Culture & History Digital Journal, Vol 2, No 1 (2013)

Queering Gender: The New Femme Fatale in Almodóvar’s La mala educación (2004)

Brígida M. Pastor
ILLA, CCHS-CSIC, Madrid, Spain


It is difficult to define film genres in the post-modern cinema, as they are strongly influenced by the conventions of classic genres. Within this context the emergence of transgressive or “dissident” identities have populated such genres and particularly the creation of a modern femme fatale has become a popular and polemical character in contemporary fiction. This new transgressive identity deviates from its counterpart in classical cinema-film noir. Pedro Almodóvar’s La mala educación (2004) reveals that the modern femme fatale has become at the turn of the twenty-first century an integral part of the queer community, thus proposing a new filmic platform of queering gender for the vindication of the rights of the (“other”) stigmatized identities.


Queer; Gender; Femme Fatale; Cinema; Almodóvar; Bad Education

Full Text:



Ainlay, S. C. and Crosby, F. (1986) “Stigma, justice, and the dilemma of difference”. In The Dilemma of Difference: A Multidisciplinary View of Stigma, edited by Ainlay, S. C., Becker, G. and Coleman, L. M. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 17–37.

Butler, Judith (2004) Undoing Gender. Routledge, New York.

Dyer, Richard (1998) “Post Script: Queers and Women in Film Noir”. In Women in Film Noir, edited by Kaplan, E.A. British Film Institute, London, pp. 123–129.

Fonseca Hernández, Carlos and Quintero Soto, María Luisa (2009) “La Teoría Queer: la de-construcción de las sexualidades periféricas”, Sociológica, 69: 43–60. [accessed 28/May/ 2013]

Goffman, E. (1963) Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. Simon & Schuster, Inc, New York.

Kahn, Vali Dagmar (2011) “The Social Negotiation of Ambiguous In-Between Stigmatized Identities: Investigating Identity

Processes in Multiracial and Bisexual People”, Graduate Doctoral Dissertations. Paper 59. doctoral_dissertations/59 [accessed 12/June/2013]

Martin, Angela (1998) “Gilda Didn’t Do All Those Things You’ve Been Losing Sleep Over; The Central Woman of 1940s Film Noir”. In Women in Film Noir, edited by Kaplan, E.A. British Film Institute, London, pp. 201–215. PMid:9705608 PMCid:PMC1781835

Martínez-Expósito, Alfredo (2004) “Construcción visual de la homosexualidad en el cine español de los años noventa”, Antípodas, XV: 113–26.

Martínez-Expósito, Alfredo and Fouz-Fernández, Santiago (2007) Live Flesh: The Male Body in Contemporary Spanish Cinema. IB Tauris, London and New York.

Mulvey, Laura (1996) Fetishism and Curiosity. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

Mulvey, Laura (2000) “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”. In Feminism and Film, edited by Kaplan, E.A. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 39–40.

Pastor, Brígida (2006) “Screening Sexual and Gendered Otherness in Almodóvar’s Law of Desire (1987) - The Real ´Sexual Revolution´“ Studies in European Cinema, 3: 7–23.

Stables, Kate (1998) “The Postmodern Always Rings Twice: Constructing the Femme Fatale”. In Women in Film Noir, edited by Kaplan, E.A. British Film Institute, London, pp. 47–68.

Walker, Deborah (2006) “Re-reading the Femme Fatale in Film Noir: An Evolutionary Perspective”. Journal of Moving Image Studies, 5: 1–25. [accessed 28/May/2013]

Copyright (c) 2013 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Technical support: