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The Representation of Women in Teen Horrors

The Representation of Women in Teen Horrors

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Published by: annataylorx on Jan 09, 2012
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The Representation of Women in Teen Horrors By Annalise Taylor Women are represented in different stereotypical ways in teen horror

films, such as the ‘final girl’ and the ‘helpless victim’ in which women are represented as being both weak and strong. Firstly I am going to be looking at the representation of women in the teen horror, Scream. This film is interesting because at the start when Drew Barrymore’s character is killed this is very stereotypical, as she is seen as venerable as she is completely alone. In addition this character also uses the fact that her boyfriend will be here soon as a threat to the killer, which suggests that she is to weak to protect herself, but her boyfriend is not. She is also seen as very foolish, because she continues to keep talking to a complete stranger on the phone, so all of these things represent women in a very negative way, as they are seen as weak, and therefore in need of help from men. Secondly women can also be represented as unintelligent and foolish, such as in the film Paranormal Activity the female character, Katie is continually mocked by her boyfriend Micah because she believes that a demon is haunting her, and he doesn’t believe it. From this film women are also represented as being in need of help from men, like a ‘damsel in distress’, for example one line Micah says is “I’m taking care of this” which suggests he has to do it, because he is the man, and he wants to protect her, maybe because he believes she can’t protect herself. Women are also mostly seen in horror movies screaming, and doing unrealistic things, such as running the wrong way. For example in the film, The Strangers the female character decides to leave the safety of the house to try and escape outside, even though she has an injury and can not run. This is representing that women are not very intellectual and that they make bad decisions, which lead

them into danger, and you hardly ever see men make these bad decisions, which is suggesting that it is only women that do. In addition women are sometimes represented as being nothing more than an object for sex, such as in Friday the 13th where the women do not wear many clothes and are therefore the audience is unable to feel sympathy for them, because they are represented negatively. This is a very bad thing, because this will give the idea to a male audience that it is ok to treat women like an object. On the other hand, the movie Scream also represents women in a positive way as well, because the main character Sidney is what is known as a ‘final girl’ in teen horrors. This represents women in a more positive way because this character survives the movie, and she also kills the murderer, and this shows the characters strength and power which shows women can also be these things, which represents women in a positive way. Another movie in which women are represented in a positive way is Nightmare on Elm Street, as the main female character defeats the male villain therefore by turning from the victim into the heroine. But unfortunately overall there are very few movies in which women are represented in a positive way. In conclusion I think women are mostly represented in a bad way in teen horrors, as they are mostly represented as weak and in need of help, which is quite sexist. But on the other hand there are also some very strong female characters in teen horrors, such as Sidney in Scream. But what I have noticed is that women are either represented in one extreme or the other, they are very few characters who are in between the two, which means that women are being represented in a way that is not very realistic.

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