Act 3

January 15, 2008

Act three is a digital image, again intended for use as a blog icon. In this image I explore the idea of woman as monster – of myself as monster.

prettygirlmonster.jpg

As I am writing this I realise I have a fair bit of explaining to do as to what I mean by woman as monster – but I don’t want to procrastinate publishing this act, because that way lies the failure of this project. So I am putting it up here as is, with the intent to discuss it further at a later date.

Previously, on my research blog, I wrote:
What is a monster? In literature it seems to be a person (or part person) that is out of control. Frankenstein’s Monster, Mr Hyde, the Hulk, werewolves, and even serial killers in literature are considered monsters because they are out of control (be it control of their bodies, there desires or their animal impulses).

Consider the Hulk when compared to the mythical figure of Hercules. Both are very strong and at the extreme end of the masculine spectrum. Both are enhanced humans, both have thoughts and feelings. The thing that seems to separate them from each other and makes Hercules a hero and the Hulk a monster is that Hercules has control over his strength while the Hulk has little control over his impulses.

Consider also Jesus vs Medusa. Both are reported to have the power of transformation – Jesus reportedly turned water into wine and inanimate objects into food, while medusa has the power to turn flesh into stone. Apart from the obvious benevolent nature of Jesus (and all that son of god stuff), a big difference between the two is that Jesus can chose how to use his power while Medusa is said to turn everyone who looks into her eyes to stone.

I contend that the split between the monstrous and the divine is not in power, but in control.

I believe that women can be seen as monsters because their bodies are perceived as dangerously out of control.

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One Response to “Act 3”

  1. baby_elvis Says:

    I must have missed this one when i was away. Yes, this very much resonates with the representations ans constructions of ‘woman’ in the middle ages – in both that the male body is represented as normative and the female body as deviant and debased, lacking etc; and the female body/mind/emotions are seen as essentially uncontrolled, monstrous and needing to be subject to male discipline. Thus, the existence of the conduct literature I wrote my masters on. For the medievalists the iconic image is of Eve as monstrous, disobedient and out of control – and of course, having our bodies no longer subject to a rational will is part of our post-lapsarian punishment.


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