The intent for this project is to spread awareness and shed a new light on the way women have been portrayed in horror films and how that reflects how we treat women as a society. I hope it will achieve a couple things.
- I hope that this project will voice thoughts that countless other women have been thinking when they have enjoyed the genre, but have felt a lingering sense of something being not quite right when it comes to women being portrayed.
- I hope to underscore the ever-elusive fact that the horror genre is not just geared toward men and there is a huge sector of women who enjoy the genre but analysis and entertainment-wise, in spite of how they are often portrayed
- Show nuanced and comprehensive portrayals of women in horror films to show that it can be done, as long as there are other women working on the project.
- Link together the horror and punk genres and show the glaring overlaps the two both have.
As far as impact goes, I’m hoping that putting all of this together into one coherent platform will give language to this issue that is so often glossed over or tossed to the side. I think that a lot of other women will resonate with my ideas and observations because I am articulating things that a lot of women feel but don’t always have the language to express, so I suppose in a perfect world, my work will mean something to women, people who identify as women, and others who are interested in the horror genre and what can make it better.
Best and worst-case scenarios
I am able to articulate in a nuanced and analytical way the way women have been portrayed in horror films and people begin to recognize the truths in the history of horror. Word gets around, a conversation is started, and the genre begins to shift more and more to feature more women in a real way and becomes less exploitative.
I suppose the worst-case scenario for this project would be that I get hate for not including a lot of diversity when it comes to LGBTQ characters and POC characters. As much as I would love to, and definitely do plan to do my best to do my due diligence and find a range of examples based on diversity, the reality of the situation is that there is not a wide breadth of films to be found featuring minoritized voices, which is actually a huge problem I will be discussing. I am worried the project will come out a little whitewashed because so many iconic characters happen to be straight white individuals who identify as women, but I do want to keep this in mind moving forward to be more mindful when it comes to what I’m making.
When designing, my own voice is for sure going to be underscored because I am a woman, I love horror movies and zine culture and I would say I emulate a lot of Riot Grrrl culture. That being said, I want to be mindful when designing because I know I come from an extremely privileged background and I understand that with designing comes power due to the agency involved in making all of these design decisions, like what the Project Inkblot team was saying. I want to be mindful of this while also working to make something punk and cool.
I am 100% coming to this approach as a privileged individual and know that I am missing a lot of nuanced perspectives when it comes to underrepresented communities. Seeing that I am literally basing a project on a group of people being done wrong due to institutional factors, it would only make sense for me to be mindful and inclusive in my approach as much as I possibly can.
Who’s Missing and How to Fix It
Unfortunately, as I said before, the history of horror is pretty white-washed and straight. There aren’t a solid number of horror films featuring black women leads or members of the LGBTQ community. Most films that include a solid amount of diversity are way way way indie and are almost student film level which can kind of suck. That being said, horror is about what’s happening on the fringes and low budget, independent films are what make history in the long run. I want to be conscious of this and have already done some research on how to make what I’m creating more inclusive. For example, I’ve included throughout the blog post a project that I made finding LGBTQIA horror films and some themes throughout the genre and plan on taking black feminist film theory into consideration in the process of making the zines. My Women in Horror Professor also identifies as a woman and is a person of color and has done a ton of work in academia when it comes to unsung black voices in horror. She is a valuable resource that I definitely plan on utilizing for my project.