Date: Every Monday during February 2015
Organizer(s): Stephanie M. Wytovich
Website/Social Media Links: http://stephaniewytovich.blogspot.com/
Description: Every Monday throughout February, I will be posting a self-portrait that comments on the state of gender equality within the horror genre. The following day(Tuesday), I will post a blog post expanding upon the concept/message of the self-portrait and talk about what it means to be a female horror author, a female writer, and most importantly, a female. This will raise awareness about gender equality and comment on the state of publishing/artistic relations both in and outside of the horror genre.
February 3, 2015- Women in Horror Month: This is Not a Female Horror Writer (Part One)
Excerpt: Belgian surrealist painter, Rene Magritte is known in the art world for the contradictory and highly philosophical pieces he started creating in the mid to late 1920s after moving to Paris and teaming up with Andre Breton, a major mover and proponent in the surrealist circles. After Breton turned his focus away from Dadaism, and Magritte abandoned his impressionistic style, Surrealism, a movement focusing on meta-messaging, subconscious thought, and paralanguage was not only born, but celebrated…and challenged.
Now some of you may be familiar with the series The Treachery of Images to which Magritte gives new meaning to an otherwise ordinary object and/or context, i.e. his piece, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”). As a student of art history and theory, this particular notion of exhibiting an object, and then stripping it of its label was, and remains, a fascinating concept to me, and therefore, is one of the reasons why I decided to title my #WomenInHorrorMonth project “This is Not a Female Horror Writer.” (Read the full piece here).
February 10, 2015- Women in Horror Month: I Am Not A Victim (Part Two)
Excerpt: I’m currently private tutoring Greek Drama—Antigone, in particular—and one of the issues that we’ve been talking about is how the play is structured around the notion that women are weak and therefore should not be looked at as a threat, not to man, and not to government. Interesting concept considering Antigone essentially throws up the middle finger and does what she believes is right, even if it means handing herself a conscious death sentence.
Antigone’s character—in particular—inspired me for this week’s portrait, “I Am Not a Victim.” I think so often in horror that we’re used to seeing the woman portrayed as the damsel in distress, and slasher movies hold a lot of responsibility for that. According to them, the female role is to have big boobs, to run away, and to get killed dramatically, and explicitly, and usually with little to no clothes on. Oh, and if we’re not being savagely murdered, then God knows we’re being sacrificed to Satan or forced to spawn the Devil himself. In that case, cue the angelic, white-dressed, virgin, and you’re good to go!”
February 17, 2015: Take the ‘Whore’ out of ‘Horror’ (Part Three)
Excerpt: “My rock n’ roll self was at a jazz concert the other night. I traded in my whiskey for a glass of Merlot and I sat there in my work clothes—I had a late night counseling and planning for residency—humming along to the soft, soothing voice of the bass as Imagine by The Beatles stroked the air. I was chatting with some people, making friends, networking in the city, and [insert random unnamed person here] asked me what I did for a living. As per usual, I told him/her that I’m a writer, all the while wincing at the inevitable response that I knew I would get in return.
Here’s the conversation, word for word—and it’s one of those conversations where if I had a nickel for every time I had it, well, let’s just say I could be in a flat in New Orleans writing for the summer.”
February 24, 2015- Women in Horror Month: Tell Me I Can’t (Part Four)
Excerpt: “My entire life—up until recently—has been about people telling me that I can’t do something. I can’t go to graduate school because I’m throwing my money away. I can’t be a writer because I should be having their babies and thinking about marriage. I shouldn’t be writing horror because I would be more attractive if I wasn’t killing people for a living. I can’t live on my own because I won’t be able to survive…
Damn! Talk about a lot of pressure on my vagina and who’s controlling it…
Needless to say, most—if not all—of those people have ‘ex’ attached to them now, whether they were friend, boyfriend, lover, etc. and oh my God did I just say lover?
Christ, maybe I am a whore?
Ladies don’t like sex!
But hey, maybe I’m not the world’s definition of a lady then? After all, ladies don’t curse and drink whiskey and speak their mind, and ask for equal pay. They don’t stand up for their beliefs, have sex because they want to, decide when they want to get married—IF they want to get married—when they want to have children–IF they want to have children—or do what makes them happy despite what society deems proper or not.
No, ladies don’t do that.
Women do that.
And strong women at that.
So I’d like to take this moment to write some notes to all the men who told me I can’t, because guess what? Despite all of you, I did.”