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The Female Perspective: Women, Horror and Hags

Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of. 


Today I came across a blog about how a woman was lambasted for being in costume during one of her book signings. She was insulted by a fellow writer. Both are horror writers and he apparently felt she was trying to garner more attention by being in costume. Duh! That’s what we try to do! We WANT attention, we WANT people to come up and talk to us and buy our books! But what this guy was insulted by was the fact that she was in costume and…a woman? Hard to say really.

He said women were especially bad at trying to grab attention (“claiming” we’re horror writers when we aren’t) and most of us are hags anyway. ~Mercedes M. Yardley

Yeah, hags, women horror writers are hags. I shudder to think what he calls other female writers of other genres. This is simply yet another example of the division between the sexes. It’s why we have to have a Women In Horror Month (February in case you didn’t know) and it’s why feminism is so important. Because there will always be a man out there that thinks that women can’t write horror – um, hello, we bleed every month. We know a thing or two about horror my friend. We also give birth and if you’ve ever heard a birth story, you know it’s horrific (and beautiful). The annoying fact is, there will always be men who simply see women as “the fairer sex” and nothing more. They’ll see women as fragile and weak. Which is their failing, not ours as women even though we pay the price for it.

Women in Horror Month is more important than you think.
Women in Horror Month is more important than you think.

I can say for a fact that women kick some serious butt in both horror movies and in writing horror stories. Serious. Butt. We’ve all see Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies or Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween. They don’t need a man to “save” them, they take care of business themselves. Women are far tougher than some men believe.

Jamie Lee Curtis in "Halloween" - a true bad ass lady in horror.
Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween” – a true bad ass lady in horror.

The fact is, why does anyone feel as though they get to degrade and judge another person? Why do we feel like we can assume to know what’s going on in a persons head and then judge them based upon that assumption?

I’m a writer, I’ve published two books, one a fiction fantasy novel and the other a personal memoir. I cannot speak to the world of horror except for one thing, I posted a piece of flash fiction I wrote on the wrong page on Facebook one day, I didn’t realize my mistake until I got unpleasant comments from two men on the page. It was a horror writers page. Neither man commented on my writing except to be rude about it. I was lucky in that they only insulted my writing and not me. Not a big deal but I wanted to say something about their rudeness. I decided the better and less stressful course of action would be to delete the post entirely (as I didn’t mean to post it there in the first place).

I’ve learned now that “fighting” on Facebook is a waste of my time and my braincells. As I’ve written before, trolls are out there and they LIVE for insults and starting arguments.

One of the aspects I liked most about Yardley’s post is that she doesn’t name the male horror writer who insulted her friend.  She says simply, “he doesn’t deserve the attention.” Yes! Exactly right on!

That’s the best way to combat these trolls (because yes, they are all trolls to me), IGNORE THEM.

I'd like to see these trolls say these things to my face...
I’d like to see these trolls say these things to my face…

Yardley then goes on to say something that truly struck a cord with me.

Why spend your time attacking women that are of no concern to you?

You don’t have the right.

We are here. We are beautiful. We are strong. We’re going to write what we want and how we want. If we want to do readings in libraries, good. If we want to do booksignings on a lawn, more power to us. Our path to success doesn’t concern you. It doesn’t impede yours. You don’t like what we write, where we hold signings, or what we’re wearing?

Nobody asked you. And more importantly?

You don’t get to tell us what to do.

I think she hit the nail on the head here. This is the problem with the male patriarchy. THIS is why feminists become so angry. Go ahead, call us hags or other rude names. Mock our outfits, our looks or our size. But stop telling us what to do. Stop thinking that you are even allowed to tell us what to do. This is 2015.

Women are beautiful, smart, talented, strong and complex beings.

Men are beautiful, smart, talented, strong and complex beings.

Why can’t we simply all be human?

What do you think? Tell me in the comments section!