It’s February 1st, people. And not only is that the beginning of a new month in which the Academy Awards, Superbowl, Valentine’s Day (*waits for collective groan*), Mardi Gras, Black History Month, 2012 also marks a leap year and has a February 29th, which is always exciting. There’s a lot going on. And in the horror community, it’s Women in Horror Month, which, as evidenced by the name, is a celebration of the contributions of females to this wonderful and twisted genre that has so many fans across the world, including many girls.
One of the most common and frustrating misconceptions about women is that we don’t like anything “cool” like sports, action movies, heavy metal, or more male-oriented literary genres, most notably, horror. Or if we do, we’re “butch” or relegated to the tomboy label. Not only am I an avid fan of all of the above things mentioned, it can get annoying to have to re-affirm that I don’t like chick flicks or fuzzy animal pictures or anything else that’s generally in a pile I call “cutesie.”
I also take umbrage to the perception that there are very few women involved in the horror world. As a reviewer, the majority of the horror and dark fiction I review is by male authors, but there’s no shortage of female horror writers out there. There are many more than people think, many of them quite good. Of course, the ultimate goal is for readers to look past gender and to say that someone is a good writer, period, regardless of his or her sex, but there’s a void of that in our culture, and as a female involved in the horror genre as both a reviewer and a writer, I wholeheartedly embrace and respect the mission of Women in Horror Month, now in its third year:
Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is a service offered through Viscera, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. WiHM expands opportunities for filmmakers, artists, and fans by raising awareness about the changing roles for women through filmmaking, writing, events, and networking.
For the entire month of February, I will dedicate my blog to champion and celebrate the women involved in the horror genre. Because this is a book review blog, my emphasis will be on writers and editors, but that isn’t to say that I don’t think females involved in other aspects of the horror industry like film/television or comics shouldn’t be praised as well. My first “profile in focus” will be on February 2nd and will continue until the end of the month.
Of course, just because this movement is all about female empowerment, it doesn’t mean that males can’t participate. In fact, we openly encourage men to take part and recognize how invaluable the contributions of women have been to the genre as a whole.
Unfortunately, it seems not everyone is behind the idea of Women in Horror Month, as evidenced by this editorial by editor-in-chief of Fangoria, Chris Alexander, but despite his objections, I think that the people who choose to do features on Women in Horror Month and to celebrate this are within our rights to express our opinions, and all of this is intended to be a positive force to get more recognition.
Want to participate yourself? Click here to request a seal form, and you, too, can be an official part of Women in Horror Month 2012.