Women in Horror Month
I have been participating in, and interested in, Women in Horror Month since I learned of its existence, in 2014.
My first experience in WIHM was interesting. During a thread that I was following, there was a guy named Scott Lefavre, who saw an image that was for Women in Horror Month with red lips and the logo, and a tongue. He claimed it was the official picture for the month (it wasn’t) and that it was sexual in nature. So I hopped in, thinking that he meant well as he dug deeper into the hole he was making, and tried to help him explain what he meant. Turns out he meant that women’s mouths were better suited to sex stuff and that the red lips were suggestive of that and it was just a crash and burn that blew up in my face. When I realized what he was REALLY saying, to me at that point, about red lips and vagina dentata and more weirdness, the whole thing blew up and FaceBook was flooded with profile pictures of lips in bright red lipstick. Mine was my husband wearing it in support. So, that was year one for me, in a nutshell.
Year two for me for Women in Horror Month began in a group for New England Horror Writers. Rod Labbe asked if there were any horror writers in Maine. Someone mentioned the trio of us that make my Writer’s group. He dismissed us as not real writers. I ignored it. Then he posted, publicly, on Facebook a continuation of that initial conversation. The thing was, that the beginning in the private group, was unknown to most that saw it. I copied his post, or maybe screen shotted it, and posted it to my own page and said ‘If you want to be friends with him, whatever, but this is what he is posting about my friends and I and I have blocked him.” So that was another big boom. And, again, the majority of the damning (for the other person) conversation was between myself and them. At one point, he classified women horror writers as hags. He condemned library readings and tables for book sales on lawns. Those were things that our group had advertised as they happened, and to my knowledge we were the only ones that mentioned tables on the lawn, because there is a big festival in our town and one of the members lives right on the street where most of the events take place. I think it was in the part I posted on Fb. Soon, once again because I have amazing people in my life, pictures of Hags in all forms were profile pictures. The posts about hags were everywhere and Haggate was a thing. I coined the phrase Resting Hag Face (which I am so proud of.) and made it a hashtag.
I was primed and ready for Year Three to involve some stupid person and a bunch of drama, but it passed quietly and peacefully.
I ADORE our community, and how they stand up for what is right, and when one or several of us are attacked, they DO NOT stand by and watch. Horror writers are some of the nicest people I have ever met.
Having said that, I am interested to see what this year brings. I will not be bringing national politics into this, except to say that the political climate is restless and in some ways aggressive and I think that there is an attitude that anything can be said, no matter how hateful, and that the attitude by many is that it is encouraged. So, given all that, and several governmental policy changes, this current time is, in and of itself, horrific for women (and for SO many others for SO many reasons. I am not discounting you, nor forgetting you) But I have seen my Horror friends do what they do best. Rally for what is right. And should there be some sort of ridiculousness within the confines of Women In Horror Month, I know that we will unite once again. And, hey. Maybe we’ll get some new hashtags and some new profile pictures for the month, too.
April Hawks lives in Maine with her four boys and her husband, all avid supporters of her writing (even though the younger three aren’t yet allowed to read most of it) Her blog can be found at www.aprilhawks.com and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org She has been published by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Great Old Ones Publishing, has appeared on The Taco Society Presents, and is co founder of Tuesday Mayhem Society, a writing group that usually, now, meets on any day but Tuesday. She has permanent Resting Hag Face.