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Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers

Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power

Maybe they are. And maybe that’s a good thing …

Sady Doyle, hailed as “smart, funny and fearless” by the Boston Globe, takes readers on a tour of the female dark side, from the biblical Lilith to Dracula’s Lucy Westenra, from the T-Rex in Jurassic Park to the teen witches of The Craft. She illuminates the women who have shaped our nightmares: Serial killer Ed Gein’s “domineering” mother Augusta; exorcism casualty Anneliese Michel, starving herself to death to quell her demons; author Mary Shelley, dreaming her dead child back to life.

These monsters embody patriarchal fear of women, and illustrate the violence with which men enforce traditionally feminine roles. They also speak to the primal threat of a woman who takes back her power. In a dark and dangerous world, Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers asks women to look to monsters for the ferocity we all need to survive.

Sady Doyle is the author of Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why. Her work has appeared in In These Times, The Guardian, Elle.com, The Atlantic, Slate, Buzzfeed, and Rookie, among other publications. She is the founder of the blog Tiger Beatdown, and won the first-ever Women’s Media Center Social Media Award. She’s been featured in Rookie: Yearbook One and Yearbook Two, and contributed to the Book of Jezebel.

“Some people take a scalpel to the heart of media culture; Sady Doyle brings a bone saw, a melon baller, and a machete.” —Andi Zeisler, author of We Were Feminists Once

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