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Often, women try to avoid the feeling of monstrousness, of being grotesquely ali
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Often, women try to avoid the feeling of monstrousness, of being
grotesquely alien, by tamping down those qualities that we’re told fall outside
the bounds of natural femininity. But monsters also get to do what other female
characters—damsels, love interests, and even most heroines—do not. Monsters get
to be complete, unrestrained, and larger than life. Today, women are becoming
increasingly aware of the ways rules and socially constructed expectations have
diminished us. After seeing where compliance gets us—harassed, shut out, and
ruled by predators—women have never been more ready to become repellent,
fearsome, and ravenous.”
Question#1: How do you see female manipulation of predetermined
“roles” as having an impact on the real world while drawing its
impetus from mythology?
Zimmerman (2021) notes that “Greek mythology [had] a heavy, heavy influence on Renaissance literature, and art and Renaissance literature [have] a heavy influence on our ideas now, about what constitutes literary quality, from a very white, cis[gendered], male perspective” but that perhaps the reality is much different. She states, “The folklore that has shaped our dominant culture teems with frightening female creatures. In our language, in our stories (many written by men), we underline the idea that women who step out of bounds—who are angry or greedy or ambitious, who are overtly sexual or not sexy enough—aren’t just outside the norm. They’re unnatural. Monstrous. But maybe, the traits we’ve been told make us dangerous and undesirable are actually our greatest strengths.”
Question #2: Do you think that this is true? Are these purported weaknesses actually strengths in disguise? Why or why not?