February is Women in Horror month and I couldn't be happier. Well, that's a lie. I could be happier. How? I'd be happier if there was no need for a month devoted to women in this genre. I'd be much happier to be thought of as a horror author and not a female horror author.
I don't understand why there is a gender gap in this genre, I just know there is one. I am not sure if it's because we are seen as physically weaker than men so therefore we must not be able to handle horror as well.
The truth is the majority of violent crimes that happen in this country happen to women. Most of the female horror authors I know have been through those hells. Who better to depict a woman in horrifying situation than a woman?
Even if we don't speak about rape or physical abuse. Let's talk about the women who have led normal lives and have children. How many men can say they knows what it feels like to have something growing and moving inside of you? Yet more readers would pick a book about an alien that deposits its young into a human if it has a male author on the cover.
How did we get to this point? Why are so many of these 'best horror authors' lists full of men with a meager handful of women? How is it that people will include James Patterson on a list of horror (really don't get that one) but not Mary Shelley?
Is the gap caused by readers? Publishers? Authors? All of the above? I don't rightly know. What I do know is that in order to change it we must thrust more of our amazingly talented women into the public eye.
Next time someone asks about a good horror book recommend something by Chantal Noordeloos, Leigh M Lane, Christine Sutton, Allison Dickson, Suzi M, CW LaSart, Lisa McCourt Hollar, Mandy DeGeit, Kat Yares, Billie Sue Mosiman, Rena Mason, Natasha Ewendt, Yvonne Navarro, Lisa Morton, Lisa Manetti, Kay Glass, and Sandy Shelonchik. There are so many more I haven't named, because of time and foggy brain. Feel free to name more in the comments and my sincere apologies to the wonderful women I have left out. I assure you it wasn't on purpose.
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