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The Feminine Monster and The Male Fear Essay

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The feminine monster and the male fear
Men, although feel attracted to women due to their sexuality, are afraid of the same, especially
when it comes to imagining or seeing a feminine figure of a monster. This is what cinema keeps
on exploring, the relationship of male audience to the feminine monster in various ways which
makes the horror-statement in such horror movies. One of the areas that have been examined is
that of castration anxiety among female horror monsters and male audiences. Some of the
author’s notions are quite believable and agreeable, but some are deficient to some extent and
fail to solve the male and female monster myth mysteries. Provocation of castration anxieties by
a feminine monster is easily understood and appreciated physiologically as well as
psychologically, but how this is provoked by a male monster is not clearly understandable
according to the author’s views and notions on the subject matter regarding gender relationships
to monster myth mysteries.
Castration anxiety, a psychological phenomenon is what is provoked by a feminine monster in
the male audience, and applies to both the genders quite differently. Castration anxiety implies a
blow to the male genitalia or a fear of assault to them to be more specific. This is symbolic with
a loss of male social power. In a society dominated by men, a fear of getting their genitalia
castrated by a female monster implies a blow to their social power as the dominant gender of the
society which influences and controls the non-dominant and expects the feminine figure to be
submissive to them. The English professor who focuses on film and gender studies Karen
Hollinger states, “Stephen Neale suggests that an intimate relationship exists among the filmic
presentation of the horror monster, and the castration anxiety it invokes, and the cinematic

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representation of the female form” (Hollinger, 243). This implies that sexuality has a lot to do
with the feelings of castration anxiety which it produces in the watchers of the horror movie. The
author has put forward a thesis that, in cases, where the monster is male, as mostly is the case
with majority of the movies, the victim is often a female who faces the wrath of the male
monster. This means that there is an inverse relationship between the monster and its victim
when it comes to gender and sexuality, male monster and female victim, and female monster and
male victim. This inverse relationship is commonly observed throughout in the literature and
movies. If the same thesis is applied to the female monster, then, according to the author, the
victim is presumed to be a male. Although the author has very well described the effect of male
monster on the female victim of horror, he fails to describe what effect the female monster has
on a female victim in clear and understandable terms. Therefore, the effect which the female
monster has on its male victims is something which is still to be explored and studied. The author
desires to seek the answer to this relationship in the context of a patriarchal society, a society
which is influenced and dominated by the males and a society in which the females are mostly
the ones succumbing to the wishes and desires of the males.
The author ascribes the relationship between the monsters being male in the history
predominantly to the castration anxiety it evokes in the viewers. “The traditional madness of the
horror monster can be explained in Freudian terms as an expression of the connection between
the image of the monster and the filmic representation of castration anxieties” (Hollinger, 244). It
is agreed to the extent of Freudian’s psychoanalytic theory that the traditional madness of the
horror monster could be due to the male image of the monster mostly depicted in the horror
movies and literature which leads to a sense among viewers and audience, especially the young
ones to feel or experience castration anxiety, which is a fear of losing their genitalia. In a

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The feminine monster and the male fear Men, although feel attracted to women due to their sexuality, are afraid of the same, especially when it comes to imagining or seeing a feminine figure of a monster. This is what cinema keeps on exploring, the relationship of male audience to the feminine monster in various ways which makes the horror-statement in such horror movies. One of the areas that have been examined is that of castration anxiety among female horror monsters and male audiences. Some of the author’s notions are quite believable and agreeable, but some are deficient to some extent and fail to solve the male and female monster myth mysteries. Provocation of castration anxieties by a feminine monster is easily understood and appreciated physiologically as well as psychologically, but how this is provoked by a male monster is not clearly understandable according to the author’s views and notions on the subject matter regarding gender relationships to monster myth mysteries. Castration anxiety, a psychological phenomenon is what is provoked by a feminine monster in the male audience, and applies to both the genders quite differently. Castration anxiety implies a blow to ...
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