Stepford Daughters: Weapons for Feminists in Contemporary Horror (Paperback)
In Stepford Daughters, Johanna Isaacson explores an emerging wave of horror films that get why class horror and gender horror must be understood together. In doing so, Isaacson makes the case that this often-maligned genre is in fact a place where oppressed people can understand, navigate and confront an increasingly ugly and horrifying world. Films like Hereditary and The Babadook show women coming apart at the seams as the promises of both the family and waged work fail them. In Get Out, we see how poor women and women of color perform the invisible labor that holds up our society, experiencing domestic work as a kind of possession. In "coming of rage" films such as Assassination Nation and Teeth, we see the ways social reproduction leads to a futureless horizon. Robbed of their dreams but not their power to resist, these heroines emerge as the monsters and avengers we need.
Johanna Isaacson writes academic and popular pieces on horror and politics. She is a professor of English at Modesto Junior College and a founding editor of Blind Field Journal. She is the author of The Ballerina and the Bull, has published widely in academic and popular journals, and runs the Facebook group, "Anti-capitalist Feminists Who Like Horror Films."