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[personal profile] helloladies
The guest posts keep coming! We knew no one could resist the chance to throw out hundreds of words about female villains. Next up is Amy who lives in Southern California and occasionally maintains the blog My Friend Amy which recently turned eleven! She loves stories in all their forms, arguing about sports, and over committing herself to various projects.


Psycho is one of the best known horror films of all time and the actual psychosis behind the actions of Norman Bates in the film continue to intrigue. So much so that a few years ago, A&E greenlit a backstory to the film in the form of a TV show—Bates Motel Despite the eye rolling that was to be done over Hollywood’s lack of original ideas, the concept was fresh in some ways. The story was to be set in present day. And even more interesting was the prominent role Norman’s mother would play. The real flesh and blood mother before she became nothing but a corpse in the fruit cellar.

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helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Our next guest post comes from Lady Business regular, Memory Scarlett. Memory writes about books, television, and more at her blog, In the Forest of Stories. You can also find her moaning about her taco addiction and her various fictional preoccupations on Twitter as @xicanti. She’s currently trying not to dive straight into an epic BTVS rewatch; when she loses the battle, Twitter will be the first to know.


Glory, seated in chair with stick


I love a good villain as much as the next person, but I usually draw a blank when people ask me about my favourites. So many of the evil folks I latch onto are really antiheroes; the sort of characters who could just as easily switch sides, if they thought it might be to their advantage. They do ghastly things, but since they can also be sympathetic there’s always that small hope they’ll recognize the error of their ways and, like, stop being evil. It’s rare for me to get truly excited about an out-and-out villain.

Glory, the antagonist of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s stellar fifth season, is the exception. She is an unequivocal villain, and I love her to death.

Prior to Glory’s arrival in Sunnydale, the Scooby Gang deals with an assortment of down-to-earth villains including vampires who want to eat all the humans; unsouled ex-lovers with psychological torment on their minds; immortal sorcerers who lust after demonic levels of power; and governmental agencies bent on scientifically qualifying magic. They’re great villains, yeah, and they pose a real threat to the Scoobies, but not a one of ‘em is on the same level as Glory. She might deign to wrinkle her nose at them, or shoot a snarky comment their way if they’re particularly lucky, but that’s about as far as Glory would ever involve herself with that sort of rabble.

Because Glory is a god. Literally. And she’s not just any old god--she’s a mad, banished hell god determined to return to her realm at any cost.

She’s the worst, and that makes her the best.

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[personal profile] helloladies
'But what of female villains? Perhaps I’m just not reading the right meta, but it’s always seemed a bit glaring to me that, whereas (for instance) there are endless paeans to the moral complexity and intricate personal histories of the Buffyverse’s Spike and Angel, their female counterparts, Drusilla and Darla, never seem to merit the same degree of compulsive protection.' (Gender, Orphan Black & The Meta of Meta by Foz Meadows)

Jodie has emotions about Morgana Pendragon approximately five times a day. So, when Foz Meadows mentioned the need for more meta examining the moral complexity of female villains Jodie got to scheming.

Months later, our Female Villains theme week is finally here! Get ready to go Metaphysical, party with ladies who start fires and share all your love for female villains. We begin with a guest essay from Foz Meadows herself; the author of Solace and Grief and The Key to Starveldt, and editor of Speculative Fiction 2015.


I have gone out, a possessed witch
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.1


Bad women disobey.

This is the crux, the core truth, of our historically gendered ideas about villainy. Bad men are complicated: they have tragic pasts and hidden agendas, fascinating pathologies and extenuating circumstances; they are political animals, mavericks, monsters, kings and brigands and renegades. They differ from each other in innumerable ways, but while some of them might be misogynists or hypermasculine zealots, the thing that makes them bad is never their gender itself, but only their particular means of expressing it. Bad men are not representative of all men – not culturally, anyway; not at the level of shared narratives – but for centuries of storytelling, bad women have been representative of all women. Our villainy is a stain we brought upon ourselves and which, like Lady Macbeth's damned spot, refuses to wash clean.

And bad women disobey.

Read more... )

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