Jacqui: I'm beginning to question the division of labor here.What followed was a discussion of the things they miss about the pre-zombified world. Carol makes a joke and the women laugh together. Ed notices and stumbles down the hill. Andrea bothered by Ed's hovering presence confronts him and suggest that he do his own laundry. Ed gestures to Carol to come with him. Andrea interjects and advocates for her. Ed grabs Carol by her arm and begins pulling her up the hill. The women protest and follow after. He slaps Carol, and the woman attacks him. Shane runs in and grabs Ed pulls him away and tosses him on the ground and pummels his face. The group of women watches the scene distraught.
Amy: The world ended didn't you get the memo?
Carol: It is just the way it is. (TWD S1E3)
Last week between classes I had an interesting discussion with two of co-conspirators of my social work studies. I forget how we got on to the subject. Someone mentioned the film Fight Club and I asked, "Could you picture Fight Club with women?" No, they responded. I asked or they asked (I forget);What makes it difficult to imagine Fight Club with women? My thought was that men and woman think about and act out respect differently.
The group of woman cleaning clothes while criticizing the hetornormative hierarchy also reinforce it by not act upon their frustration. The criticism serves to reinforce the social norms by providing equal weight to all perspectives during the discussion. No one is told that they are wrong or expected to justify their claims. So, while Jacqui and Andrea are scratching at the feminist dialectic challenging the hetronormative hierarchy they do not have intentions to move beyond whining. In a very real way their conversation “is what it is” and is nothing more. Their words are just words. The problem in isolating how you believe the world should be from how others think the world should be is that by avoiding confrontation a set of common values in which to act collectively is foreclosed. Without tension there can be no change.
In community organizing theory, there are three types of people in the world; selfish, selfless and self-interested. A selfless person is a person who denies the self in relation to others. In this scenario Carol plays the role of a selfless person who is seeking to minimize the conflict for others, while denying what is in her own interest. Shane is a selfish person who is only concerned about himself. On the one hand, he is trying to maintain order in the camp, which ultimately have to do with his own personal survival, and he is seeking to displace his anger from being told off by Lori in a previous scene. Andrea is also a selfish person because standing up to Ed was more about her sense of right and wrong than what was in Carol's interest. Although there was a moment when they became self-interested people in order to fend off Ed's assault. In this brief moment they were acting out of a collective interest to fend off a mutual threat.
I would argue that the disgusted looks on the women faces are not rooted in the shock of the violence Shane brought to them, but in the emotionally crippling moment where he stole their power to solve a problem on their own.
Check out the next article in this series: Philosophizing The Walking Dead S1E4 Vatos And Occupy The Brainz