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English-language version of Luistxo Fernandez's blog

Post-feminist mad men

Luistxo Fernandez 2012/11/04 12:45

I think that feminism's cause is one the great struggles of our age. Issues of gender and sexual-choice freedom are essential, I think, for a more just and viable society. Seeing so much repression, anger, intolerance and violence around those questions is painful.

Still, I don't call myself a feminist man. I think it would be a little bit presumptuous. I'm probably too attached to the burdens of growning up in a heteronornative environment, not freed from my own fears and prejudice, and still occasionally I fall on the sexist cliche or joke  (maybe too often). But I want to be a feminist. I try to learn, to correct my missteps. I'm educating myself (and I have found good friendship and advice in that regard), reading authors like Virginie Despentes or Marlene LeGates. And I think that it is an achievable goal, to be a feminist man, and recognize myself as such. I'm confident I will eventually make it :-)

In that learning curve on my own, a new concept that I didn't know: post-feminism. A Basque writer with a post-doc position now in London, Katixa Agirre, instructed me about that, about her work. She's found the issue and studied the subject in a fascinating TV series: Mad Men. Agirre told me: watch it, it's good, but be aware of the post-feminist morale in it (and she briefly described that to me, so I grasped a little bit of it, but not fully, to be true).


But now Agirre has published an essay on the question ('Whenever a man takes you to lunch around here': Tracing postfeminist sensibility in Mad Men). A text that will make more sense to you if you have seen at least a couple of Mad Men seasons. The paper brings a clear explanation of that post-feminist concept, the delusional idea that maybe these gender issues have already been corrected in our modern society... The essay is a delicious piece of film-psichology: how she dissects each and everyone of the characters. Mad Men is hypnotic, in a sense, I've felt glued to its narrative season after season (I've watched up to S04), now I have some clues about why that hypnosis happens, and I, even if I think that the next season will be as lustfully adictive as the previous one, I'll open my critical eye, and at the same time watch and enjoy with no remorse. Porn without guilt, of course.

Katixa Agirre, Basque writer.


Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

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