For today’s post, I have decided to take a look at the concept of the Monstrous Feminine. In particular, I will cover this through a look at Dark Faeries, Dark Mermaids, Vampires, Gorgons, and Succubi. Each of these types of beings can be seen through the lens of being monstrous. I will go into detail in separate sections for each of them.
~The Dark Faery is a faery woman who feeds in some way on humans, usually men or sometimes children. The most common type of Dark Faery that is said to feed on humans is the Leanan Sidhe, who feeds on men she beds while simultaneously gifting them with great artistic ability. When she tires of them and leaves them the men whither away from longing for her!
~A Dark Mermaid is often referred to as a Siren. She sings her songs to lure sailors to their doom. They are also related to the Russian Rusalka, who lure men into the icy water with their enticing beauty only to drown them. Many a water vixen can be seen as related to the Dark Mermaids!
~Vampires are one of the most obvious examples of the monstrous feminine. They are seductive and alluring to us, which is why we have so much fiction devoted to vampiric tales. They are also seen as the most human of monsters, however, I could argue that all of the monsters on this list have human aspects. That being said, it is vampires alone that are regularly portrayed as having once been humans!
~The most famous Gorgon is Medusa. She is the snake-haired Goddess Monster who could turn men to stone with her gaze. In many versions of the tale, she is a victim blamed for her own rape and forced to suffer the consequences of being turned into a monster. However, there is an alternate feminist interpretation where she was gifted the ability to turn men to stone so that she would never be violated again!
~Much like vampires Succubi feed on humans. However, they feed on men’s testosterone, or something like it, in most variants of their story. There are interpretations of Succubi that show them feeding on the flesh of humans, much like we would think of zombies doing today. They are traditionally considered more evil than vampires and are not monsters that get much in way of redeeming qualities. In this way, they may be the most monstrous of all of those in this post.
~At the end of the day, all of the Monstrous Feminine is at least in part a reaction based on fear of the unknown. Historically speaking, in a male-dominated world, the unknown was the feminine! I hope that you have enjoyed this brief overview of the Monstrous Feminine and some creatures that fit that bill. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!