Friday, September 26, 2008

FMT: an intriguing new fail.

As I've already said, at great length, I take great exception to the way male sf/f/h writers get so hung up on sex work. And if most or all of the women in their story are sex workers, that's a really bad sign. But this, this is interesting, I dare say not good, but at least original in the realms of failure.

[Both the links in the next paragraph rate a warning for talk about rape/SA in abstract & imaginary situations.] has this piece up on what it describes as 'zombie feminism'. Basically it's a horror movie trend that's very like r&r in 80s fantasy fiction. They've written about three zombie films with unusual implications for women, but it's the second that pinged the FMT radar - Zombie Strippers:

This flick features porn star Jenna Jameson as a stripper bitten by a zombie infected by a government drug to keep soldiers fighting after they die. The more zombie-fied she gets, the more the clientele goes crazy for her. Even when she drags men into the back room and rips their throats out and bites their dicks off. Soon, the other strippers are begging to be infected too, so they can make more in tips.

Before long, nearly all the strippers are infected, and they've got a giant basement room full of all the reanimated, mutilated men they've been gnawing on. None of these strippers are being raped or murdered by men — they're just dealing with standard-issue stuff like objectification and the dangers of working in the sex industry. And yet it's hard not to see their undeaths as a kind of revenge on men who treat women like objects. These guys come to the strip club to "get some meat," and then they're turned into meat themselves.

The problem here is that the men actually like it. Their favorite strippers are the zombies, and the women have gained "power" only by becoming monsters. Just as our girl in Deadgirl can only fight back because she's a monster. So is the message of zombie feminism that a strong women is always a monster? That she must die and return as a ghoul in order to fight back against rape and less violent forms of sexism?

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