(Update: Turns out my tumor WAS malignant and I had to undergo severe abdominal surgery. They removed 40% of my pancreas and my entire spleen. I'm currently in recovery and doing pretty well. However, in lieu of a traditional article, I wanted to x-post an article I wrote as a guest for Gorepress last year. I hope you enjoy it!)
In honor of this year’s annual Women in Horror month celebration, there are going to be countless articles published about the errors in the ways the horror genre has represented women over the years. While the injustices of female filmmakers are greatly apparent and consistently topical, the idea of sexism and degrading roles of women in the horror genre are perhaps the most talked about subjects. It is no secret that the gender bias within the horror genre is prevalent and it is infrequent for a female character to be anything other than a ‘stock character’. I may be disappointing my feminist allies everywhere, because I’m about to play devil’s advocate in a huge way.
|I've seen Boy Scouts tie tighter knots.|
Before I continue any further, let it be known that I firmly believe that women can be strong and independent members of society capable of taking care of themselves and making their own decisions. I do not believe women are prizes to be won. My ability to analyze a potentially counterproductive aspect of film criticism does not change my feminist viewpoints.
|Why is hair smelling a thing?|
|Women: capable of continuing on the species.|
|*Plays Destiny's Child's "Survivor" in the background*|
Without the “damsel in distress,” we wouldn’t have a character to be offended and angry towards. That may sound silly, but it’s true. If we weren’t so intensely offended by this archetype, we wouldn’t have rebelled and tried so hard to disprove it. Strangely enough, horror movies showcase some of the greatest female protagonists in film history regardless of genre. The rebellion against the damsel in distress introduced entirely new archetypes into the horror genre. Badass women like Alice in Resident Evil or the ladies in The Descent, intellectual anti-heroes like May, women who learned to use their gender against men like Ginger in Ginger Snaps, victims turned champions like Jennifer in I Spit On Your Grave, and brutal killers like Asami in Audition. All of these women (whether for the ‘good’ or ‘evil’) are the complete and utter opposite of a damsel in distress. While many of them do follow stereotypically sexist ideals (they’re all conventionally attractive and they’re ‘crazy bitches’) these women would not exist if it weren’t for the “damsel in distress.” In an attempt to create characters so opposite of the damsels audiences had become accustomed to, it forced storytellers and filmmakers to think outside the box and come up with different ways to explore the female character.
|Just, you know, avoid that boat...|