Something to Watch For: Women in Horror Month
The majority of this post was taken from Hannah Neurotica’s (NSFW) WiH manifesto page. It is a bit long to swallow but the gist is: we’re here, we like horror, we’re not just pretty faces – recognize it!
To do my part, I am working on a “Women in Horror” Zine with all kinds of fun goodies! (If you’d like a copy, email me your address and BAM! See what happens.)
FEBRUARY 2010: 1st Annual Women In Horror Recognition Month Manifesto version 1.5
I am fucking claiming it. As a woman I have spent most of my life afraid to claim space for myself in the world. Building this website is about confronting that and from my impression I am so far from alone in this. It is not un-common for a lot of woman living in our openly patriarchal society to feel the burdens of their gender on a daily basis. Examples: Walking outside alone at night with the constant fear of attack, still being paid less for equal work, reproductive rights constantly threatened, body image self-esteem massacres in women’s magazines/popular media, etc etc. So who’s to say I need some outside source to grant me their godly permission to claim February as WOMEN IN HORROR RECOGNITION MONTH? Easy: I don’t. Just like I didn’t need someone’s permission to start Ax Wound ‘Zine I don’t need anyone to grant the creation of this much-needed month. So, in the spirit of punk rock DIY (Do-It-Yourself) and a little sprinkle of blood saturated glitter I officially claim February 2010 the first annual WOMEN IN HORROR RECOGNITION MONTH. If I have to celebrate by myself so be it but I really hope to have the support of horror fans of all genders! Now let’s get into the nitty-fucking-gritty about why this is necessary and how you can bring this alive from the dark cold underground where it lays dormant and waiting for us to animate.
Women are seen as a novelty item in horror. We are bloody babes and soon-to-be gut piles in peril. We are “horror chicks of the month”: almost every site dedicated to women in horror is about what they look like and how hot they are. I used to love the term “Scream Queen” but it no longer has any empowerment left. The Scream Queen ain’t no Final Girl; (and the Final Girl needs a serious make-over but we will get to that later). Even awesome production companies that I grew up on like TROMA Entertainment feature Tromettes; Women who have a very specific body type and promote the company the way a hooters girls promotes the chain restaurant. (This is nothing against you if you have or are Tromette, this is just a mere example of women’s current place in the horror world we can keep the Tromette but bring her up to date!). Women have to face body image issues all over the place in our culture, why must we also experience it in our favorite genre? Why do women have to be celebrated as strictly Tits & Ass & Blood. Why can’t we be recognized as “Scream Queens” who scream out with our artistic and creative abilities; qualities other than how we look. I mean, shit, a lot of Women love horror in very personal and passionate ways and are not wanting to be “Horror Babe of the Month.” We are writers, directors, producers, artists, eery musicians, creepy doll makers, FX artists. We are audience!
How often do you hear or some from these women? If you are not deep in the underground with publications like Ax Wound, Pretty/Scary, Chainsaw Mafia, etc you might not even know women are out there doing these things. Through doing Ax Wound I have met so many talented female horror writers/artists/filmmakers whose names aren’t even on the horror mainstream/b movie radar. We are dormant zombies who must rise up and take up space, push people out of the way, and say LOOK AT MY BRAINS!!!!!!
Now, back to WOMEN IN HORROR RECOGNITION MONTH.
Every day we should recognize women in horror and bring attention their projects but having our own month works to bring AWARENESS. It helps bring attention to people who may not even realize how marginalized we are as artists in this genre.
In Carol Clovers wonderful book Men, Women, and Chainsaws ,she writes in her introduction: I want to stress, before I pass on to other matters, that the bias of my book is even more extreme than the bias of the overall horror audience. My interest in the male viewers stake in horror spectatorship is such that I have consigned to virtual invisibility all other members of the audience, despite the fact that their loyalty and engagement can be just as ardent and their stake in the genre just as deserving of attention…”
It is about time we give ourselves this much deserved attention.
I want to double and triple stress that this is not some ego trip for me. This is coming from the bottom of my female horror loving heart. This month is not about me coming up with the idea but about how we can ALL TAKE ACTION to bring AWARENESS to women in the industry. Please help me brainstorm how people can go about this. And you do not need a vagina to take part. Just like with any feminist issue if men don’t get involved NOTHING will change. It takes everyone to make a difference and I’m not separatist. So, men, please take note and help as well.
WHAT COULD ONE DO DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY TO BRING AWARENESS?
- Host a local film screening, even if its in your living room with friends, and show movies made by women
- Write a blog post or to a member of the media about a woman in horror who isn’t getting enough attention
- Host a Women Horror Writers Reading at a local bookstore
- NOW ITS YOUR TURN- iv said enough: WHAT MIGHT YOU DO DURING THE MONTH TO BRING AWARENESS TO WOMEN IN THE HORROR INDUSTRY!?
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS BLOG/or re-post on your online website/facebook/etc.
HEARTS & BUTCHER KNIVES,