|Yes, this is me at 13 working in a haunted house.|
This is going to be a long one, so please, bear with me.
Being a horror fan has never been easy, regardless of gender. We're often confused as Satanists, or assumed to have demented fantasies about killing other people. When a kid shoots up a school, they don't blame their mental health stability, they blame the influence of violent forms of media. Horror is used as a scapegoat to explain away the problems in society, when in retrospect, the horror community is filled with some of the most generous and giving individuals known to man. Often viewed as a "guys' genre," the all-boys club of horror has put up these strange barriers in regards to the way it treats women. Many horror films are inherently misogynist (V/H/S/ anyone?) and the most classic of horror movie formulas are centered around the fact women are the "weaker" of the sexes. In the last few years, women have been bonding together with things like Women In Horror Recognition month in an attempt to give light to the overshadowed women working in the industry. It's an amazing thing to see female horror fans working together, because there are many more of us than people seem to understand. However, the fight against female horror fans isn't completely in the hands of men. No. We women are just as guilty of spreading hatred towards women, and it's time we change that.
For those that follow me on twitter, you may have seen random tweets geared towards some disgusting comments that have been left on my blog. For a long time, I was forced to put comment moderation (and even get rid of the option to post anonymously) because the things said to me and about me were downright disturbing. I was sexually harassed, slut-shamed, body-shamed, told I was deserving of rape, and called every derogatory term for "woman" that one could imagine. I honestly think urbandictionary could have an entire sub-page dedicated for the terminology used against me. I had someone "catfish" on okcupid using my name, website, and photos. I received threatening and derogatory emails daily that resembled the prank phone calls of Serial Mom. For the past two years, I've been weary to write anything because the harassment was getting so severe I wasn't sure I could handle it. All I kept asking was "why?" Why don't my male counterparts get this sort of harassment? Why is everyone telling me to "buck up" when I'm getting constant harassment by the hour, even when I hadn't written in over two weeks? Why were these people spending so much time trying to break me down? Today, I got my answer.
|Rebekah McKendry of FANGORIA|
This woman in question is, in her words, "a fucking lady C.H.U.D. undeserving of any sort of compassion." This right away shows me that this woman has serious self esteem issues that I cannot help with, but she used it against me. "Why do you get to be beautiful? The only thing I have in my back pocket to use to possibly allure men with is my horror knowledge, and now beautiful women like you are doing the same? It's just not fair. You can't be both." At this point, my heart began to break. This sort of mindset is something that I knew men used against women (ie: beautiful cosplayers are 'fake geek girls') but I never really sat down to think about the way women interact with each other on a basis of appearance. She even admitted to being the one who made the fake account on okCupid using my credentials. She only deleted it once she saw on twitter that I had been informed of the fake account, but she had "cyber sex" with many men pretending to be me. Sorry to those out there that were duped, but it wasn't me. I've been grateful to have a core group of fellow women in horror that don't image-shame each other, but this woman opened my eyes to something today that doesn't get talked about nearly enough.
|A still from the documentary FANTASM|