the thing about hannah burley

This is a rant that's been a long time coming. Sticking up for Hannah when almost no one else would pretty much made me have ALL THE HANNAH FEELINGS. I've pretty much driven my friends and family to not ask me anything about Bones because, intentional or not, I will inevitably end up in a rant about Hannah Burley and the problem with how that fandom sees women.

So I'm here to explain them, because I believe she's a really great person. She's a strong character that was never used to her full potential. She is relatable. She is not a mary sue or the biggest bitch to ever walk the earth (trust me, I've seen both extremes from the Bones fandom). This is why I love her, relate to her and will stick up for her forever.

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“You don’t know who I am, so you don’t trust me. Maybe you hate me a little, or even a lot. I might be trying to steal your dad ship.
Wouldn’t it be better if you knew for sure what was going on, so you’d have a real reason to hate me?” –
Hannah Burley

Okay so maybe this is her talking to Parker, but the point still applies to the rest of the fandom. They don't know her, they make literally no effort to. They see her life from Booth's side and that's it. She affects his life, he doesn't affect hers. She was a secondary character, so it does make sense, but seeing as people have kind of done that with Brennan lately (I'll explain it specifically later), I feel like despite Booth being a conservative and patriarchal person, a lot of the fandom sees the show from his point of view. The thing is, the writers have sort of disguised his point of view into Brennan's point of view. Does anyone remember Temperance Brennan from the early seasons? Who didn't want kids or marriage? That's Temperance Brennan to me. That's who she is and what she's become is a pale comparison to what she used to be. I am not accepting her "motherly redemption arc" as her character. It's Booth's. He's the one who wants kids and marriage. He's always wanted that. So recent seasons Brennan? Kinda of feels like just her doing everything for Booth. Maybe I'm a little biased in that assumption, but the fact remains is she has less agency than she started with. Hannah is so much more than what you see from Booth's point of view. From Booth's point of view, she didn't want to marry him. From Booth's point of view that's all she should have wanted. These characters are not these characters in relation to him. They are their own characters. They have their own fears, hopes and dreams and the fact that so many people can't see that and assume they want what Booth wants (only to hate them when they don't) baffles me.

Why does everyone hate Hannah Burley? I have to say, I’ve seen lots of reasons why, none that particularly make any sense. They either are entirely out there or have no evidence in canon. I excluded arguments made against Hannah because of traits Katheryn has from this list, because honestly, those have no basis in rational thinking.

A few gems include:

  • “Henceforth Hannah shall be known as Voldemort Barbie.”

  • A Journalist from ZapIt tweeted: Booth’s ex Hannah just strolled into bowling alley. @Stamos and I realize she is just an actress and promise not to punch her. For now.

  • It is completely unbelievable that Hannah and Brennan could be friends and pass the bechdel together because Hannah is supposed to be Temperance’s enemy because “Brennan wants her boyfriend.”

  • Someone added pictures of Hannah to their collage about the darker side of humanity.

  • Implying that Bones hates Hannah when there is ABSOLUTELY NO CANON EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT IT.

  • Likewise, all canon characters hate Hannah, again, NO EVIDENCE IN CANON.

  • She has been compared to the serial killers from the show. Also Howard Epps/Hannah Burley (do I even need to say no basis?)

  • BuddyTV: Evil Hannah = Real Hannah

I think what irritates me the most about this is that there are irrational arguments from journalists among all the general fan ridiculousness. The fact that journalists think it's okay to rat and hate on her and threaten punching Katheryn Winnick (which honest to god I wish they had done because she could have kicked their asses so hard. I highly doubt they're also black belts.)

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She’s a well-developed character (and why the show didn’t act on any of the character they developed for her will always confuse me) with goals, ambitions, opinions that she sticks to. She’s a believable character. She’s the character on the show I can relate to most. I love her and here's why:

Hannah Burley is determined, independent and stubborn to a fault. She doesn’t let things get in her way and she sticks to her guns when she believes in something. These opinions she sticks to are arguably the only rational arguments against her character, but they are still a double standard, as no one would hate a male character for sticking to his beliefs.

ONE. She’s a journalist; she finds the truth regardless of where that takes her. She’s a war correspondent in Afghanistan, she knows that it sometimes requires a little danger. She needs to get to the bottom of her stories and she’s willing to go far for them. When she gets shot in the leg pursuing a story about local drug dealers, her boyfriend aka the lovely Seeley Booth asks her to stop, for her own safety (which to me sounds suspiciously like “I’m a man and it’s my job to protect you.”) She says okay. After Booth leaves, Temperance Brennan asks her again, because she’s Booth’s friend and doesn’t want to see him hurt and also because Temperance has an inkling feeling that Hannah’s not going to stop following the story. She’s right and what follows is a real conversation between the two. Hannah explains that while she respects that Booth wants to be protective and that he’s worried, she’s not going to let someone else get in the way of doing her job. She’ll lie to him so he doesn’t worry, but what she does for her is for her. "Would you back down, Temperance, if you thought you were woking on something important?, Hannah reminds Brennan that she’d be doing the same thing. They’re similar in that they’re not going to stop doing their jobs because the men they know want to be protective of them. Or at least Brennan as she’d originally been written wouldn’t.

TWO. She doesn’t like kids. Well she likes kids, but I don’t think she really wants to have any. Which makes her a unique female character on Bones. Scratch that, Temperance didn’t want kids. Oh but then the show pulled the whole “redemptive mother arc” on her so she'd actually want them because she’s a woman and that's what we're all supposes to do. So yeah, she’s still pretty unique. From what I can remember, Hannah doesn’t believe she’s a nurturing person around kids and has made the conscious decision to not have any. She makes the effort to interact with Parker for Booth’s sake, but even then, she treats Parker more like an adult than I think anyone on the show ever has. She reasons with him; she doesn’t dumb down anything for him. She still doesn’t want kids.

THREE. She doesn’t want to get married. She values her independence, and she doesn’t want to lose that to marriage or kids. She does love others, but she also loves being her own person. It doesn’t mean she didn’t love Booth, she did. She just prefers staying in the girlfriend area because marriage to her means relying too much on another person. She’s not the marrying kind, as she says. Yet, Booth ignores the three whole times she says this to him, and decides to propose anyway. As a result, Hannah is “a bitch because she led him on and now won’t marry him.” I’m pretty sure if Booth had respected Hannah as a independent human being he would have got the memo. I still maintain that it’s Booth’s fault for not listening to her. She doesn’t budge on the issue because it’s a fundamental belief she has about herself. I think the problem with Booth is that he likes independent women, but he never wants them to be independent when he imagines their life together: he wants to be the one in charge, the one who protects and the one who always knows what to do. I don’t think Hannah or Temperance are the right kind of person for him, because they are both self-reliant to a fault.

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Fandom subjects her to a double standard where they hate her for her faults but then they also hate her because she’s a bland, mary-sue-ish character. You cant have both, Bones fandom. She’s one or the other, and in my opinion she’s neither. She’s a fantastic character. She values her own independence more than any character I’ve ever seen. Even in a show that values women who work in traditionally male-dominated fields (Camille, Temperance, Caroline, etc) she pushes boundaries.

It's why I love her.

Tags: !tv: bones, &actor: katheryn winnick, &character: hannah burley, otp: we are. we are quite a pair, q u a l i t y

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