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Gender in Walking Dead and Misfits - The Ex-Communicator

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December 16th, 2010


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10:40 am - Gender in Walking Dead and Misfits
The two SF shows whch have brought me back to SF telly in the past month are The Walking Dead and Misfits. I have been quite heavily critical of gender roles in The Walking Dead, and unless the show rebuilds itself radically in the next season, I think the way women are portrayed will be a real problem for me. In my opinion the gender issue here is straightforward, and it's just plain bad. As jekesta said the other day 'when they escape from their homes, the men pack guns, the women pack photos'. Kind of sums it up. So, for me WD is a show with many exciting features, and some serious flaws.

Misfits is a different kettle of fish altogether. The flaws in the presentation of gender and sexuality are kind of built into the show, and revelled in, and - look I might come across as a complete twerp saying this but I'm going to press on - seriously I think the problems in the portrayal of gender are there to bring out the contradictions, or to throw up the issues into view. Coming round to this feeling is absolutely the core of my conversion to being a big fan of this show. And everything might go horribly wrong, I know, because it's the series finale tonight, but I am sticking my neck out to say this show is one of the few that Do It Right. I would not blame you for being sceptical about this claim, and I plan to post a bit more on this. Even if I am wrong, I think it is very interesting that this is even something you can be wrong about.

If you are interested in this issue and want to read a very well stated feminist counter-view (someone who disagrees completely with what I just said) here is a meta-analysis of gender in Misfits by aphrodite_mine. She has decided to stop watching the show, about the time I have fallen in love with it. And here is a 120+ comment-thread about gender on the misfits livejournal community, in reaction to her thoughts. Boy, I am loving this debate.

ETA links to three more livejournal reactions to gender on Misfits, which I have nabbed from a comment by goddess09807

kohler's Representations of Race and Gender in Misfits

da_phoenix13's Misfits paper: Femininity and Female Disempowerment in Misfits

goddess09807's Alisha-centric meta: "Feel free to check out my tits, yeah?"

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