In the course of doing this series of posts, I discovered Bitch Flicks and BJ Colangelo of Day of the Woman in my search for feminist horror analysis by horror fans. Today, I’d like to share with you Colangelo’s post “Women with Disabilities: The Undiscussed Horror Staple of Female Characters,” which discusses the trope of how and why women characters with disabilities are used as plot devices.
Whether it was because male writers needed to make their female characters SUPER vulnerable or whether they needed an excuse to make a woman “weaker,” adding a physical/mental/sensory disability to a woman became a quick way to differentiate female characters from the usual damsel in distress.
I haven’t seen a lot of the films, but I had noticed in Red Dragon (book and film) that the one woman who is nice to the villain is his blind coworker. She’s more vulnerable in some ways but at the same time, was relatively progressive in that she is a POV character who discusses her life at the school for the blind as well as in the seeing world and who is aware of the stereotypes about blind women.