SarahKnauf

SarahKnauf

Currently studying cinema production with a minor in creative writing. Chicago native. DC Comics fanatic.

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Latest Topics

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American Horror Story and Rape as a Method of Terror

In every season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, rape, miscarriage, and other forms of vaginal trauma are used to highlight the horrors felt by the show’s female characters. Consider how effective these tropes are, or if female horror can extend beyond fears of mutilation or motherhood.

  • I don't watch the show, so I can't give insight on the show specifically...But considering how 'sacred' the vagina is, or is suppose to be anyway, when it comes to the process of making life, you can see how any trauma to it can be deemed horrible...Obviously there are other ways to scare of horrify females, but I must assume that rape is still a fear in the back of the mind of most women...Is it fair to say that women fear being raped more than hacked up by a deranged clown? – MikeySheff 1 month ago
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  • I see what you are saying and I think Ryan Murphy uses this concept of rape as a method of terror to really feed off that fear. In terms of evolution, ever species perceives reproduction as a means of survival. This probably adds to our own subconscious fear. – emilyholter 1 month ago
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  • At the same time I think using rape as a form of trauma is a poor way to capture how female characters feel because there are so many nonviolent ways to explore trauma. At this moment it feels more as a overused shock point – seouljustice 1 month ago
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  • Personally, I think rape is an effective conduit of fear. It's an extremely personal violation and an attack on womanhood, just as raping a man or otherwise harming his genitals would be an attack on manhood. However, I also feel female characters in the media get shortchanged because rape is often portrayed as the worst torment they can face, and the only thing they have to worry about. This is especially true in historical pieces because like it or not, getting raped or pregnant outside wedlock in past eras would ruin your life.What I would like to see more of, is women facing fears and terrors other than rape. Just like a man, a woman can contract a deadly superbug. She can face the horrors of war, on or off the battlefield, and that doesn't have to include being raped. She can survive life in slavery or a concentration camp, and survival alone is enough to show she's traumatized but tough. She can lose a limb, have a beloved child ripped from her, face down opponents in high-stakes intellectual conflicts...the possibilities are endless. Too much dependence on rape and rape tropes limits writers and limits women. – Stephanie M. 1 month ago
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The Implications of Carrie Fisher's Death in the Star Wars Franchise

After the passing of its iconic and lovable star Carrie Fisher, the makers of Star Wars have reached a standstill about how to respectfully write out her character of Princess Leia. Consider the ethical, technological, and creative methods by which Fisher’s memory can be served in a series built on a foundation of visual breakthroughs in film.

    Taken by lajungbl (PM) 2 months ago.
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    Will Wonder Woman shape future female superhero films?

    Discuss the potential box office and/or critical draw the upcoming Wonder Woman film may or may not have. Will it improve DC Entertainment’s cinematic standards? How will it affect Marvel and their plans for more diverse films? Could a Wonder Woman film help shape a more diverse landscape of superhero franchises, regardless of critical or commercial success? Consider previous failures like Elektra and Catwoman and why they might have failed.

    • I think the most difficult part of this topic is writing about a movie that hasn't premiered yet and thus makes it difficult to compare and analyze. It would be really interesting though to look at previous box office or critical failures and see WHAT they did wrong and then look at what Wonder Woman is potentially promising. – LondonFog 1 month ago
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    Latest Comments

    SarahKnauf

    What this show did wonderfully was make the death of Norma Bates so shocking despite audiences obviously knowing her ultimate fate. I’m very interested to see how much the final season and psycho overlap.

    From “Psycho” to “Bates Motel”: The Evolution of an Iconic Murderer
    SarahKnauf

    If I may add, though this is outside the realm of television, J.K. Rowling directly referenced fan works following her reveal that Dumbledore was gay after fans questioned Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s relationship. I feel this supports your thesis as well. As far as T.V. goes, Steven Universe and Adventure Time also come to mind as examples of added diversity following fan support (though this might have been influenced by Rebecca Sugar, a queer creative source on both shows).

    #Faninteraction: Social Media and Representation in Popular Television
    SarahKnauf

    I identify as asexual, but sex in cinema has always been a fascinating topic to me. In particular the rise of female oral sex in films is so complex. It’s also so strange to me that something so natural is such a polarizing thing to see on screen.

    Sex in Cinema: Poetry vs. Pornography (Explicit Content)
    SarahKnauf

    I adore horror as a genre. Comparing real world events to the horrors we see in the movies is a fascinating concept; it always occurred to me to compare headlines with events in other genres but for some reason never horror. Ironically as I make this comment I’ve got Rob Zombie’s “The Devil’s Rejects” playing in the background; an ode to 1970s horror but more of a fetishization of violence than true horror. I’m wondering what your thoughts on recent acclaimed films like “It Follows” or “Don’t Breathe” are.

    Horror Movies, Why We Love [Some of] Them
    SarahKnauf

    I’m as feminist as they come-grew up watching all of these films, played with Barbies, etc. I think a large misconception about feminism in general is the idea that there’s only one way to express femininity. If anything, these movies, in particular Beauty and the Beast for me, are a prime example of expressing gender normative femininity while also spreading the message that these are not toxic roles.

    Feminism and Disney: They're Not As Different As You Might Think