Robert Redmond

Doctor of Philosophy, (English)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
The Femme Fatale in Postfeminist Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction: Redundant or Re-Inventing Herself?

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

For centuries the femme fatale, whatever her guise, acted as a warning to all men that women are dangerous. This sentiment served as a justification for men to exercise control over women. Mr Redmond examined the place of the femme fatale in postfeminist hard-boiled crime fiction.  He suggested that the demands of feminism and the consequential reshaping of the established order have made the femme fatale almost redundant. The femme fatale is no longer a reliable fantasy against which male identity can define and sustain itself. The threat to this fantasy serves to destabilise the subordination of women that lies at the cultural heart of hegemonic masculinity. Mr Redmond explored selected authors and texts from postfeminist crime fiction to show the slow disentanglement of patriarchy’s central myth that perceives woman as the quintessential “other.”

Dr Doreen D'Cruz
Associate Professor Jenny Lawn