13th December 2011

Gynophobia & the Blood Ceiling in the World of Horror

posted in `Roids |

Gynophobia & the Blood Ceiling in the World of Horror
By Lloyd Kaufman w/ Sabrina Sieck

In the worlds of finance and industry there is a glass ceiling that keeps gynos1 from climbing the corporate ladder. Similarly, in the realm of horror, there is a blood ceiling that gynos cannot penetrate. There are probably thousands of horror movies, but only a clawfull made by gynos2. This is ironic because the men who dominate this field pat themselves on their mutant hunchbacks for being part of a trendy cinema underground – a cool and alternative genre that defies norms and expectations – yet gynos (for the most part) are still only in front of the camera. Unfortunately, and counter intuitively, the genre of horror seems, to me, to be the most male chauvinistic area in pop culture.

Textbooks and professors tell us over and over to write and direct “what we know.” If there is one thing gynos know, it is horror. This first hand knowledge can be attributed to monthy menstrual monsoons and enduring excruciating childbearing pains. No man can possibly know the horror of having a creature grow inside of him for nine months or what its like to Jackson Pollock bedsheets with placenta.

Furthermore, gynos are constantly suffering threats to their safety. What gyno hasn’t, at the very least, been sexually harassed or worse. These realities makes it obvious that gynos can portray fear, terror, and gore onscreen in ways only those who’ve experienced it up close and personal can.

Supporting my claim that women know horror, is the fact that Gothic fiction is dominated by estrogen fueled authors and consumers. Gynos like Ann Rice, Lisa Tuttle, and Nancy Collins have made it clear that they are masters of the dark, gothic world of writing. Why can’t this success translate to writing and directing for the silver screen? The answer is because it is often assumed, by both the producers of horror films and the critics of the genre, that taking pleasure in horrific or frightening images is a masculine trait, not a feminine one. Obviously these men are mistaken.

Ladies3 do not need to shield their eyes. As I participate in horror festivals and conventions across the world, it is clear to me that gynos make up a large percentage of horror fans. There’s no reason why this genre would particularly appeal to males as opposed to non-males unless we’ve been telling ourselves for years that gynos are delicate flowers who hate violence. Too many horror films perpetuate that stereotype and the fact that not many gynos are given the chance to create these films, cements it. It is a disgrace that a genre that purports to be so hip and cool seems to be a sexist boys club that discriminates against those who pee sitting down. There is too little interest in gyno voices unless it’s their screams, moans or dismemberments. For example, the Masters of Horror television series may as well go by the name Sausages of Horror. Since this anthology began in 2005, there has not been one episode directed by a gyno4.

Not only is the sexist exclusion of gynos unfair, it is unfortunate for the movie-going public. Typically, horror has historically reflected masculine fears and male fantasies about sexuality. I believe the expanding of the genre through the gyno’s perspective would allow for brilliant new interpretations of classic stories and themes. For example, with all of the remakes happening in the genre, it would be refreshing if some of them could be written and directed by gynos.

The celluloid world is full of mediocre horror movies made by men. Gynos are certainly as capable and, in my opinion, even more capable than men to create horror movies. The fraternity of horror needs to give these gynos more opportunity so that they can shatter the blood ceiling and reinvigorate our beloved genre!


[1] Troma feels that ‘female’ is a derogatory term since ‘male’ is the root word, therefore we use the politically correct terms Gyno-American, Gyno-Brit, etc.
[2] This is certainly not due to a lack of talent or interest. If you check my IMDB I’ve acted in over 100 movies, yet only one was directed by a non-male. That one film was never finished- probably because it was so difficult for her to penetrate the hymen of this male dominated genre.
[3] Even though “ladies” contains the politically incorrect word “lad” I am using it because “gyno” is getting boring and cumbersome.
[4] Lloyd’s Editrix’s note: Please disregard this statement. Lloyd is just bitter that he has not been invited to direct an episode of Masters of Horror.
Lloyd’s response: As I grow older, I find that I am growing breasts. I could be the first Mistress of Horror!

There are currently 18 responses to “Gynophobia & the Blood Ceiling in the World of Horror”

Why not let us know what you think by adding your own comment! Your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, so come on... let us know what you think.

  1. 1 On December 13th, 2011, Hannah Neurotica said:

    Women in Horror Recognition Month is allll about this baby! Woo! Lloyd celebrate with us this Feb! <3 We will share your post.

    http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com

  2. 2 On December 14th, 2011, Gynophobia and the Blood Ceiling in the World of Horror | Troma said:

    [...] correct term for women) are as capable, if not more capable, of directing horror films than men. (http://www.lloydkaufman.com/roids/2011/12/13/gynophobia-the-blood-ceiling-in-the-world-of-horror/) .socialhead { color: #acf70a; background-color: #000; padding: 10px; border: 3px solid [...]

  3. 3 On December 14th, 2011, Jo Glasner said:

    These are genuinely enormous ideas. You have touched some fastidious factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  4. 4 On December 15th, 2011, trash compactor said:

    I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  5. 5 On December 15th, 2011, towel warmer said:

    Useful information. Very helpful, I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  6. 6 On December 15th, 2011, Mentionables » Women in Horror Recognition Month said:

    [...] why do women in horror need their own month? Well, here’s an article by Troma legend Lloyd Kaufman and Sabrina Sieck that may start to give you some idea. It’s delightfully entitled “Gynophobia & the [...]

  7. 7 On December 15th, 2011, Lloyd Kaufman Loves Women Horror Directors | Planet Etheria said:

    [...] of modern-day Roger Corman, has released a very woman-friendly blog post on his personal website. The blog post, which addresses women making horror films, refers to women as “gynos” and their [...]

  8. 8 On December 16th, 2011, Tarra Makowsky said:

    Thank you for sharing your wealth of information on this blog.

  9. 9 On December 16th, 2011, christmas wallpapers free said:

    Outstanding read, I just passed this onto a friend who was performing some research on that. And he truly bought me lunch since I located it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! christmas wallpapers

  10. 10 On December 16th, 2011, Kellee Keney said:

    Gotta hand it to you man. Some great stuff here.

  11. 11 On January 8th, 2012, Garrett Cook said:

    I really can’t understand how anyone in any profession would discriminate against an entire gender. It’s cruel, stupid and downright absurd. It’s a shame that it’s still happening and that we rarely get to see horror on the big screen with a distinctly female perspective.

  12. 12 On January 10th, 2012, Michael Huck said:

    gynos are horror! In our series Unhappy End! and Nightmare Follies I always show gynos the way they really are: uncanny, creepy and deadly monsters! Their trick is to make us believe they are vulnerable, helpless cuties. They are NOT! They are bad and creepy! Watch our videos and you´ll know the horrible truth you actually do not WANT to know!
    Es lebe die Freiheit!,
    Michael

  13. 13 On January 12th, 2012, Welcome stranger « Stranger With My Face said:

    [...] here’s a recent blog post by Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman that might get your thinking about why such an event is needed…. Share [...]

  14. 14 On January 12th, 2012, Welcome stranger « Stranger With My Face said:

    [...] here’s a recent blog post by Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman to get you thinking about why such an event might be needed…. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike [...]

  15. 15 On January 12th, 2012, February is the cruelest month « Stranger With My Face said:

    [...] here’s a recent blog post by Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman to get you thinking about why such an event might be a good idea… Share [...]

  16. 16 On January 12th, 2012, Seth Cunningham said:

    It’s quite interesting to note that in horror movies – slasher films, to be specific – the villain is almost always done in by a woman. That through it all, only SHE is strong enough to not only fight off the attack of some murderous foe, but to vanquish him (and it usually is a male of some sort). I guess the horror industry thinks that being the heroine onscreen is good enough for women.

  17. 17 On February 9th, 2012, Speaking of Gone.. « originalcine said:

    [...] recently read Lloyd Kaufman’s rant about women and horror movies, and it’s hard not to think about so-called female empowerment when you sit through a movie [...]

  18. 18 On April 12th, 2012, Uncle Hugo said:

    Greetings from the Czech Republic! Mr. Kaufman, your article on this irrational, yet deeply rooted discrimination against women (not only behind the camera of a horror flick) is very true. This atrocity (and I mean it) is going on not only in the U.S., but also here, in the centre of Europe. Yet, as you have correctly stated, there are some exceptions to that rule. And I think this is the right place to commemorate the work of such directors as Kristine Peterson (who directed young Leo DiCaprio in his first role, in Critters III, and who also directed Deadly Dreams), the late Doris Wishman (who shot one of the most unique slashers of the 80´s- A Night to Dismember, Suzanne DeLaurentiis who directed Mutant Man in 1996, or those three brave women responsible for New Concorde´s (or was it New Horizon?) Slumber Party Massacre I-III. If Roger Corman, in his infinite wisdom, lets women direct slashers concerning psycho killers murdering their victims with oversized electric drills, all hope cannot be lost. And there are certainly more horror movies directed by women which I am not able to remember right now…

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