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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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Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps

the monstrous feminine as femme animale

(p.180) 11 Ginger Snaps

Barbara Creed

Manchester University Press

The monstrous femme animale haunts the modern horror film although in different guises from her ancient counterparts. She has starred in a range of films as female vampire, cat woman, leech woman, ape woman, femme fatale, spider woman, mother alien, and female werewolf. In a number of these narratives, the femme animale appears not just as a terrifying monster who must be destroyed, but also as creature who deliberately sets out to undermine the dominant norms of an anthropocentric and phallocentric symbolic order. This chapter argues that the female werewolf offers a perfect example of the symbol of the femme animale and her ability to explore new ways of being and knowing. Through a reading of Ginger Snaps (2000), the chapter argues that the anthropological machine that makes woman monstrous through her reproductive and bodily functions does so through a process of biological determinism; however, when woman then elects to pursue her own pleasures and to align herself with the animal (even if only in representation) she exposes not just its androcentrism but also the inherent phallocentrism of the machine.

Keywords:   Femme animale, Monstrous feminine, Femininities, Biological determinism, Androcentrism, Ginger Snaps, Werewolves

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