YMMV Community Discussion

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02:27:47 AM Dec 10th 2011
This was listed under Unfortunate Implications:

  • the use of Shirley as a fundie christian bigot. ignoring that its a slightly more likeable version of Angela from The Office, it becomes more unnacceptable when you remember she has children, passing down a prejudice of non-christians and gays and ect to them.
    • It's a bit harsh and untrue to call Shirley a fundie. She learned to be accepting of her friends having different beliefs, and she probably wouldn't even want to hang out with them if she was a fundie.
    • Shirley is mostly just sheltered. Jeff has been pinned down to being about 33, while Shirley is two years older than him. One of her children is at least ten, which means she was a mother by the time she was 24-25. So most likely she has spent most of her life being a mother and a housewife and attending Greendale is probably her first experience dealing with people not fairly similar to her.

As well as the apparent disagreement over whether Shirley can reasonably be called a fundamentalist Christian and the points raised above — that she is accepting of her friends despite their differences — even for YMMV it doesn't seem like an accurate use of the trope; Shirley's more questionable beliefs are routinely mocked and shown to be less-than-positive aspects of her character, suggesting we're not supposed to find these elements admirable or worthy of respect (and at the very least, it suggests that the creators have thought about this, and since this trope is about potentially offensive things the creators didn't appear to consider it doesn't seem to fit on those grounds). And much as some may disapprove or find it distasteful, having a fundamentalist Christian character is not in and of itself an Unfortunate Implication; they exist in real life, so they're a valid subject for fiction.

At the very least, if this is going to be included as an example I think it needs to be reworked.
01:24:47 PM Feb 26th 2013
I also just want to point out that in "Advanced Gay" it was said that Shirley was pro-gay rights.
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