12:56 pm - 01/29/2013

Ryan Murphy loves women. Ranking American Horror Story's most feminist moments.


Let's quote one of the best lines from last night's tearjerker of an American Horror Story finale: "Don't you ever let a man tell you who you are or make you feel like you are less than he is." It comes from Jessica Lange, Ryan Murphy's muse and frequent mouthpiece for his feminist thoughts. That's right, feminist thoughts! Ryan Murphy has feminist thoughts! He told reporters last week that season three of American Horror Story would be "all about female power," hardly a surprise since his entire second season was a commentary on female sexual repression, male aggression, and the Catholic Church, which neatly combines the two. Murphy is obsessed with women — our history, our haters, the injustices done to us, our against-the-odds ambition. (He ended the season with a callback to the first episode, when Jude tells Lana: "The loneliness, the heartbreak, the sacrifice you'll face as a woman with a dream on her own ... ") He gets it. And so to celebrate a season well done, here are our favorite female power moments from season two.

Feminist moment: Shelley, Briarcliff's horniest patient, flips out over the word whore. Why was her husband allowed to sleep around without consequence, while her affair with a sailor got her committed to an insane asylum?
Feminist ranking: 7. Shelley is so sex-positive (masturbating since 5!); she doesn't appreciate double standards; and she knows how to work a sailor. But we worry she's selling herself short when she blows the orderlies.

Feminist moment: A priest asks Sister Jude to hand him a prayer book during an exorcism, then tells her to leave the room. It's "no place for a woman."
Feminist ranking: 5. Jude tells him, "I'm stronger than you think" — but then she leaves the room! More than words, Jude.

Feminist moment: Best line of the season, said by the Devil: "It drives you crazy, doesn’t it? To be the smartest person in the room with no real power because of that smelly clam between your legs."
Feminist ranking: 8. It does drive us crazy, but we think our clam smells fine, thanks.

Feminist moment: Sister Mary Eunice sings “You Don’t Own Me" — at one point to a crucifix on her wall.
Feminist ranking: 10-plus. If you don't feel at least the urge to sing along with her, you are probably in a dependent relationship.

Feminist moment: Sister Jude tells Dr. Arden that she will "always win against the patriarchal male.”
Feminist ranking: 6. Ask any gender studies major what word she used most often freshman year, and she'll tell you patriarchy. (Or norms.) But, again, more than words.

Feminist moment: Lana escapes Briarcliff with evidence that will put Bloody Face away. She gives him the finger while doing so.
Feminist ranking: 10. Some might say she seems too "angry." Give those people the finger.

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beetlebums 29th-Jan-2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
The Devil said that. It's supposed to be mocking
age_of_green 29th-Jan-2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
And it is *his* fault, thanks to his Garden of Eden shenanigans./Eve was framed
beetlebums 29th-Jan-2013 07:01 pm (UTC)
He could of had it all if his gorgeous self wasn't so thirsty for power
war_machine_rox 29th-Jan-2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
lol this comment reminded me of the time in HS English where I was the only one that took Eve's side during a debate about The Garden of Eden shenanigans.

Every one else blamed them both and one guy took Adam's side just to get the party going.

I won.

pepsi_twist9 30th-Jan-2013 01:14 am (UTC)
Lol after Milton I can't go through the GoE story without taking the POV of the Devil instead of focusing on Adam or Eve.
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