By LAUREN MESSERVEY
We all know one. They hide within the bowels of Facebook groups, Subreddits, and the comment section of your favourite horror magazine. They’re itching for it, lurking in the shadows, just dying for the moment when a woman says something about anything. When we speak, they’re ready.
But that’s not all. They’re armed with a compendium of vaguely sexual comments, and an array of useless dialogue that is meant to “compliment” the object of their desire. “I didn’t know pretty girls liked horror,” they say. “You’re so hot and you love horror movies! Wow!” And my personal favourite, “Let’s watch a scary movie and get to know each other better…*winky face*”
It’s exhausting and an unfortunate part of the territory; women in horror are constantly being subjected to unwanted male attention because we’re there. It’s not terribly dissimilar from what all women go through, but somehow, the annoying men of horror are additionally problematic for women who just to want to watch people get their limbs cut off in peace.
Let’s have a look at these types of annoying menfolk, shall we?
The “Looking For Love In All the Wrong Places” Jackass
Facebook, Tinder, Snapchat, and Instagram are their playground. You post something about American Mary on your social media and he slithers his way into your DMs, fucking with your chi and testing your patience. “Hey, you seem so cool. I’ve always wanted to find a cool girl who loves horror movies,” he hisses from his mother’s basement. You humour him by saying, “Thanks,” without emojis, and he takes that as an invitation to tell you you how much he wants your body.
I spent a long time pondering over why this was so prevalent with women in the horror community until I came to two very simple conclusions: 1) it’s viewed by these men as a rare shared interest, which some men like to use as an invitation to ask you to send nudes, and 2) women in horror are viewed as “provocative” or “freaky” because of their interest in the macabre.
The connection between kink and horror is an archaic one. Public service announcement: just because a woman loves blood and guts, it does not mean that she’s into S&M. Regardless of “perceptions”, it is never appropriate to ask anyone what they’re into sexually without there being previous talk of shared intimacy between consenting adults.
Also, just because a girl knows the names of all the cenobites, it doesn’t mean that she wants your dick. The more you know, horror bros.
The “I’ve Seen Possession Eighteen Times And Am A Very Learned Man” Shitlord
You watch a relatively obscure horror film. You love it. You desire to share your thoughts of it online and tell the whole world how much you loved this somewhat obscure, but sensational horror film.
But wait! A dude on the internet has seen your review! Turns out that you forgot this-this-and-this part of the subtle workmanship of whatever-the-fuck, and that you didn’t do justice to the blah-blah-blee-blue of blorgety-blorg. Never fear; he is here to correct you. After all, you’re a woman, and women aren’t equipped to understand the complex nuances of horror in its purest form, right?
Nobody likes being “corrected” in public forum, least of all women who have worked goddamn hard to get where they are. Unsolicited opinions are like giant voids in the middle of space; no one wants to be near them. They suck up everything useful and turn the space around them into soulless, uninhabitable black holes. Don’t be a black hole, gentlemen. Don’t be that guy.
So, Where Can We Go From Here?
We are in a pickle, aren’t we? As female-identifying horror fans, navigating through the minefield of harassment can be tiring at the best of times, and terrifying at the worst. Yes, “not all men.” I am well aware that there are some genuinely 100%, Grade-A good guys who have our backs (and we do salute you, sirs). For the rest, however, it’s a sick, sad world.
Good Gents and Horror Queens, we need to stand together. We need to support each other through every horror-themed unsolicited dick pic (they exist, trust me), and through every moment that a man pipes up over social media with the words, “Well, actually…” A community of strong people standing up for each other, especially in today’s social climate, is what can make all the difference.
So if you’re a woman in horror who is rolling their eyes at the screen for the fifty-millionth time, take heart. We’ve got you. When things get tough, reach out to your horror allies, bask in the warm glow of their awesomeness, and get yourself a good virtual hug. You’ve earned it.
And if you recognize yourself as one of the men in the above categories, there’s still hope for you. All you need to do is mind your own fucking business, just like we’ve been doing for the past several millennia. Let us watch nightmarish creatures eat unruly children without the benefit of your keen “wit” and sexual advances. If we want your opinion or your penis, we will let you know.
Don’t hold your breath, though. We’ve got better things to do right now.