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The Resurgence of the Monstrous Feminine

granta.com

HANNAH WILLIAMS

Despite the sheer and uncommunicable amount of violence enacted upon the female body throughout history, it’s woman as terroriser, as beast, that we keep coming back to.

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Women and their Bodies, I

To be a woman is to be feared, to know fear. To hold the two simultaneously within yourself, to know that your body, by the sheer fact of its existence, will be terrified by the society that claims to be terrorised by it; that the patriarchy deems women’s bodies so awful, so monstrous, that it se...

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Women and their Bodies, II

What better way to justify the ways in which we break her?

The female body has been codified as disgusting, defective – leaking, bleeding, oozing – from time immemorial. She limps, incomplete and half-finished, across Aristotle’s theories, a deformed ‘monstrosity’ and a ‘misbegotten man’; s...

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Women and their Bodies, III

She’s simultaneously too-much and less-than; little more than an underdeveloped man, a foetus too weak to grow entirely, pale and fragile as an orchid. It’s this that Freud evokes when he writes ‘Probably no male human being is spared the fright of castration at the sight of a female genital.’ Fo...

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Monstrous-Feminine

If women are unsupervised, then what might they be doing? What might they be wearing? What could they become? What if, instead of being powerless and pliable, they learned that they could fight back? What if the woman who lies next to you at night, folds your laundry, cooks your meals, is merely ...

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