“You’re Not Like Other Girls”: The Subversion and Reaffirmation of Patriarchy

Proceedings of The 13th International Conference on Modern Research in Management, Economics and Accounting

Year: 2021


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“You’re Not Like Other Girls”: The Subversion and Reaffirmation of Patriarchy

Majdoulin Almwaka



Through an examination of; Scream (1996), El Ens Wa Al-Jinn (Humans & Jinn) (1985), and Djinn (2013), the study considers the extent to which the horror genre disrupts or reaffirms patriarchal paradigms. By analyzing films from Western and Arab cinema, I will consider whether feminist discourses have specific cultural iterations or certain fixed and immutable global concerns. In particular, I will focus on the trope of the “final girl,” the last female character who remains alive to confront the killer, and the one, therefore, who can tell other people what happened. This trope has functioned differently; for example, it can reproduce supremely misogynistic fantasies of female victims and their moral culpability or destabilizes and undermines them, offering a complex representation of female agency instead. I will argue that this trope is not found in Arab cinema because, in this context, the horror genre does not provide space for the examination of female agency and instead, it tends to reaffirm existing social structures. Rather than representing male violence, the danger to women comes from externalized supernatural entities. In this way, the threat is shifted away from men and the structures of patriarchy.

keywords: female agency; films; horror tropes; MENA; patriarchy.