The vampire thing is a metaphor, right?
September 3, 2010 by blue milk
I really enjoy the feminist analysis of True Blood going on at Feministe, Racialicious and Womanist Musings. This season (3) there has been much talk on those forums about all the violence against women going on in True Blood, which I can understand, I mean the vampires are certainly badly behaved but I have to admit to also feeling a little “meh, they’re vampires” on the whole topic, too. I kind of expect my vampires to be lacking in some willingness to observe the boundaries of others.
(Is this not the most ridiculous magazine cover for a TV show ever? There are some friends I have been trying to convince to try out True Blood, and they’ve been like – a show about vampires, and you’re how old? – and this magazine cover is not helping matters.)
And yet, when we started watching the Dexter series
on DVD this week I managed to be completely appalled by the misogyny. The entire television show (at least in season 1), has a major madonna-whore complex. I get that the show is about serial killers and that serial killers are generally depicted killing women, I can swallow that bit of misogyny, but the show has two very different responses to the various female victims depending on whether or not they were the madonnas of the world or the whores. When a madonna gets got Dexter is motivated to go to all sorts of lengths to bring the serial killing motherfucker (figuratively, and sometimes literally a fucker of wholesome mother types) down. But when a whore gets got, everyone, and not just Dexter, thinks it’s some sort of devilishly thrilling game being played by the serial killer and that we should all clap hands in anticipation of the fun that is about to begin. Jokes about the woman’s severed head and admiration of her lovely carved-up arse all follow as part of the weary cynicism of the hip crime solver. Now I will admit that sex workers don’t fare much better on True Blood, they have on occasion been little more than fodder for a vampire’s grazing but the show seems somehow less gleeful about that prospect. At least the fetishism doesn’t extend to his or her mutilated body parts. (Goddamn! for poor sex workers. When you’re done providing background colour in this scene can you please trot over and feed the vampires and serial killers?) Surely there is more to my inconsistencies than that I now find vampires hot and Dexter not? (In evidence against me I found this feminist analysis of Dexter – here
I think vampires are supposed to be a metaphor for our collective fear of the sexual appetite? Which must mean that I dig that fear or something. I am probably not the best judge of anything when lust is involved. My moral compass can be jammed from time to time. For instance, I have really been unnecessarily forgiving of the Labor Party’s failed emissions trading scheme because I have a crush on the Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong. Whenever she is on television trying to justify said collapse of carbon market I find myself thinking how can we be angry with poor foxy Penny Wong?
I probably shouldn’t be writing a feminist blog.