February 13, 2015

Girls Aren't Supposed to Like It

"It is women who love horror. Gloat over it. Feed on it. Are nourished by it. Shudder and cling and cry out - and come back for more." - Bela Lugosi

"Frightened woman accompanied by a man." This sentence has never described my experience, in any situation and certainly not while watching a horror film. I've never clutched a man in the dark because I can't handle a chainsaw slicing through a torso, but apparently, I'm not the norm.

According to an article published by New Republic, statistics have proven fans of the horror genre are "Aggressive," "Lacking Empathy," and predominately "Male." This melodrama with thirty year old statistics is likely an agitational prop piece for internet hits, because nothing gets passed around faster than bullshit. But what irks me is the continued dismissal of women's desire and presence in the horror industry as a consumer and producer. It's actually very telling that the photo used in this article - a still from The Babadook, a critically-acclaimed film directed by Jennifer Kent - defies the sentiment of the article and reinforces the invisibility of women. You would think it might come up that this female-driven project about motherhood and depression has been embraced by "aggressive sociopathic" men from around the world. Nope.  

So this is why we have Women in Horror Month. Bloggers and journalists from across the country are working tirelessly to unravel the truth behind this rich and forward-thinking genre that women have been co-creators of from the beginning. And though I find it particularly frustrating that we even have to identify female writers, directors and producers, I also find it stressing that bogus studies are being conducted to classify any fan of horror as emotionally defective. 

I would like to offer an alternative, though anecdotal, psychological profile of what it really means when you love horror: 

You're a Survivor. Whatever personal hell you've endured, it has made you receptive to the entire spectrum of human experience. You don't limit yourself to a diet of sitcoms because you "don't like feeling bad." You accept a deeper reality of life. You sympathize with the victim and relate to the monster. You understand that not everyone makes it out alive, the hero doesn't always win, and sometimes we don't behave like good people.  You're strong enough to explore fear, learn about it and heal from it. As a result, you're incredibly empathetic, a champion of the underdog, a feminist, a humanist and you secretly cry while watching baby animals on Youtube. You can't be a spiritual gangster without meeting the darkness within, which is why so many blood-obsessed gorehounds are some of the sweetest people on the planet. We pack our own light. We're not afraid of the dark. Except while camping, because we've watched too many horror films. Or in alleys. Or in parking lots, elevators, showers, stairwells, old sheds, abandoned houses, modern houses, attics, basements, closets...  Seriously. There's nothing wrong with us.

Check Out Women in Horror Month!

Day of the Woman by BJ Colangelo



  1. Awesome! Loved this one! As the horror fan, I agree with a lot of points in here.


  2. Thanks for posting this awesome post. I've been reading for a while however I've never been compelled to leave a comment.
    I've bookmarked your blog and shared this on Facebook.
    Many thanks again for a great article!


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