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She-wolfA cultural history of female werewolves$
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Hannah Priest

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089343

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089343.001.0001

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Fur girls and wolf women

Fur girls and wolf women

fur, hair and subversive female lycanthropy

(p.77) 5 Fur girls and wolf women

Jazmina Cininas

Manchester University Press

Humanity has long had an ambivalent relationship with fur and hair, reflecting the contested boundary of the human and nonhuman worlds. This ambivalence becomes amplified further still when ‘fur’ is not worn, but rather ‘grown’ by the human body, with excessive body hair or hirsutism occupying an especially contentious space, particularly for the female sex. Since at least the early modern period, the hairy female body has been viewed as a manifestation of animalistic lust. Anxieties reach their zenith when a woman’s hair growth exceeds not only the social parameters set for her gender, but also those for her species. This chapter employs the figures of the hairy woman and the female werewolf throughout history to explore shifting social attitudes towards fur/body hair and the feminine, and its place in the re-evaluation of the human/animal boundary.

Keywords:   Body hair, Hirsutism, Human/animal boundary, The feminine, Female body, Werewolves

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