If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you'll probably note that I've had Edward Lorn on my blog before! He's not only a stellar author, but also one of the funniest and most honest people I've ever had the pleasure of interacting with. In other words? He always has a place on my blog whenever he wants one. Period.
This time, E. is touring the blogosphere to promote the newest addition to his ongoing serial novel. Cruelty: Episode Five is out now and, if you're new to this serial novel, you can actually pick up Episodes 1-5 in a compilation! Wondering if the Cruelty serial is for you? Check out my review of Episode 1! It might help you decide.
I'll stop yammering on now and get to E.'s guest post. I think he chose a very poignant topic to what's been going on lately. In my opinion, this guest post is a winner. Enjoy.
Horror and the Objectification of Women
Sex sells. You’d be hard-pressed to find a slasher film without a buxom babe running around. But, more often than not, the hottie is simply cannon fodder. This has always seemed odd to me. The idea gives off the impression that women can’t be sexy without welcoming harm. Secondly, the horny young men are lured into theater seats with the promise of big breasts and tight bums, and then the writers murder the promiscuous. Is there an underlying message? That if you go gallivanting off into the woods with the heavy-chested young woman in the halter top you’re asking to be murdered? Perhaps she’s asking to be murdered, and you’re just in the way? Either/or, the message sucks, and perpetuates the myth that women are only on this earth to serve as objects of desire to randy tools. I’ll admit, I was once of the mindset that all this was fine in theory, because the mousy virgin usually wins out in the end, right? Girl Power! Sadly, even I was once a moron.
There are a handful of good slasher films that do not objectify women, and the first one that comes to mind is the original Child’s Play. There’s not a single sex object in that entire movie, or in the next two sequels. Of course, with the addition of Jennifer Tilly into the series with Bride of Chucky, that line is crossed, but most horror fans don’t consider the latter Chucky films to be true horror; more dark comedies than anything else. Even Hitchcock’s Psycho drew viewers with its shower scene, so this trend is nothing new. Yet, with the recent rise of movements like #YesAllWomen, and the mass shooting by some crazy who believed that any female who didn’t automatically drop her panties at his behest should be murdered forthwith, quite a few men are looking inwardly. I’m one of those guys. To say that I’m not attracted to women based on appearance would be a bold-faced lie, but I also have control over my baser impulses. I understand that a woman’s body is her own, and I have no right to it unless I’m given consent. Neither do I have the right to gawk or give her the old side-eyes, no matter how she’s dressed, because she should be able to clothe herself in any fashion she likes without worrying about someone’s wandering vision. I’ve always felt this way, but I only recently delved into the why of the matter. I was raised in a predominantly female household (consisting of my mother, father, and two older sisters), and was instilled with a respect for the fairer sex at an early age. This respect has carried over into my fiction. Never putting a sexpot in one of my novels wasn’t a conscious decision; the idea just never occurred to me. Yet I’m a fan of movies like Friday the 13th and Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street, wherein I’m guaranteed the murder of sexy young adults and fornicating teens. Why do I like these movies? Because I’m a fan of the villains, not the victims. Freddie and Jason and Michael could be murdering obese office workers and prudish librarians for all I care. I’m a gorehound at heart, and as long as the death scenes are original, I’m a happy camper.
So why am I here today? Well, in part, to sell you a book. I started my serial novel, CRUELTY, with a few ground rules. One of those was: No scantily-clad babes. I did this because I was honestly curious. Could I reel in readers without the promise of sex with their violence? Could I entertain them without including the buxom babe running in slow motion through the dark forest while trying to keep her breasts inside her low-cut top? I think I’ve managed that and more. But, in the end, it’s up to you, Dear Reader, to decide whether or not I was successful. So, if you like the idea of a slasher film done as a literary novel that is devoid of objectification, why not give CRUELTY a go. I can’t promise you’ll like it, but I’d love to hear what you think. Me? I’m a fan. Then again, I also wrote the damn thing.
Thanks for your time.
Want to know more about Edward Lorn?
You can check out a previous interview I did with him, visit him on his website, or check out his profile on Amazon! All good choices in my opinion. Happy reading!