Women in refrigerators is a term used in Comic Book Fandom and, to a lesser extent, SciFi Fandom and overall narrative media geekdom, to describe a common trope where a woman's intense suffering is used to kickstart or progress the male protagonist's storyline. The woman is typically the protagonist's partner, family member, or love interest.
The origin of the term is in a specific comic book story, where the protagonist finds his female partner murdered, and hidden in his refrigerator.
WiR is a trope in aggregate, and while well-built solid narratives that use the trope well, it is the overall pattern, not individual works, that forms the problem.
- Points of objection
- cheapening and normalizing murder, abuse, and sexual violence of women by rote execution of the trope
- sexualisation of the same
- the use of female characters as disposable plot enhancers, especially if the Sexy Lamp test comes out positive
- Women in Refrigerators on Wikipedia
- Women in Refrigerators website
- Original list of women in refrigerators
- Additions to the list at comicvine.com
- WiR category at the DC comics wiki
- 10 worst women in refrigerators
- WiR at tvtropes.org
Note that many of the women on the list were also victims of sexual violence. WiR is an example of rape culture as seen through comics.