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Mild spoilers for The Ring (US – 2002).

In “Horror Week 2012: The Terror of Little Girls: Social Anxiety About Women in Horrifying Girlhood” (and the version on Indiewire), Leigh Kolb takes a look at how social anxieties about women lead to the horror trope of the monstrous or evil little girl, as seen in The Exorcist, The Ring, and a host of other movies.

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Via Hollaback Boston (Facebook) “Costumes [do not equal] Consent. My costume doesn’t make me your TRICK or your TREAT.”

Via Make Me a Sammich‘s Facebook page.

Boston-area readers, the Boston chapter of Hollaback, a group (and app) to document and end street harassment, is hosting a Halloween party!

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IMG_0597For those of you looking for a brief but in-depth run-through of all the lady monsters and their tropes in horror films, check out “Women That Go Bump In the Night: Lady-Monsters Of Cinema” by Stef on Autostraddle.

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IMG_0597Here’s another spooky story from Podcastle: “The Little Room” by Madeline Yale Wynne (1895). (Audio | Text). Mild spoilers follow for this story and “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

In addition to being a Bechdel-test-passing female-led story by a woman author, the other reason I wanted to share this is because it reminded me of “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

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I wrote about Frankenstein, M.D. before, and, more than halfway through the show, I am obsessed. (Spoilers for the original text and for Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, none for the show.)

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I first read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley in high school for fun, and while I enjoyed it, I don’t feel like I really “got” some of the themes or really appreciated that a woman invented science fiction. Last year, the Jonny Lee Miller/Benedict Cumberbatch Frankenstein* had a showing nearby, and it rekindled my interest in Frankenstein–but I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted a woman to play Dr. Frankenstein.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve seen The Haunting, but I think I’ll have to revisit it after reading “Making It Out Alive: Theodora and the Lesbians of Horror” by Hattie on Autostraddle:

Here’s what really hits me though. This is a portrayal of an out lesbian in a ’60s film from a book written in the ’50s — and it’s favourable. She’s not shown as predatory. She and Eleanor become good, supportive friends. And although a lot of horrors are written from a moralistic perspective (you do something bad = you get punished in a horrible scary way aka teenagers having premarital sex) — there is no moral judgement placed on Theo…. The house doesn’t punish her for her sexuality.


Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

 

The original novel, The Haunting of Hill House, on which the film is based is by Shirley Jackson, and I’ve got it on hold from the library.

A few notes regarding finding queer characters in older media: like the author of the article, you have learn to read between the lines in older media, what with the Hays Code and obscenity laws, queerness is often hidden in these works in the code words, nicknames, thematic elements, references, clothing, and longing glances as much as it is in what remains unsaid. As with Theo’s admission of living with someone but not gendering or putting a name or title to her partner. And coding yourself as queer, as a secret sign to other queer folks or even now, to set yourself apart from looking heteronormative, is still a thing, particularly if you’re trying to feel out an environment/person for safety.

Know any other horror media with queer characters portrayed positively? Leave me a comment!

I always do a little blurb on Take Back Halloween, since the site has been around as long as this blog has! The site aims to show readers how to make positive feminist costumes for Halloween.

Bessie Coleman via Taking Back Halloween

Bessie Coleman via Take Back Halloween

The site highlights notable historical and fictional women of all races from all over the world; gives instructions on how to create the outfits–usually through a combination of off-the-rack items and accessories, so even if you can’t sew, you can make the outfits; and also provides history lessons about the characters and historical figures, who fall into four major categories: Glamour Grrls, Goddesses and Legends, Notable Women, and Queens.

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