Friday, October 05, 2007

Subverting the Patriarchal Zombie Paradigm: Pandagon on Zombie Feminism

Great post on Pandagon by Amanda Marcotte about a new book coming:

Anyway, my point is that my respect for Faludi’s judgment was strengthened by Stiffed, and this review by Rebecca Traister of her new book The Terror Dream makes me really excited to read it. The book is about how the country responded to the horror of 9/11 in no small part by lashing out at women and telling itself untenable fairy stories about masculine bravery and courage. The urge to be skeptical immediately strikes—it’s so silly to involve feminist analysis in stories of war and terror!—but now that conservatives who found solace in their masculine dominance fantasies are watching their ideas of how to handle terrorism crumble before them...

Then she goes on about how rightwing bloggers are attacking Glenn Greenwald by making "subtle" insinuations about his masculinity via his sexual orientation.

There is a great quote of Jessica Valenti's: “If feminism is already dead–why try so hard to kill it?” And that's why I decided to post about this. I have a great interest in zombies after seeing the original Romero Dawn of the Dead. The zombie is such an enduring trope--it means many things to many people. For me, I just revel in its metaphor, in the Gurdjieffian sense of not being able to "wake up". But now I see that "waking up" isn't about waking up in this sense. It's about the ostensibly "walking dead" as the actual living. Zombie taken at superficial level are about mindlessness, especially mindless killing and in Dawn of the Dead, mindless consumerism, conformity, pop culture, surburbia and advanced stage capitalism. But Zombie's are the walking dead; and the walking dead is a tired view of the world. Just look at Thomas "Rasputin Wormtongue" Friedman:

Look at our infrastructure. It’s not just the bridge that fell in my hometown, Minneapolis. Fly from Zurich’s ultramodern airport to La Guardia’s dump. It is like flying from the Jetsons to the Flintstones. I still can’t get uninterrupted cellphone service between my home in Bethesda and my office in D.C. But I recently bought a pocket cellphone at the Beijing airport and immediately called my wife in Bethesda — crystal clear.

This is from an article entitled 9/11 is over. As in, for Zombie Friedman, 9/11 is dead. The sub-geniuses at Sadly, No! brought my attention to this article with a post entitled "We are the dead," Now, this is just some runny rumination dripping out of dead dogs eye (mine, not thine), but it seems to me that the Zombie movie (not the Zombie metaphor) is about the LIFE that the zombie leads. They are the celebrants. They are the ones in the streets, clamoring, going out and fetching what they want. We are hiding in our houses waiting for a zombie attack. We are the dead waiting for life to throttle us and eat our already emptied minds out.

And then back to feminism. Those who wish to marginalize feminism would no doubt, if they haven't already, equate feminism to zombism--as in those "mindless, Gloria Steinemites, manbrain-bashers." The feminist zombies chant, chillingly, "Brains...brains...women have brains...." And Marcotte connects zombism with feminism, I believe mostly ironically, in the aforementioned post: she imagines masculinist "Feminism won't die! Why won't you die!" But I postulate that the irony dissipates if the zombie-paradigm is reinterpreted, put on its head, and seen at its deepest level: We envy the undead, for we are merely the dead.

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