New Stories of Body Horror by Women Writers
thanks so much for this thoughtful response. very interesting!
Joyce Carol Oates
This is tangentially related but as I was trying to find my way out of a rabbit hole on the Mongols yesterday I couldn't fail to notice that there are multiple articles about how widespread descendants of Genghis Khan are in the population. My problem with this was the wording, National Geographic's was something like "Genghis Khan's Unmatched Sexual Prowess" another was close to "Genghis Khan as Good a Lover as He was a Fighter". Meanwhile I'm reading that while we know he had at least 5 daughters, their names are lost to history. Somehow I am certain that his prowess was irrelevant, and just as certain almost none of the children were the product of "love" between partners by any stretch of the imagination. Not one article I could find mentioned the lack of consent that was the actual heart of the matter. The headlines should more accurately say "1 in 200 Men in Asia are Descendants of Brutal Rapes or Sexual Servitude". Why is it that in 2023 we are still not able to use words meaningfully about these issues? Powerful men had unlimited access to women and women had no ability to refuse if they wanted to live. They had no effective birth control options. This is the fact of the matter and in too many ways this is still the same. I try to imagine a woman even being described as famous for her sexual prowess WITHOUT also slaughtering entire villages and I still think the headlines would be heavy on judgement and attacks on her character.
Loved every word of this!!
When I was 13 or 14 way back in 1972 and reading something about the liberation movements in TIME Magazine, it seemed patently obvious: of course, women and men (and all the other genders I’d not yet discovered) are absolutely equal! Let’s get on with it!
This is such a painful and beautifully informative read. Could we, I often wonder, have evolved without this terrible dichotomy? Can we change it?
After half a lifetime being single I now have a spouse/best friend and a beautiful five year old child. The patriarchy reared its nauseating head: together we keep talking it down, and drowning it, when it won’t listen. I want to raise this boy in the way boys should have always been: an equal partner and friend to every person, animal, tree. No need to cast the spell of pain in any direction. Cast the spell of empathy instead.
Thanks so much for this!
So glad I that I was able to join you and the other 'Darker Shade of Noir' authors at the Mysterious Bookshop signing and I am deep into the stories. I had never heard of 'body horror' but now I feel what it can do - in my bones, in fact. I hope my fellow train passengers aren't too spooked by my strange movements, facial expressions and the sounds that I make as I read them. I am also eager to share your journal entry with JC, who has the tangential belief that film noir started with "fear of women." Men contemplating going away to war worried that women's power would increase, and that led to the rise of the femme fatale.
Thank you. It is a fascinating and disturbing subject. I will add this book to my reading list.
All of this. Oh My goddess.
The Medusa legend's dark undertones have always captivated me. It's a poignant illustration of how, even in mythology, women often endure punishment for crimes committed against them, echoing the unjust double standards that persist.
Thank you so much for the post!
WOW! I'm speechless.
WOW! I'm speechless. So much shared--so much to contemplate. Thank you. Violet
Awesome. Of course! Book of essays like this pls