The Slasher Witch Hunt part 2: The Feminists

ispitWhile movie critics took to the airwaves to decry the slasher films flooding theaters in the early 1980s, hardcore feminists groups like N.O.W. took to the streets to protest the films, theaters showing slashers, and the dirty degenerates who attended the showings. If the popular feminists propaganda is to be believed, slasher films were designed to teach the lowest level of pervert how to stalk, rape, and murder women. The entire women’s lib movement could crumble into ruins if films like Maniac and Friday the 13th were allowed to be shown in movie houses. Armed with placards and banshee shrieks, these stormtroopers in high-heels marched in front of any theater showing a slasher on the Siskel and Ebert hit list.

While these feminist group claimed to be protecting the female race from dangerous movies, the simple truth is these ladies found an easy way to get on television. All of their rage and fury was nothing more than cheap publicity for their organizations. I suspect some of the protests were actually organized by the producers and distributors for films like Maniac and I Spit on Your Grave. The media attention increased ticket sales for the very films the fems wanted banned.

If the feminists weren’t so intellectually dishonest when it came to arguing against slasher films, then they would’ve seen that no other genre features as many strong female characters as the slasher. Let’s take Jamie Lee Curtis for a quick example. Curtis plays a woman who defeats evil through inner strength and intelligence in Halloween, Halloween II, Terror Train, Prom Night, The Fog, and Roadgames. She wasn’t exploited until she made a mainstream picture, Trading Places, and was reduced to playing a hooker who strips for the camera shortly after walking on screen. Almost every slasher has a warrior woman archetype, an image the fems should’ve praised rather than protested.

When the slasher film stopped being a big money maker at the box-office, the fems moved their protests over to rock and heavy metal music. After metal died a slow death, the fems took up arms against evil video games like Grand Theft Auto. One would think feminist organizations would’ve come to the aid of Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin when Big Media started ripping them to pieces during the last election cycle. Odd, isn’t it, that N.O.W. and those other groups stayed silent when MSNBC accused Clinton of “pimping out” her daughter. They were also silent when media wise-men claimed Palin couldn’t be a politician because she had too many children. Maybe N.O.W. should change its name to the National Organization of Women . . .Just Not All Women.

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6 Responses to “ The Slasher Witch Hunt part 2: The Feminists ”

  1. I dislike the “fems” with a passion. Great piece as always, Thomas!

  2. The thing about feminism that bugs me is the same with any group preaching equality. They only stand up for women and fight for their rights, they couldn’t care less about men. So where’s the equality they preach about?

    People always bitch about the treatment of women in horror films but they never comment about how the men are tortured and murdered. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street and many other slashers have more male victims than female, and whilst the film may focus more on the females’ deaths this means that the males are dispatched with little effort, meaning that they are weaker and less important.

    If people are going to comment on the treatment of victims in horror films then they should focus on ALL victims – gay of straight, male or female, whatever they are! Therefor, feminists are as guilty of sexism as misogynists.

  3. I think someone actually went on Hysteria Lives (which tallies the bodycount of each film by male/female) and counted more male victims over female in slasher films! Interesting.

    It’s just a soapbox to get attention, as Thomas so eloquently pointed out. As a woman who loves horror, especially slashers, I find very little actual misogyny in these films (but don’t get me wrong, some of them can be offensive, but fairly harmless). I think Carol Clover’s Men, Women & Chainsaws was a very important book for this reason.

    By the way, when a group protests something, it just makes it more alluring to everyone else. I think all of the slasher protests just made the genre more popular or of interest to the general public.

  4. Let us not forget that the ‘final girl’ is such a staple of the slasher, and horror in general. Compare that to the action movies that came out in the eighties, where the female would have to rely on the muscular male to come and save her. Yet, in slasher films, the heroine would defeat the killer with little or no help from the male.

    Even in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives the hero has to rely on a woman to save him and defeat the killer, even though he was the heroic figure throughout the movie. I think The Burning is one of the few exceptions where a male is the survivor, although one of them was responsible for the catalyst that caused the murder spree in the first place.

  5. I think in Carol Clover’s book, that character in the Burning is called an emasculated male, which kind of makes him a Final Girl, right?

  6. how could slashers be anti-feminists if they always have the purest girls survive each (or most) slasher films? And let’s not forget the word “Purest”, they should be happy that they don’t kill them!

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