The World Hates People With Vaginas, Part 2: The Mutilated Vagina House

31 Oct

(UPDATE: See the bottom of the post for the haunted house’s website and contact info).

Davetavius has a job. (I know, right? What a fuckin’ loser.) I call his boss Ultradave, because he’s the distilled essence of what it means to be a guy named Dave. Meaning that I can’t believe he doesn’t manage a guitar shop in Colorado. Ultradave, in addition to owning the world’s largest collection of Converse All-stars, is also the world’s premier Rob Zombie fan, though I suspect (hope) there’s at least a teaspoon or two of irony in the mix. Being that Ultradave is so into Rob Zombie, it comes as no surprise that he’s also a fan of haunted houses. Hence, it is also no surprise that the employee Halloween party he hosted last night involved a trip to a haunted house located behind the Masquerade, an Atlanta concert venue/club that appears to dominate the stupid metal band scene here in town since there’s always some hilarious band name on the marquee. (Angel Raper, Corpse Fucker, Putrid Afterbirth, Defile the Innocent. OK, Natethaniel and I made all of those up.) I’d sooner spend an entire day watching Geico commercials than spend one second in a haunted house, but I went to the party anyway since I heard there’d be beer. The bar situation was really pretty amazing. They had set a bar up outside in a dirt lot in order to provide drinks to customers waiting to check out the haunted house, and there was some DJ there playing Eazy-E and Motley Crue on giant speakers for a crowd of maybe eight people. I felt like an attendee at a high school party held by the kid that no one likes.

I and Davetavius (not Davetavius and I — I’m a feminist, dude) were standing there wondering where the fuck everyone was and what we were doing there when our friend Jack came running up wearing a Fred Flintstone dress (even though he looks like a giant Barney Rubble) and asked whether we’d been in the haunted house. We both snorted in response, and Jack said to me, “I don’t know what to say about it, but I thought of you while I was in there.” I was puzzled. What could possibly be going on in a haunted house that would make someone think of me?

We wandered around some more and came across Jack’s girlfriend Kerry and Natethaniel, who was dressed either as an Amish guy or a Quaker (or maybe simply a suspenders enthusiast). They asked us if we’d been in the haunted house, and we again snorted. They both looked at me with a noticeable measure of anxiety, so I again began to wonder what the hell was going on in this god-damned haunted house that had to do with me.

I suppose all of you readers are saying to your computers, “Duh, Nine Deuce, it’s a haunted house. What did you think was going on?” But you must remember that I haven’t been in a haunted house since maybe 1989. At that time, the average haunted house was just a series of dark halls in which drama club dorks with masks and plastic axes would jump out at you and say things like, “You’d better run for your life!” in their best attempt at a spooky muahahaha voice. Even when I was eleven that shit was basically whatever the opposite of scary is. But now it’s 2009, and we live in a world in which movies like Hostel, Saw 1-76, and the Halloween remakes (which are Rob Zombie joints, in case you didn’t know) make millions of dollars. I should have known that would affect the goings-on at the nation’s haunted houses. Stupid me.

Apparently, in the modern haunted house scene, rape is where it’s at. Kerry and Natethaniel told me that the haunted house’s “attractions” included a woman being brutally gang raped, women being tortured, women being murdered, a woman’s torso with the genital area completely mutilated, an exploding ass (I forgot to ask what sex the exploding ass was), and so on and so forth. All of the above came with plenty of blood. My friend Steve said that a better name for the haunted house might be “The Mutilated Vagina House,” and I asked him, rhetorically, why there weren’t more mutilated penises in the mix. He replied that no one would come, and he was right.

Is there really anyone out there who still denies the fact that pretty much everyone hates women? Would it be likely, in a non-misogynistic society, that a large part of the popular entertainment industry would be made up of depictions of women being raped, tortured, and murdered? Would people be walking out of haunted houses in which women were being gang raped and tortured to death with boners gasping about how “awesuuuhhhmm” it was? OK, I didn’t see any actual boners, but I’m sure there were at least a few, judging by the looks of the cretins walking around outside the place. Steve was right, no one would go to a haunted house in which men were being sexually tortured and murdered, because men are human beings, and that’s just over the line. And it’s nowhere near as hot as watching the same happen to women’s bodies.

I mean it, dude. I’m moving to Antarctica.

UPDATE: If you’re in need of something to be pissed off about, you can see the show’s site here. And if, after having seen it, you’d like to tell the operators what you think, here‘s the contact page.

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115 Responses to “The World Hates People With Vaginas, Part 2: The Mutilated Vagina House”

  1. Aileen Wuornos October 31, 2009 at 2:29 AM #

    Holy shit.

  2. Christina October 31, 2009 at 3:32 AM #

    Yeah. Holy shit. I think that sums up my reaction. I guess I’m too optimistic about the social evolution of humanity. I can’t lie, I am shocked. I have not been to a haunted house in years either.

  3. Bill October 31, 2009 at 4:39 AM #

    It’s bad enough guys are into this destructive crap.

    It’s sad that so many women are as well. I can’t get over how many women are into these slasher horror flicks, haunted houses, and the like.

    • Gayle November 1, 2009 at 2:03 AM #

      Why would that bother you? Are women suddenly raping and mutilating women in droves?

      The only time I hear of a woman being involved in these types of crimes is when she is paired with a dominate, sicko male spouse or boyfriend. Typically, she’s abused herself.

      Men being into this is far, far more disturbing as men are the ones who rape, mutilate and kill women. In real life. And when they view torturing women as entertainment you end up with cases like that gang rape in CA, with so many men raping and even more snapping pictures and cheering this abuse as if it’s nothing more than live action porn.

      • sour song November 2, 2009 at 1:18 AM #

        Women internalizing the pornification of their own abuse is pretty disturbing to me.

      • Bill November 3, 2009 at 4:17 PM #

        What is there to NOT be bothered by?

        These movies, and other entertainments justify the entertainment value of destruction. When women, who are the best (only) people who can civilize this sick species of ours, fall into the Stockholm Syndrome of being fans of their own destruction and oppression, it takes a chunk out of my soul.

        Perhaps I shouldn’t put the obligation of saving humanity on y’all, but I’m not smart enough to see any other valid options.

        • Rachel November 3, 2009 at 4:54 PM #

          It’s sick when men want to watch women being cut to bits, but men can’t help it! Women, though…when women enjoy watching women be cut up, rather than doing their predestined jobs of civilizing humanity…why, that takes a chunk of Bill’s soul. He has a soul, despite the fact that he’s a man, and thus, not to smart, which is why he is ditching us with the task of “saving humanity,” nor too moral, due to his not being a woman, and all. He must really enjoy the slasher flicks! Oh, wait…maybe he just goes to the movies hoping to meet some really cute women there. Cuz as we all know, women…they can’t get enough of those mutilated vaginas. They’re worse than the men about it. It’s sad how many of them consume that kind of entertainment these days. Ladies, it’s time to break free from the Stockholm Syndrome! Now go forth and educate all of mankind about how it is wrong to mutilate women! Go on, now; the sooner you get started, the more of humanity you can save!

  4. isme October 31, 2009 at 5:16 AM #

    WTF?

    • isme October 31, 2009 at 8:51 AM #

      Actually, now that I think about it it’s probably because that sort of thing is “safe”…you can watch zombie movies, but you know zombies aren’t real and thus can’t hurt you, you can see tortured women and know that that kind of thing can’t happen to real people, because they lack vaginas.

  5. polly styrene October 31, 2009 at 9:18 AM #

    Well they’ve obviously watched a lot of the “new” horror films, which seem to consist entirely of women being tortured.

    But you’re right of course. No one would go into a ‘haunted house’ which consisted of a depiction of say, male prisoners of war being raped and tortured (though some very horrible things go on) because it would be thought in bad taste. Children being raped and tortured would be well beyond the pale. Whereas adult women being tortured, that’s just entertainment.

    • Gayle November 1, 2009 at 2:04 AM #

      Exactly.

  6. Rachael October 31, 2009 at 10:54 AM #

    Few things piss me off more than the eroticization of violence against women. What the fuck makes people think this okay? It’s positively sickening that enough people thought this was “AWESOME” to make an entire haunted house out of it.

    It makes me physically sick to read about this. If I saw a haunted house like that myself I think I’d go ballistic.

  7. Roxie October 31, 2009 at 9:18 PM #

    I haven’t seen any of those modern horror films, I wouldn’t have expected ANYTHING like that. That’s really sick.

    We went to the Rocky Horror Picture show at the Plaza Theater…and I’m glad we did, cause wtf?

  8. karinova October 31, 2009 at 9:49 PM #

    God, I wish I could be truly shocked.
    I had the tingly feeling that there was going to be another clear sign of the coming Doodpocalypse this Halloween, but I was betting on a “Girls Gone Wild: Halloween” video. (It’s just a matter of time.) The House of Mutilated Vaginas just cuts right to the philosophical chase, I guess. Still, the entire scene— the inevitable combo of boners, violence and booze— reminds me of nothing so much as Mardi Gras and Spring Break, only the rapes aren’t DIY, they’re for spectators.

    As I’ve lately been pointing out to anyone who will listen, it seems to have taken only a few years (less than ten, I’d say), but at some point the list of “primary features of Halloween” went from scary masks, candy and childish pranks to near-nudity, binge drinking and sexual assault. This is kind of what Halloween is about now.

  9. Ashley October 31, 2009 at 10:51 PM #

    You are by far my fave blogger on the entire net. I have referenced you many times in my online blog and use your articles as reference. Getting your blog out there to other feminists.

    keep it up!

  10. Jenn November 1, 2009 at 1:50 AM #

    Dude, I’m not even that picky about horror and bloods and guts and everything. All I ask is that if they have to show gratuitous violence—which can be awesome if they do it right—is that they don’t sexualize it, normalize it, glamorize it, or use any old tired bigotry to get a lot of high-fives from white drunken dudes.

    Silly me, I know. Nothing’s more “edgy” than sexualizing violence against women. Ironically, violence against women being the source of dudely bonding is about as original as hunting and gathering. Edgy indeed.

    Yeah, I’m really glad I’m not you. If I had to go through that House of Mutilated Vaginas, I’d be loudly exclaiming “what the fuck?” with my sadly overused feminist sneer in place instead of screaming.

    Really, whatever happened to ghosts and shit? Now it’s all torture porn everywhere I go, with a side of “sexy geisha” sexist and racist costumes for eight year-old girls.

    Godammit, fuck Halloween.

  11. Emily November 1, 2009 at 3:29 AM #

    This possibly ruined my Halloween experience. Why is torture and pain and just generally terrible stuff considered entertainment? And why is it suddenly not as entertaining when it’s happening to men? Why? I just don’t understand this. I feel like this isn’t the kind of world we should be living in. We’ve been to the moon. We invented the internet. We have technology that allows people to move a mouse with their minds. We, for all intents and purposes, live in the future. And yet, men still find violence against women either sexually stimulating or entertaining.
    The fact that violence is being sexualized is what really scares me. With 1 in 6 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, do we really need to make violence any more sexually appealing? Do we really need to teach men that it’s ok to find the torture and degradation of women of women a sexually gratifying experience? Just the fact that torture porn exists makes me depressed about the state of the world. The fact that most mainstream horror movies basically fall under that category makes me practically hopeless.

    And then, to top it all of, people try to say that we don’t need a feminist movement anymore.

    • isme November 1, 2009 at 4:16 AM #

      “With 1 in 6 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, do we really need to make violence any more sexually appealing?”

      Well, if it’s 1 in 6 women (I hear 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 occasionally), then men who sexually assault women aren’t an abherration, they are a demographic, with numbers enough to get them a seat in the UN. It’s more than most “mainstream” minority groups.

      On a related note, does anyone else wonder if this is why “Jennifer’s Body” did so badly, in that it’s guys who are seduced and murdered? Ok, yes, in addition to this, it did tend to suck, with the only actually scary/creepy bit being (for obvious reasons) when she is drugged and abducted by a group of men and is begging to be let go.

      • ASP November 1, 2009 at 5:10 PM #

        On a related note, does anyone else wonder if this is why “Jennifer’s Body” did so badly

        Apparently Megan Fox had been quoted saying some stuff that outed her as a 3D human being with flaws and complexity, which wilted some dicks. I’m not a fan, and don’t claim she’s feminist, but I do enjoy the fact that someone who’s been featured in so many rape manuals men’s magazines came out as something other than a 100% dude nation cheerleader.
        Her bad press IRL may have played a part in the low turnout for this film.

      • karinova November 1, 2009 at 7:50 PM #

        “On a related note, does anyone else wonder if this is why “Jennifer’s Body” did so badly?”

        Actually, I got the impression they thought they were being feminist? I didn’t think it was expected or even intended to do well among men/boys. That is, I thought the whole pseudo-girlpower theme (“pseudo” as in: feminism = choppin’ dicks off while lookin’ sexaay!) was specifically meant to appeal (pander, really) to women/girls. Right down to the title, which is taken from a Hole song. You know, Hole>Feminism>GirlPower>female-audience-dollars. (Of course, though it seems so at first listen, it may or may not be a particularly “feminist” song; if you actually listen to the lyrics, it’s hard to tell what it’s about. Pandering!)

        And so I’m rather pleased that it flopped and was panned. Partly because I am sick unto death of Diablo Cody, but mostly because I like to think girls just weren’t having it.

  12. sour song November 2, 2009 at 1:14 AM #

    I keep reading your blog and thinking how alike we are in how we see the world, and then every so often you abandon the philosophical stuff to talk about stuff in your life and I realize how impossible it would be for the two of us to ever hang out. You don’t have a whole lot of patience for geeky people like me who like to play roleplaying games and go to renfests and dress up to celebrate the spooky on Halloween, do you? :-P

    As for all this mutilating women stuff, do you think it’s a backlash to feminism? I wonder if the thought is that it’s more shocking to see violence against women than it is against men, and they’re going for maximum shock value while enjoying complete and utter obliviousness to privilege.

    Another thing. People who like slasher movies tend to insist it’s not sexual. But then if you ask why you don’t see the same thing happening to men, they say it’s because it would be gay, which kind of blows their cover if you ask me. Which makes me wonder if it’s just all about male gaze. We don’t see men getting mutilated on TV for the same reason that we don’t see men dancing around in their underwear on TV.

    I don’t know, it’s hard to put my finger on the intricacies of this phenomenon.

    • Nine Deuce November 2, 2009 at 3:38 AM #

      I’m actually not as big of a snob as I sound like. Stylistic hyperbole and whatnot.

      I think this stuff is a backlash to feminism coupled with the confluence of a generally misogynistic culture and unbridled capitalism. And the fact that the movie industry knows they can make a lot more money on formulaic, misogynistic horror movies with no-name actors and on Will Farrell movies than on making anything decent.

      • sour song November 2, 2009 at 10:34 AM #

        Yeah, I’m really going with the backlash hypothesis. It’s this whole “edgy” trend, where people convince themselves that they are cool and rebellious and nonconforming. But ironically, they are very, very careful to only rebel in the safest way possible so that they don’t have to actually deal with the social consequences of real rebellion, nor do they have to invest the intellectual effort required for real rebellion.

        Being offensive to oppressed groups is perfect for them. Equality has made enough inroads in this day and age that some recognition of it is socially expected, but nowhere near enough that society at large has any real consequences for being a bigoted asshole, and the people who are going to get pissed off are not the people in power. Your recent blog post highlights this, where we see that both court officials and high school students unleash a slew of social consequences on someone who has the nerve to be a rape victim, but little to none on people who gang rape an intoxicated teenage girl.

        • Roxie November 2, 2009 at 6:08 PM #

          Got this from another commenter, but I loved it

          “Usually when I see something that stupid on the internet, it’s greeted by raves like,
          dude, you’re so edgy and politically incorrect. it’s totally ironic and satirical how you regurgitated those ancient and threadbare stereotypes. It reminds me of my great great great great grandpa, Cracker Von Patriarch, who also challenged the status quo by embracing it with loving tenderness.

          Dare I hope for a better tomorrow?”

        • Gayle November 3, 2009 at 1:00 AM #

          If this is part of a backlash, I don’t see how it can be edgy. The backlash has been going on since the 2nd Wave began.

          I don’t see it as backlash, anyway. A backlash against feminism would require an awareness of feminism and that’s not even in the public consciousness anymore.

    • m Andrea November 2, 2009 at 4:58 PM #

      First off, I want to apologize to ND because half the time I come here I insult everybody and the other half I merely scream at my moniter. I understand this is not helpful and am struggling to retrain my responses into something which is helpful.

      As for all this mutilating women stuff, do you think it’s a backlash to feminism?

      No. Why on earth would violence against women be a “consequence” to the women who are seeking liberation? The question presupposes that if women would just go back to the kitchen then men would stop being violent. But was there ever a time when men were not violent to those they claimed to love? The question blames women for any and all behavior which men choose to do. It removes the responsibilty for men’s behavior from men and magically places that responsiblity onto the focus of men’s rage. It’s victim-blaming, writ large.

      Again, why would men choose to be violent to women seeking liberation? Could a better answer be because men do not want women to be liberated? Blame the cause, not the consequence!

      Second point. That anybody would think a display of men raping women is hilarious, considering that sexual violence is a very real threat to women, makes me want to literally PUKE. There is something extremely wrong with our society.

      • Nine Deuce November 2, 2009 at 6:58 PM #

        Good point.

      • sour song November 2, 2009 at 7:13 PM #

        Andrea, you’re putting some pretty crazy words into my mouth. We’re on the same page here.

        • m Andrea November 2, 2009 at 10:22 PM #

          Sour song, really sorry. My only objection was that word “backlash”. The way it’s typically used in a sentence changes which party is responsible. Which then becomes internalized without a second thought.

          I’m seriously very worried about something else, which I can’t articulate at all. The idea that women are internalizing misogyny has been expressed multiply times already, so while I agree with that idea, it is not what concerns me. It has to do with the depth of internalization — and the only next logical step from there.

          Words fail me completely, but it seems as if large segments of our culture are right now in the process of approaching a very unhealthy point of no return. Which is why in a roundabout way I’m noticing something peculiar about the category of messages which are being unconsciously internalized.

          Severe mental trauma occurs immediately after an individual realizes there is no escape from perpetual abuse. According to the shrinks, it manifests in various but predictable ways.

      • Gayle November 3, 2009 at 1:04 AM #

        You’re right. Violence against women is worse where feminism never existed/doesn’t exist so the backlash explanation doesn’t really make sense.

  13. Roxie November 2, 2009 at 1:26 AM #

    I actually liked Jennifer’s Body. It was about toxic friendships between two girls (one theme anyway) and was horror+comedy. U.S. seems to have a problem with horror+comedy (teeth).

  14. buttersisonlymyname November 2, 2009 at 2:49 PM #

    This is really messed up.

  15. polly styrene November 2, 2009 at 9:03 PM #

    M Andrea you’re alive! Did I tell you lately that I love you? (If only to wind people up).

    Moving on to the backlash thing. Yes it is problematic. Interestingly I saw the same thing argued today WRT to an increase in homophobic violence

    “As more people come out they become more visible and more easily identifiable. That makes them easier targets for people who want to target them.The second thing is there’s probably an element of people who are losing what they have until now taken for granted – their right to be homophobic. They are angry and it’s a last desperate gasp from people who are used to doing what they like to gay people.

    “I remember there was a similar backlash in the US in the 60s, a big rise in racist attacks in the wake of the civil rights movement.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8337446.stm

    In other words if the gays/blacks/women would stop being all uppity and visible people wouldn’t find it necessary to slap them down. Sadly it seems that gay rights campaigners (and feminists) can’t see the problem with this line of argument, although there is quite probably some truth in the fact that the haters will become even more violent if they see the hated group gaining any form of human rights. But they weren’t non haters before, that’s the point.

  16. James November 2, 2009 at 10:01 PM #

    This post reminds me of every male reaction I’ve come across to the film Teeth. They won’t see it, because it terrifies them. There seems to be this attitude that just because you admit to being scared of things (menstruation is the everyday example) you’re a better and more modern man than your grandad who held every emotion and fear in until he had a heart attack age 45.

    Your genitals are sensitive, okay, and the thought of them being hacked off is horrifying. But you see people killed or badly injured in every second film you watch. Why is this so much worse? Even when you tell them the males in the film were only the deserving ones. The answer’s here.

    • m Andrea November 3, 2009 at 4:30 PM #

      Sorry to stalk the thread, but that’s a good point.

    • polly styrene November 3, 2009 at 10:23 PM #

      Men are scared of menstruation? Really?

      What odd creatures they are, to be sure.

      • isme November 11, 2009 at 11:42 AM #

        Well, how many times do you see menstruation mentioned in TV or movies?

    • winter_lights November 11, 2009 at 3:15 AM #

      You know, I haven’t seen that film. (I don’t see most films, in fact.) But I don’t really get some of the reactions to the idea. After all, humans all have teeth in our mouths. Yet oral sex isn’t considered particularly scary. Why is this different?

      Now, if it was involuntary, that would be a lot more dangerous for all concerned. Accidentally cutting off your own fingers… ick.

      • isme November 11, 2009 at 11:43 AM #

        Yeah, I’ve never gotten how the same people can be aroused by oral sex, by frightened of vagina dentata.

      • Rachael November 12, 2009 at 8:27 AM #

        Wow, that’s a good point, and one I’ve never thought about before.

      • James November 14, 2009 at 8:11 PM #

        Good additional point, thanks!

        (spoiler below)

        In the film, the biting is involuntary, and the girl doesn’t know what’s happening at first, but her body only does it when it senses she’s being abused or forced (to any extent).

        • crankosaur November 15, 2009 at 4:03 AM #

          Actually, James, the biting is involuntary at first, but she learns to control it pretty fast and use it against people for being douchehounds.

          • Nine Deuce November 15, 2009 at 5:21 AM #

            Douchehounds! That’s a new one. I thought I’d heard it all with douchecanoe.

  17. cubanoafuego November 3, 2009 at 2:52 PM #

    Wow, this is seriously fucked….. who the hell set this shit up? And what, were these videos, pictures? If so, from where- like mainstream films/ drawn/ ????

  18. m Andrea November 3, 2009 at 4:29 PM #

    Thanks Polly! And amazingly enough, I came back to tell ND that I LOVE HER!! So Duce, if you would be good enough to express affection towards the bovine slash rock star across the pond, our circle jerk would be complete.

    In other words if the gays/blacks/women would stop being all uppity and visible people wouldn’t find it necessary to slap them down. Sadly it seems that gay rights campaigners (and feminists) can’t see the problem with this line of argument, although there is quite probably some truth in the fact that the haters will become even more violent if they see the hated group gaining any form of human rights. But they weren’t non haters before, that’s the point.

    Weeeeeell yes, but a second point is that there is no reason for feminists to blame themselves for the behavior of bigots, yet they do. And I believe this internalized self-blame is increasing. So why now? What’s different?

    • Nine Deuce November 3, 2009 at 4:37 PM #

      Well, of course I love Polly, and m Andrea. Circle jerk activate!

    • polly styrene November 3, 2009 at 9:02 PM #

      Empowerfullmentnessarianism.

  19. o.a.g. November 5, 2009 at 7:28 PM #

    i’d say you missed an activist opportunity here. you were with a group of frends – why not go and confront the event organizers, or the people exiting the house? how will any of them know how you felt about it unless they find your blog?

    • Nine Deuce November 5, 2009 at 7:57 PM #

      All I could find were security guards, but you’re right, I should have done something more. I wasn’t willing to pay money to go inside and couldn’t really figure out what to do. I made sure that plenty of the people who came out knew my thoughts on the place, though.

  20. Andrew November 6, 2009 at 3:49 AM #

    That video is disturbing, especially since it makes no bones about being marketed completely to sadistic freaks. Like who really has fantasies about chopping up women? Even the kink.com shit has more of a mental element to it then this.

    If I had to just shoot off a theory, I think what is underlying this is the theme that women are expendable, i.e., worthless. (Duh right?) The irony is that all of the models/actors are prettier than most of the women people who tour this house will ever even have the chance to date. I think this is ego stroking, kind of like “get revenge on that girl who turned you down in high school through blood letting, and sadistic pseudo-experiments”, and that might explain its marginal popularity.

    All that being said, this kind of thing would not appeal to me at all. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve come to find that the biggest dorks/losers (not necessarily nerds) are the biggest women haters and I think this is in that vein.

  21. berryblade November 6, 2009 at 10:23 AM #

    That video was fucking disturbing.
    What’s even more disturbing is the ‘promotional photo shoot’.

    You know, I’m not usually a fan of censorship but shit like this should NOT become even remotely acceptable. I’m not even an American, but I’m certainly writing in.

  22. Chaos November 6, 2009 at 11:48 PM #

    I disagree with the assertion that people wouldn’t go to a haunted house of mutilated penises. I’m hugely into horror movies and there are MANY horror movies that feature mutilated penises. Granted, the guy usually gets his penis mutilated as a consequence of the fact that he either raped or attempted to rape a girl or woman. But rapists almost always get what’s coming to them in horror movies…I can think of two separate horror movies where an attempted rapist gets his penis messily consumed by a dog. And if the rapist doesn’t get his penis mutilated, usually he at least gets his head blown up in a microwave, or is forced to gouge his own eyes out while having his limbs ripped off. I consider that pretty feminist.

    • Nine Deuce November 7, 2009 at 12:28 AM #

      How the fuck is heinous violence feminist?

      • Andrew November 7, 2009 at 1:24 AM #

        The same way that heinous violence against women is patriarchal?

        Unless you’d want to argue that violence is inherently masculine, but I think that sounds a bit too stereotyped.

        • truthvscompliance November 8, 2009 at 4:47 PM #

          Right, cuz women NEVER do anything that goes against feminism.

      • Chaos November 7, 2009 at 6:48 PM #

        When it’s against rapists and wife beaters I’d say it is. Obviously you disagree, and if you don’t enjoy watching bloody violence I certainly wouldn’t tell you that you have to start liking it. But I’m saying it’s an incorrect assumption that there’s no market for mutilated penises, because there definitely is and it’s not uncommon at all. Horror movies aren’t just about voyeuristic violence against women…there’s a whole lot of violence against men in there too, and a lot of horror movies have a pretty clear message that rape is wrong and if you rape (or even attempt to), you’ll get kicked in the face so hard that you die and zombie dogs will eat your accomplices. Horror movie fans aren’t all just guys who want to see violence against innocent women.

        • truthvscompliance November 8, 2009 at 4:54 PM #

          You have to admit though that violence against women in most horror movies is totally sexualized. I mean – take halloween (rob zombie’s version) for example – the first two women to get killed were conveniently naked – while the men with them were fully clothed. What kind of message is that sending?
          When is the violence against men in movies ever sexualized?

          • Chaos November 9, 2009 at 4:32 AM #

            Halloween is one of the more misogynistic horror movies; it’s the one that originally came up with the “you have sex, you die” trope back in the 80s. So of course there are misogynistic movies in the horror genre, just like there are misogynistic movies in every genre. I’m just saying that not all horror movies are like that. Violence against men can be sexualized…Teeth, Deliverance?

    • Rachael November 7, 2009 at 8:38 AM #

      I wouldn’t call that feminist.

      For one thing, it suggests that it’s okay to eroticize rape as long as the rapist gets his in the end. Just because he gets his penis ripped off later doesn’t mean the damage hasn’t already been done. It’s still a case of women being raped for the purpose of entertainment and titillation. Furthermore, while the rapist may have the most gruesome death, he’s certainly not the only character to die in a painful, horrific manner. Plenty of people who don’t “deserve” death are also slaughtered, which kind of negates the whole “rapists will be punished” idea.

      Secondly, the violence itself is voyeuristic and sexualized in nature. This is why horror films are often set up as morality plays: If you have sex you die, if you rape you get your penis cut off, if you abandon your friends you get eaten alive. The point of horror films is so people can get a kind of “joy” out of watching others undergo horrible, torturous experiences. Just look at the advertisement for the Haunted House ND was talking about: It doesn’t advertise the house as a horrible, terrifying scarefest, but rather a place where “you can live your wildest dreams…your most deviant fantasies…your sickest pleasures.” It is completely upfront about the fact that the real purpose is to entertain those who get their rocks off watching people be mutilated.

      Finally, as ND said, such horrific violence, no matter who the victim or what the situation, is not feminist. It’s sick. And that sickness is what these kinds of attractions cater to. It’s no longer about “train wreck syndrome” or “morbid curiosity.” It’s about extremely disturbing, gut-wrenching violence, and the people who enjoy watching it.

      • isme November 7, 2009 at 11:09 AM #

        “This is why horror films are often set up as morality plays”

        Actually, no, that was originally to appease the morality police, and it’s become embedded. The sexualisation of violence might be part of it, though.

        • Rachael November 8, 2009 at 11:31 AM #

          I stand corrected. Thank you.

      • Chaos November 7, 2009 at 6:28 PM #

        The fact that they’re morality plays is one reason why I love them so much. In real life, there’s no justice. I did the math from the Bureau of Criminal Justice Statistics, and only about 2% of rapists ever get any jail time. That’s the real world. In horror movies, if you’re rapist then your penis is torn off, or your head explodes. The person who raped me walked free and I certainly wouldn’t be crying over it if he met a horrible demise. I’m always watching these movies with my best friend, who was molested, and she feels the same way. So yeah, we do get joy from watching people undergo torturous deaths, because they deserve it. And we’ll never see that kind of justice in the real world.

        And a lot of times it’s not the case that the damage has already been done…in lots of movies, the man meets a horrible fate just for attempting to rape, before the rape is actually started…or it’s just mentioned as backstory that he’s raped people and it’s not even shown, and a vigilante kills him for it.

        The whole “you have sex, you die” is an old trope from 80s horror movies that is rarely used anymore. If innocent people are killed, the killer usually bites it in the end.

        In my favorite series, Saw, there’s a man who has raped many women, but has never been convicted (the rapes aren’t shown at all.) Ask a lot of those “male rights” people, and they’ll say this never happens, that “women are favored in court”…but in reality it’s the man who’s favored in court and almost never gets convicted. The writer of the Saw series obviously gets that. So the rapist gets killed, and a wife beater gets killed, and a pimp forcing young girls into prostitution gets killed. The latest entry in the series deals with the problem of rescission in the insurance business. It’s actually a really smart series that addresses real social problems.

        • Rachael November 8, 2009 at 11:22 AM #

          I never really considered the argument from that point of view. I still can’t say I agree with you, but I can see more where the other side is coming from. You’ve given me something to think about. Thanks!

          (By the way, I looked at your site and I remember you! Weren’t you a member of the old UPN forums? You might not remember me, but back then I had the same user name, Rachael.)

          • Chaos November 9, 2009 at 4:28 AM #

            Oh wow, that’s cool, yeah I’m from UPN. In fact I’m actually currently living with a guy from UPN- I dunno if you remember NoBSPiccoloNamek, but that’s who I live with. I’m still friends with Angiak Kojiro too if you remember him…he had to move away to the other side of the country but I’m hoping to visit him.

            Anyways I’m glad I could give you another perspective. Some horror movies ARE misogynistic, I agree with that; I’m just saying they aren’t all like that.

        • truthvscompliance November 8, 2009 at 4:57 PM #

          Most horror films don’t follow this logic though, at all. I mean – take Halloween for example – or Texas Chainsaw Massacre. These movies show women running in the woods buck naked with blood splattered all over their breasts – what kind of message is that attempting to send people? That blood splattered naked women are sexy?

          • salith November 10, 2009 at 1:44 AM #

            The person who raped me walked free and I certainly wouldn’t be crying over it if he met a horrible demise.

            I hear what you’re saying, but the problem is that rape got you to where seeing rapists get dismembered satisfies, while men like to watch pretty women get dismembered in revenge for pretty women not returning their phone calls.

          • winter_lights November 11, 2009 at 3:30 AM #

            “That blood splattered naked women are sexy?”

            I’ve thought of that sort of image as being sexy before.

            I’m imagining the blood being from the naked woman having killed the villain with her bare hands though, which I somehow doubt is the case in most of these movies.

            Actually, I’d be a bit surprised if it’s the case in any of them.

            • isme November 11, 2009 at 11:47 AM #

              That kind of thing being seen as sexy is fairly mainstream…similar to women with guns, or as soldiers/police or other authority figures being sexy, I guess.

              • winter_lights November 11, 2009 at 4:37 PM #

                Really. Doesn’t seem to come up in anything *I* watch. The TV Tropes page for the idea makes it sound like it’s almost always a way to make the villains scarier.

                (While I’m at it, I don’t find soldiers or police sexy either…)

        • Sasha, CA November 13, 2009 at 5:03 PM #

          I admit to not having watched a single movie in the “Saw” series (having been raped and tortured in real life, I don’t particularly enjoy watching people being tortured), but it’s my understanding that one of the first victims of the jigsaw killer is a female heroin addict (if I’m not mistaken, the killer forces her to kill another woman in order to save her own life and she actually ends up joining forces with the killer later on). I think it’s hugely problematic to equate being a drug addict with being a rapist or batterer, especially since the vast majority of female heroin addicts are sexual assault survivors.

          • Rachael November 14, 2009 at 4:08 AM #

            This bothered me, too. In fact, I would hardly call any of the people in Saw I or II (the only movies I saw) as “deserving” of torture. Actually, I don’t think anyone “deserves” torture, but these people hardly did anything particularly heinous. Most of them were only guilty of not appreciating their lives–which was kind of the “point” of the first movie. The fact that much of the fanbase has made Jigsaw into some anti-hero kind of pisses me off. It horrified how many comments I read where people called him “neutral” or even “good.”

            And yes, not only does the female heroin addict join forces with him later, she also states in the first film that he “saved” (or maybe “helped”) her.

            • Andrew November 14, 2009 at 6:47 AM #

              I like the Jigsaw character a lot. What makes him easy to support is that it isn’t the particularly heinous that he punishes, but the kind of everyday evil and cruelty that often goes unpunished.

              His punishments are often geared towards choices that fit the particular wrong. For example the heroine addict has to swim through a batch of needles to save someone I think…this is the movies way of saying “If you like needles so much, or think this is OK, then here, have a swim in them”.

              There are the usual arguments, that he is still a murderer, that his punishments are unfair, etc. But the point is that if you’re a good human being, you will never be one of his victims. If every serial killer in the world was like Jigsaw, I honestly would not have a problem with it.

              • Sasha, CA November 14, 2009 at 8:22 AM #

                “But the point is that if you’re a good human being, you will never be one of his victims.”

                Wow, so what you’re saying is that a woman who is suicidal after being raped and turns to drugs in order to cope with PTSD is not a good human being? I’m curious, do you feel that way about all addictions or only addictions to illegal substances?

                “If every serial killer in the world was like Jigsaw, I honestly would not have a problem with it.”

                Sadly there are plenty of real serial killers/rapists/torturers who share your belief that female drug addicts/prostitutes are bad human beings who deserve to be punished.

              • polly styrene November 14, 2009 at 2:11 PM #

                Heroin addicts DON’T like needles Andrew. (dunno about heroine addicts). Heroin is an addictive drug. Most people who end up addicted to it have some issues in their life that lead to that situation, including simple poverty -heroin addiction is a lot more common in deprived areas with high unemployment than rich ones.

                You really are a privileged fuckwit Andrew. A relative of mine died of a heroin overdose, this was after he’d jumped off a motorway bridge, then got clean by his mother moving heaven and earth to get him into rehab, and having met up with a still using friend, using once more and dying as a consequence – because his detoxed body couldn’t cope.

                But I’d love to know what punishment Saw would come up with for you.

                • berryblade November 15, 2009 at 6:41 AM #

                  Well said.

                  I love needles, but skag is bad.

                  My apologies for your lost friend. Losing people to overdoses is always heartbreaking – an ex of mine o’d on speed not that long ago.

              • berryblade November 14, 2009 at 3:18 PM #

                “If every serial killer in the world was like Jigsaw, I honestly would not have a problem with it.”

                There is SO much wrong with this sentence I don’t even know where to begin.

                “His punishments are often geared towards choices that fit the particular wrong. For example the heroine addict has to swim through a batch of needles to save someone I think…this is the movies way of saying “If you like needles so much, or think this is OK, then here, have a swim in them”.”

                So people who take heroin are all automatically addicts? And addicts deserve to die? That’s some REALLY forward thinking hey. People who take drugs aren’t evil. Moron.

                Saw is the worst series of horror movies ever made and the people who like it are morons in my oh so humble opinion. End of discussion. This argument = fail.

                • Nine Deuce November 14, 2009 at 5:07 PM #

                  Yeah, I have to say that I’m of the opinion that the Saw movies are the dumbest thing to ever happen on this planet. Davetavius watches them as comedies.

                  • berryblade November 15, 2009 at 6:43 AM #

                    Haha, I never thought of watching them as comedies. I guess it’s the same kind of thing as Cradle of Filth.

                • polly styrene November 16, 2009 at 10:55 AM #

                  I think if Saw was punishing Andrew, he’d have to make him die of middle class self righteousness. Maybe he could be bored to death at a dinner party by some married right wingers castigating single parents, drug addicts and women who drink.

              • Nine Deuce November 14, 2009 at 5:10 PM #

                Seriously, Andrew, give these comments a little more thought before clicking the reply button. Not cool. I don’t have time to read through every comment I get, so do me that favor or I’ll just start deleting them.

              • Rachael November 15, 2009 at 11:52 AM #

                I would expect no less from someone who says, “I don’t necessarily think mistreating women, or anybody for that matter, is wrong.” Seriously, I don’t know how people like you can live with themselves.

                I’ve met a lot of people who have argued that Jigsaw was some sort of “hero,” but you’re the first person I’ve seen who actually states that he wouldn’t have a problem if this person existed in real life.

                How can you be so sure you wouldn’t be one of his victims?

              • winter_lights November 16, 2009 at 6:14 AM #

                Well, everyone else has addressed heroin addicts far better than I could, so I’ll just address this…

                “I like the Jigsaw character a lot. What makes him easy to support is that it isn’t the particularly heinous that he punishes, but the kind of everyday evil and cruelty that often goes unpunished.”

                … and this.

                “There are the usual arguments, that he is still a murderer, that his punishments are unfair, etc. But the point is that if you’re a good human being, you will never be one of his victims.”

                And actually, you’ve come pretty close to describing the problem – no sense of proportion. A character in a book I’ve got once thought something to the effect that if it was a crime to be an asshole, he’d run out of bullets before bringing justice to everyone who deserved it. And that seems to be a great deal of what Jigsaw does – kills people for being assholes. Nor does he seem to be adverse to injuring totally innocent people to make a point, deliberately nonlethal injury or not.

                There’s also an issue of *efficiency* – given Jigsaw’s theoretical skills and resources, he could probably kill dozens of rapists, murderers, and so forth – you know, people who are actually threats to the well-being of others – in the time it takes to screw around with one probably-not-as-dangerous person.

                Now, I’ll admit that this stuff actually makes the Saw series a little more interesting than average. But I’d still rather watch Dexter. And I wouldn’t feel too bad about living in a world where Dexter existed, whereas my only reason to want to live in a world with Jigsaw would be so I could kill him.

  23. isme November 8, 2009 at 11:22 AM #

    Ok, made the mistake of going to their site…

    An important distinction between this shite and horror movies, I think, is that, despite lots of gratutious gore and violence, you are supposed to be sympathetic to the victims/potential victims in horror movies, while the monsters/crazies/whatever behind it all are the enemy. In this, you’re supposed to be sympathetic to the perpetrators.

    • pmsrhino November 9, 2009 at 9:01 PM #

      Actually to me the video seemed like you were supposed to BE one of the perpetrators. It was YOUR fantasy and YOUR pleasure hinted at in the video. Which made it far more sicker for me.

      And I stay away from horror movies because they generally have the same feel. You’re supposed to sympathize with the victim but if you really sympathized would you WANT to watch them be strung up and hacked to pieces or chained and electrocuted or whatever messed up shit goes on in those movies. I honestly don’t feel much sympathy on the director’s part in those types of movies. It pretty much feels like straight up sadistic voyeurism. Fine if it happens, but to put it on screen just reeks of pleasure at watching (mostly) women be tortured.

      I have also seen plenty of shows and movies where they paint the perpetrator in a sympathetic light, like they couldn’t help that they turned out this way because of abusive childhood/born that way/lost a puppy/had a brain tumor/didn’t get a job promotion/girlfriend broke up with them/whatever. They almost always put a justification in there, just so you can go “Well, see, if their dad just hadn’t punched in the face so much he wouldn’t be raping and killing women.” So I don’t think the majority of horror movies get away scott free.

      And you get a comment because you’re the one at the bottom and I just happened to read it first, lol. Lucky you. :P And yeah, going to that site was a huge mistake. I think I gotta lay down from a huge anger headache.

      • Andrew November 10, 2009 at 3:40 AM #

        Yea, it’s really disturbing that this is offering people the chance to be “offenders” in the spirit of Halloween.

        Some movies might have moral overtones, but some are simply horror films because innocent/sympathetic characters get knocked off as well. In the end though, what we end up with is some sort of affirmation of a broader societal ideal, such as good triumphing over evil.

        What is so wrong about this, if we treat this as a reflection of society, is that “evil” is to be truly embraced and acted upon without consequence. The combination of sex and violence that goes into this particular evil is disturbing as well.

        I think on a broader level, we are seeing a real break down in fabric of society. At the micro level, this break down is being manifest here as a vengeance against women who one is supposed to believe would treat them poorly, and so one has the right to treat them poorly in return.

        • berryblade November 15, 2009 at 6:44 AM #

          “I think on a broader level, we are seeing a real break down in fabric of society. At the micro level, this break down is being manifest here as a vengeance against women who one is supposed to believe would treat them poorly, and so one has the right to treat them poorly in return.”

          Yeah cos that’s totally a new thing.

  24. pmsrhino November 9, 2009 at 8:53 PM #

    What. The Fuck.

    The wording on that video on that website is just fucking insane. Pleasure? Dreams? Fantasy? WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?! I mean fucking Christ! If I knew ANY of those people who made that shit I would personally punch them in the fucking teeth because that is MY fucking fantasy and dream. To punch misogynistic torture rapists in the fucking teeth. I would write a letter now but I’m too mother fucking pissed. God damn and I was having a pretty good day. Shit!

  25. aprilx November 11, 2009 at 6:28 AM #

    That’s some of the sickest shit I’ve *ever* seen in the mainstream. Or the sickest.

    Just wrote them a polite email.

    ASSHOLES!

  26. gare November 12, 2009 at 11:49 PM #

    wow, no posts for 2 weeks, nine deucer is runnin out o steam! I guess now you can see theres only 5 issues, and you can’t pound them forever over and over and over .. and nothing changes .. NOTHING! oh well…. i think the porn/rape thing tired you .. and van halen is still selling lots of records! at least you admit your japanese! i mean well.. sortof ..

    • polly styrene November 13, 2009 at 8:22 PM #

      Or has a life, unlike you?

  27. Michelle November 17, 2009 at 12:42 AM #

    I barely looked at their web site, but, uh, did they forget the haunted part of the haunted house? Remember back when we were kids and haunted meant haunted? I’m totally out of touch with “horror” and apparently that is a good thing.

  28. Imaginary December 12, 2009 at 1:44 AM #

    Do you think this might be why girls tend to be more scared of horror films then men? I get terrified when I see girls being abused in horror films, but the males I am with just tell me I’m a cry baby.

    I seriously want to explode the makers’ asses. KA-BOOM!

  29. Imaginary January 5, 2010 at 12:12 AM #

    This reminds me of when I saw Evil Dead: the Musical. There was a rape scene in it that we were supposed to laugh at (all the men in the audience did, but the womin just got silent and awkward); I was so pissed off that I went into the bathroom and started loudly talking about how misogynistic it was. I probably would have talked louder if my mother wasn’t there, but still. I think I got my point across. Ha, rapist trees! Take that!

  30. isme January 5, 2010 at 11:25 AM #

    To be fair (though I’ve not personally seen it), isn’t the point of it that all sorts of horrific things happen to all the characters, which is supposedly funny?

  31. polly January 5, 2010 at 9:44 PM #

    Is there anything that hasn’t been turned into a musical, out of interest?

    (shades of mel brooks)..

  32. Imaginary January 9, 2010 at 6:04 AM #

    To isme: I don’t think rape is funny in any circumstance.

    Plus the (men of the) audience laughed the most at the rape scene and whenever a girl was being treated like shit. Apparently it’s not as funny when men die.

  33. Lindsay Starke July 21, 2010 at 7:35 PM #

    Hi there,

    I know this comes long after this post was written, but I wanted to clear up some misconceptions your blog post seems to perpetuate regarding Chambers of Horror.

    Primarily, the characterization of the haunt as a “mutilated vagina house” conspicuously lacking “mutilated penises” is false. It seems that your friends who went through didn’t notice that both in our video “security broadcasts” and in some of the scenes acted out there were indeed both male victims and female torturers—not just that night but every night. I am one of the managing partners in the haunted house. I am female. I am a fire-breathing feminist who took her share of women’s studies classes and rails on the patriarchy as much as the next liberal arts grad.

    Our team went out of our way to try to keep the tour from skewing too hard to the “female-victim-male-victimizer” side, and if we ever skewed that way it was less for any misogynist ideology and more because most of our male actors couldn’t scream convincingly (this I find an interesting thing to explore as a feminist – why females scream better than men). Sure, Chambers of Horror is sick and twisted, but our story isn’t anti-woman so much as anti-human (which you can unpack how you like). We actually intended the whole thing to act as a kind of social commentary on alienation in capitalist society, and many of our promotional materials reflect that (e.g. brochures written in gut-wrenching marketing speak).

    As for the simulated rape, that was the result of leaving a few scenes unscripted and having a few of our actors improvise though we specifically asked for them to avoid the rape enactment. We learned from our mistakes and this year will script every scene and fire the few loose cannons who don’t follow our directions.

    I’m not going to argue that we don’t live in a rape culture patriarchy wherein women are objectified and under threat because I know that we do and we are. But I don’t want you or anyone to think that we are actively encouraging that status quo for the cool or sexy factor. In the end it comes down to the question: if we depict female torture graphically and without moral resolution, even in the context of male torture and general social commentary, is that still egregiously misogynistic? If I thought so, I wouldn’t devote my time to this project. You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion, but I didn’t want something that I love with all my soul (sick as it is) to be misconstrued.

    Thanks very much, and feel free to contact me with any questions.

    Best,
    Lindsay Starke
    Managing Producer
    Chambers of Horror

    • Nine Deuce July 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM #

      We actually intended the whole thing to act as a kind of social commentary on alienation in capitalist society, and many of our promotional materials reflect that.

      Tell me that was a joke. If that really was your aim, you did two things wrong: 1) You greatly overestimated the intelligence of your audience, 2) You forgot to include any hints that such was the message.

  34. berryblade July 21, 2010 at 10:14 PM #

    “But I don’t want you or anyone to think that we are actively encouraging that status quo for the cool or sexy factor. In the end it comes down to the question: if we depict female torture graphically and without moral resolution, even in the context of male torture and general social commentary, is that still egregiously misogynistic?”

    Yes. Yes it is.

    “Tell me that was a joke. If that really was your aim, you did two things wrong: 1) You greatly overestimated the intelligence of your audience, 2) You forgot to include any hints that such was the message.”

    IKR

  35. berryblade July 21, 2010 at 10:17 PM #

    Also,

    “THERE EXISTS A PLACE…
    WHERE YOU CAN LIVE YOUR WILDEST DREAMS…
    YOUR MOST DEVIANT FANTASIES…
    YOUR SICKEST PLEASURES…”

    From your website seems to be in pretty direct conflict with

    “But I don’t want you or anyone to think that we are actively encouraging that status quo for the cool or sexy factor.”

    • Nine Deuce July 21, 2010 at 10:25 PM #

      I’d like to ask, what’s the exact ratio of depictions of men being tortured to women being tortured? How many simulations of the rape of men do you guys do? How many female customers do you get? Who is your intended audience?

  36. Valerie M July 22, 2010 at 4:12 AM #

    Dear Lindsay,

    What a pile of shit. Do you even believe yourself? You’re a ‘fire-breathing feminist’ but can’t wrap your head around the simple analysis of thinking women scream ‘better’ is just you getting off on the porniness female torture/terror/pain = sex in a rape culture?

    Or the fact that ‘haunted’ has come more and more to mean rape, as porn has become more and more mainstream? Must be one of those coincidences! Yes one of those thousands and thousands of coincidences that happen every day, where a scenario lines up precisely with the greater cultural context of patriarchy but of course has noting to do with patriarchy.

  37. Lindsay Starke July 22, 2010 at 1:46 PM #

    OK, I’ll try to get to all of these:

    @Nine Deuce:
    There are some hints in the “social commentary” direction within the introductory dialogue – I’m not going to try to argue that such was our primary message, but it is there. It’s nuanced, and we definitely overestimate the intelligence of everyone.

    @berryblade
    I guess I just see it as glorifying violence in general rather than specifically violence toward women, which is certainly problematic in its own right. I understand where you’re coming from, though I disagree.

    @Nine Deuce, secondary
    1) It’s actually just about 50/50 on the victim ratio (in fact, we even have a scene in which a woman mutilates a half-stripped young man’s penis), though that is an average rather than a constant (some nights it skewed more female, others male – we ran at least one night where every victim was male). This was less by choice and more by the proportions of people who showed up to act that night. 2) Once again, we only unintentionally had depictions of rape last year and this year there will be no depictions of rape of any kind permitted by our actors. Most actors worked on a semi-volunteer basis and so felt that because they weren’t proper employees they could do what they wanted, despite our requests. This is changing. 3) Customers were also about 50/50 male and female – large groups of young women came through a number of times, as well as women in mixed-gender groups. 4) Our target audience is 18-35, male and female, all races, all subcultures/interest groups/etc., and that is pretty much exactly who comes through.

    @Valerie
    Yeah, I do, actually. And since you didn’t seem to understand where I was going my aside on women screaming “better,” I’ll unpack it explicitly: I suspect that because we live in a rape culture in which women are more likely to be victims of violence, especially sexual violence, the fear that many of us carry with us allows us to express that fear through screaming in a manner that is more believable as an expression of genuine terror than men. I don’t “get off” on porny female torture scenes; I find them disturbing but I also find male torture scenes disturbing, which is kind of the point. I’m not trying to argue what we’re doing as one valiant step in dismantling the patriarchy (or even that it’s not at least a little retrogressive and very problematic in a lot of ways), but I and the rest of my team do honestly take these things into account and try and keep the ratios as egalitarian as possible.

    I know it all sounds like bullshit but this is actually a bunch of kids screwing around trying to figure out what the hell we’re doing…often arguing to a standstill and often trying to fix huge issues with a shoestring budget and a skeleton crew. And, in fact, we wanted to host a charity night where all proceeds went to a local domestic violence shelter, but we realized it would probably be interpreted as hipster irony rather than a genuine sentiment with the intention of broadcasting, “just in case there’s any question, we are extremely opposed to violence against women.”

    I’m fairly certain I won’t convince y’all of anything, other than maybe we’re not *as* horrible as the initial blog post implies. But I appreciate you letting me speak my piece and I do honestly appreciate the reasoned criticism.

  38. Valerie M July 22, 2010 at 7:58 PM #

    Yeah, I understood all that: see original comment. What you are saying is that you acknowledge the harm but absolve yourself of responsibility. Just like any pimp.

  39. polly July 23, 2010 at 1:20 PM #

    and if we ever skewed that way it was less for any misogynist ideology and more because most of our male actors couldn’t scream convincingly (this I find an interesting thing to explore as a feminist – why females scream better than men).

    You know what I find interesting to explore as a feminist? How anyone can come up with such a pile of bullshit and expect anyone to believe it.

    But next time Lindsay, if you want to comment on capitalism, maybe you could just have someone read selected bits of Marx and Engels?

  40. TBL July 24, 2010 at 3:00 PM #

    I bet they’d manage to scream convincingly if you threatened to chainsaw their genitals.

  41. polly July 25, 2010 at 3:45 AM #

    Ok I just read this

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1297462/Trio-guilty-torturing-woman-days.html

    And prude that I am, I can’t really see what’s enjoyable about watching anyone, of either sex being pretend tortured. You know why, because this shit happens – IN REAL LIFE!

    Somebody made a very good point to me recently which is that about 20-30 years ago the special effects in horror films were shit. So you could see a leg being sawn off, and it was obviously a false leg, so the effect was comic, rather than horrifying. But nowadays special effects are really good (thank you CGI). So again WTF does anybody want to watch scenes of torture (on people of either sex) even if you know they’re fictional?

    I just don’t get it.

  42. lizor July 25, 2010 at 3:04 PM #

    ” this is actually a bunch of kids screwing around trying to figure out what the hell we’re doing…”

    Well, let me help you out. You are creating sick, perverse, gratuitous violence. You are making an already extremely fucked up world a worse place. You are promoting hatred and violence.

    Does that help clear up your confusion?

  43. lizor July 25, 2010 at 3:08 PM #

    Oh yeah, and further Lindsay, please see Polly’s July 25, 3:45 AM post. And please do check the link.

    That’s what you are mirroring and disseminating.

  44. berryblade July 26, 2010 at 1:12 AM #

    @Lindsey WHY do you disagree though?
    Also, if you’re not 100% on the business you’re conducting, why are you a part of it?
    Do you think that enacting pseudo-violence is NOT going to have a lasting effect on any of the performers?
    Do the performers have any say in what will and won’t be done in their “scene”? If so, what penalties apply to those who go beyond a performers personal limits? Who creates the ideas for the “scenes” that are undertaken? WHY do you want your customers to see a fairly gruesome re-enactment of torture? Do you think that your “haunted house” would have even been conceived if it wasn’t for the rehashing of the boring exploitation/torture porn genre by asshats like Eli Roth etc?

    Genuine curiosity from someone who doesn’t mind the occasional horror flick.

    @Polly

    “Somebody made a very good point to me recently which is that about 20-30 years ago the special effects in horror films were shit. So you could see a leg being sawn off, and it was obviously a false leg, so the effect was comic, rather than horrifying.”

    Thank you! I love/hate the super realistic SFX these days, I mean, it’s cool that they can make things that realistic, but what does that really say about Western society? 80’s goo movies where the violence is so ridiculous, it’s more a comedy, think like Bad Taste or Brain Dead (early Peter Jackson, you were a genius.)

    I just don’t honestly think that these people would walk in the same as they will walk out. Even if they are just acting, surely some part of the harm will be real

  45. I hate men too May 4, 2012 at 7:37 PM #

    Hello! I personally wrote to these nice young men and told them what I think of their little misogynistic “operation.” (Hee Hee)…Hopefully it shall give them something to think about. You are an amazing blogger! Keep up the good work, sister. :)

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