Gendered monsters and stereotypes


why Gender monsters?

In her discussion of the Gothic in film, Lisa Hopkins writes that “It is notable that eight out of Jerry Glover’s ‘Nearly Top Ten Mummy Movies’ center, like Dracula and Frankenstein, on male monsters, and in recent years the trend towards co-opting vampirisim as a metaphor for AIDS means that it is the sexual predatoriness of men rather than women that tends to be emphasized, making Stoker’s male monster a culturally useful avatar.  When Stoker wrote The Jewel of Seven Stars, though, Queen Victoria had only just died, leaving the memory of a long matriarchy fresh in people’s minds, and the alarming figure of the New Woman, to which Stoker refers directly in Dracula, loomed equally large in the popular consciousness. Consequently, perhaps, both his mummy and four out of the five vampires we encounter in Dracula (as well as the pseudo-vampire in The Lady of the Shroud) are female, as was the first vampire to be encountered in the original version of the novel, Countess Dolingen of Gratz. If this film wanted to explore anxieties about gender, therefore, what better way than to draw on both Stoker’s kinds of monsters, his mummy and his vampire?” (118)

What anxieties do different monsters explore?

In what ways are monsters stereotyped, or draw on stereotypes to tease out our fears?


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