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The Feminine Monster and the Male Fear
Men, although they 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 has been
examined is that of castration anxiety among female horror monsters and male audiences.
Castration anxiety is a psychological phenomenon provoked by a feminine monster in the male
audience. Castration anxiety implies a blow to the male genitalia or a fear of assault to them to
be more specific. (symbolic: loss of male social power) The English professor who focuses on
film and gender studies Karen Hollinger states,“Stephen Neale suggests,an intimate relationship
exists among the filmic presentation of the horror monster, and the castration anxiety it invokes,
and the cinematic representation of the female form” (Hollinger 243). This implies sexuality has
a lot to do with the feelings of castration anxiety which it produces in the watchers of the movie.
The author has put forward a thesis that in the case when 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. (explain inverse?) If the same thesis is applied to the
female monster, then, according to the author, the victim is presumed to be a male. However,
the effect 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.
The author ascribes the relationship between the monsters being male in history predominantly
to the castration anxiety it evokes in the viewers. Hollinger states,“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 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. This is purely a psychological phenomenon and has an age relationship according to
Sigmund Freud. It scarcely addresses the audience which is grown-up enough not to face the
castration anxiety and this is something which is not covered by the past work in the literature.
One other objection to this theory is the relationship of female monster to evocation of castration
anxiety in the audience. (frame these objections so it’s clear that you agree with them).
Interaction among opposite sex of the monster and audience is quite prominent.The author
notes that the films with monster themes are primarily related to the problems or issues of the
nature of sexual difference: “this concern according to Neale, acts not to undermine the male
spectator’s filmic pleasure by using the monster merely to expose the lack upon which the
castration anxieties are founded, but rather to entertain the spectator by filling this lack
(Hollinger 244). The author clearly implies that the pleasure or motivation of watching the horror
movies by the male subjects arises out of the anxiety which is provoked in them in terms of
castration which they fear the most and it is this fear which keeps their interest in the movie. The
instinctual origin of castration fears has already been described as the castration anxiety. The
author further implies that it is not only this fear which keeps the interests of the male viewers

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The Feminine Monster and the Male Fear Men, although they 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 has been examined is that of castration anxiety among female horror monsters and male audiences. Castration anxiety is a psychological phenomenon provoked by a feminine monster in the male audience. ...
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