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A brief history of the Fembot in the red robe

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welcome to Tail your daily distraction from curated video content from all over the web. Today we’re watching a video essay on the symbolism and aesthetics of dangerous (and often robotic) women in red dresses.


We would all like to believe that the human mind is an impenetrable fortress. That we know our brains and that we would know when they are being tapped.

This is of course not the case. Indeed, our monkey brain reacts to many stimuli at the subconscious level. And these responses are exploited, intentionally, by forces in the know. Like marketing agencies who know that seeing the color red makes you hungry, so it pays to paint the ads accordingly.

But red also has connotations of another kind of hunger. There is a strong cultural association between the color red and a very specific type of female sexuality. He intones a standard of beauty that is both idealized and militarized: a lady in red; a vamp; a scarlet whore from Babylon.

Which brings us to the fembot and its often dangerous scarlet spectacle. As the video essay below suggests, Hollywood sci-fi uses connotations of the lady in red to a grand, and sometimes self-reflective, effect. The red clad fembot is not just a symbol of purposeful femininity or a reduction of femininity in the media. At its most daring, it’s a reminder of our humanity and the programming that, ironically, makes us most machine-like.

Look “Fembot in red dress“:

Who made this?

Allison de Fren is a writer, teacher and media scholar who focuses on the relationship between the body and technology. She teaches at Occidental College in Los Angeles. His documentary The Mechanical Bride examines the modern phenomenon of artificial dolls for sex and companionship. You can follow her on Vimeo here.

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