First Encounter with American Horror Story

As someone who had nightmares for a week after watching The Phantom of the Opera (the movie version), my first experience watching American Horror Story included a lot of hiding under my blanket and covering my ears.  However, despite feeling terrified and sometimes disgusted, I was simultaneously intrigued.  I have never been drawn to gory entertainment before, but I was completely captivated by Lady Gaga’s performance.  Her character juxtaposes feminine and masculine qualities to create a dominant yet sexualized female protagonist.  She uses her beauty to manipulate the men around her, and she keeps them subordinate even though they are equally attractive and domineering.  This sparked my interest since there are only a select number of shows I watch with this kind of all powerful female role.  Lady Gaga has complete control of her looks as well as her brains in order to essentially rule the “hotel.”  There are other shows with strong feminine characters such as Olivia Benson in Law & Order SVU, but she does not embrace being sexualized in the same way that Lady Gaga does that makes her addicting.  Although this show disturbs me, it has also challenged me to think about different ways in which females are emerging as dynamic and potent main characters.

-Stephanie Rubin

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2 Responses to First Encounter with American Horror Story

  1. I’ve been told to watch American Horror Story several times, but I have been hesitant because I prefer lighter shows. Yet, you pose a new reason for me to watch it- that being the treatment of female characters. It will be on my watch list this week!
    -Emily Strachan

  2. marymdalton says:

    Good gender analysis! I watched an episode or two of Season Two because students recommended it, but it’s too dark for me!

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