Women in the Macabre Side of Pop Culture

Puerto Rico
18° 13' 14.9988" N, 66° 35' 24.5364" W

In these past few years, there’s been a rise and a popularization of what is considered the dark and macabre; evil is the new “good”. It became more evident when Ryan Murphy’s (Nip/Tuck, Glee, Eat Pray Love) and Brad Falchuk’s (Nip/Tuck, Glee, Scream Queens) show, American Horror Story, aired in 2011. Later, show’s such as Salem (2014-2017) and Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)  kept cultivating the initiative for these “horror” shows. Not only do these shows portray morbid and gruesome themes, but hey also illustrate females in the main role exploring layers of marginalized darkness.  

Another important factor, crucial to these shows, is the many ways female characters are developed; they fell multiple times and each time they stood with their heads held high. For ages, in many mythologies, women are written off as the source of the damnation of humankind; every bad quality in humanity is blamed on women. But, these shows shine a new light on this ageless darkness that has followed us through our lives. Since we’re small, us women, are taught to always follow good to ‘redeem’ ourselves; these shows tell us a different story. iZombie (2015-2019), is a DC comic-turned-show which follows the adventures of Liv Moore in her new undead life helping solve crimes with her new “zombie abilities”, embracing that that had dehumanized her and making it her own.

We keep seeing women as part of the darkness or the source of it. Are they the heroine or the villainess? Telling the differences can get tricky since sometimes during her multifaceted journey these two sides are a hairline away from each other. That’s where her moral and ethical dilemmas begin to be questioned as to what she chooses. But, give it a thought; women have been marginalized since the beginning of time, we’ve fought for our places in society and the women in these shows try to embrace the dark as their own. It’s not about proving them right, it’s about making that darkness part of themselves when they’ve been thrown into the same well women have been thrown in since it was known that Eve ate the apple and condemned us all and Pandora opened the box to everything that was bad into the world. Now, women embrace the damnation and roll with it. They’ve learned to wear it like a glove.