2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Killing Like a Girl: Jennifer's Body as Redefining Female Empowerment

Kimberly Ramos
Dr. Dereck Daschke, Faculty Mentor

The 2009 slasher Jennifer’s Body has been described as ahead of its time. Though it initially “flopped” at the box office, it is now described as a cult classic. In that case, what current conditions have allowed it to flourish? I argue that Jennifer’s Body appeals to its modern audience in that it parodies misogynistic horror tropes and accurately portrays the current existential state of being a woman. I draw from Iris Marion Young’s seminal work, Throwing Like a Girl, to discuss the focal point of the film: the body of Jennifer Check. Though Jennifer seems empowered following the Satanic ritual, her bodily comportment and motility reveal otherwise. She embodies the existential tension of being both subject and object, empowered and oppressed—a tension to which many modern women can relate. Jennifer’s Body is a call to action. It eviscerates our current image of female empowerment, thus redefining sexual liberation.

Keywords: Feminist Philosophy, Existentialism, Phenomenology , Film Studies, Male Gaze, Final Girl, Monstrous Feminine, Hookup Culture

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion
PHRE Senior Seminar
Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 104-1
Location: SUB GEO C
Time: 8:30

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