Gender Portrayal in Horror Films

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Heaven Luckadoo English 110.01 Professor Bolton November 11, 2011 Gender Portrayal In Horror Films Most horror films show the female as being vulnerable because in real life females are defenseless against monsters while men seem more dominant. Typically, men are portrayed as killers and the woman are the victims in many ways. Using Julia Kristeva's view on gender and how the abject appears in horror films, and Linda Williams' view on the male and female I gaze will be comparing Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives. The woman are the leading roles because they are suspicious of something and investigate to try and get to the bottom of things to say their families. According to Kristeva the abject “is something rejected from which one does not part, from which one does not protect oneself as from an object.” (Kristeva). Linda Williams' tells us that the female gaze is punished and how through the male and female gaze things are seen differently. The male gaze is more voyeur while the female gaze is very curious. Both Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives show abjection in many ways and they also give us both the male and female gaze. Kristeva's view on abject is that it refers to the human reaction to a threatened breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of the distinction between subject and object or between self and other. (Kristeva). For example, if someone seen a corpse they would be repulsed by it because its something that should be alive but isn't. As Kristeva says, “The corpse, seen without God and outside of science, is the utmost of abjection. It is death infecting life. Abject” (Kristeva). Kristeva also says that “Abjection, is immoral, sinister, scheming and shady: a terror that dissembles, a hatred that smiles, a passion that uses the body for barter instead of inflaming it, a debtor who sells you up, a friend who stabs you.”
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