Having discovered that Womanist Musings and Viva la Feminista are both Walking Dead fans and then there’s also me and one of my bestest and oldest feminist friends who are completely mad for zombies, I think we can safely say based on my sample of four – feminism/womanism and zombies, it’s a thing. Are you watching The Walking Dead? It has a lot of the stuff I like – zombies!, survivalist drama and then also some brilliantly eery apocalyptic landscapes. The zombie apocalypse theme brings up some interesting questions for the role of women. It’s the end of the world as we know it, will we be doing all the cooking and cleaning in our little band of human survivors or will we, men and women alike, share the load of domestic work and warrior work according to our skills and enthusiasm? Think carefully about this, because gender discrimination costs us significant output in the world right now and one can only image what that cost would be when the zombies try coming for us.
There is some interesting discussion happening about The Walking Dead and these questions over at Balancing Jane and here on Huffington Post and also, on Tom and Lorenzo. (Spoiler warnings for all those links, they’re variously progressed through the series further than Australian television). It is lovely to see so many fan discussion boards lighting up over the issue of better character development for the female characters in the show, too. There’s definitely some writing problems happening in The Walking Dead and that’s all being duly noted at those links – all the survivors in the show are annoying, in fact so much so that the love triangle going on has absolutely no sexual tension. And I normally have quite the weakness for shaved-head, shouty men but I’m not getting anything for Shane. Still, there’s zombies and you already know how I feel about zombies.
Finally, SPOILER, it is interesting to see how the topic of abortion is handled in season 2. If there was ever a time when you could justify abortion then surely the zombie apocalyse is it, but this is television so the ‘nobody ever gets an abortion on TV ever’ rule endures.