Amy E. Canfield

Re-Imagining a True Horror: Domestic Violence, Feminism, and Popular Culture

Awareness of domestic abuse grew during the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, but during the more conservative 1980s, levels of reported domestic abuse increased dramatically. This increase coincided with a national “backlash” against feminism. Many images in popular culture reflected this backlash, but ironically it is in the horror genre that brought the issue of domestic abuse back to the forfront and challenged the backlash. This presentation examines the rold of feminism in “discovering” domestic abuse and the subsequent backlash against feminism, using two of Stephen King’s novels as a lens through which to view changing ideas.