American Horror Story Film Analysis

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American Horror Story: Coven is undoubtely a controversial TV series, as it is at the same time both chauvinist and feminist. The show clearly adopts the male gaze and is limited by chauvinist stereotypes, but it simultaneously challenges the tropes it relies upon.
The concept of the male gaze, theorised by Laura Mulvey in the 70s, suggests that we tend to see media products from a male perspective, as most of the producers are male and heterosexual. Therefore, the female characters are sexualized and objectified, in order to appeal to the audience. American Horror Story: Coven conforms to this …show more content…

Rape culture is strictly linked to the idea of slut shaming, which consist in making women feel guilty for what they wear or for their attitude towards their sexuality. American Horror Story: Coven both conforms to and rejects rape culture; in the pilot, Madison is raped at a party by a bunch of drunk boys. She is wearing a short, tight dress and high heels – and she is drinking. The boys drug and rape her, filming the fact. At a first sight, it might seem like the show blames Madison for what happened to her; after all, she was wearing provocative clothes and she was drinking, and as rape culture teaches, “She was looking for it!”. However, American Horror Story: Coven challenges this trope by not making Madison’s rape glamorous; by showing it in its brutality, the show wants to criticize rape culture and slut shaming, underlining how brutal and beastly rape culture and slut shaming are, without accusing Madison of being raped due to her apparel and attitude. Moreover, what is different from most of the rape cases is that Madison, instead of acting as an unarmed victim that feels guilty and ashamed for what happened to her, gets her revenge, by overturn the boys’ bus only with a finger, showing how strong, powerful and vindictive she can be – just like a

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