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Annoying, isn’t it? Part one

November 4, 2021

There are a lot of things that annoy me. Many of them are in films and on television

I’ll start with this one.

Okay, yes. If I was having a shower and someone suddenly pulled the curtain open and started stabbing me, I would scream. So, I’ll give Alfred Hitchcock that one.

And, yes, whilst it might annoy me, I get that in older films and the early days of television, we women were supposed to be the softer sex, unable to control our emotions. But it’s the 21st century now and it’s still going on.

Women are still screaming in films and on the telly when they stumble across dead bodies. I could just about tolerate this if a growing number of men were seen screaming in the same situation, but they’re not.

If I opened a door and saw an obviously dead body on the floor, whether or not it had a knife sticking out of it or a bullet hole in it, I can say with total confidence that I would not scream. Neither would any woman I know nor would most of the women I don’t know. Ditto if someone was coming at us with a gun or a knife. We are actually made of sterner stuff.

I’d probably say “Shit” or “Oh, my god” or “Jesus Christ” or (most likely) “Fuck!” But I would not scream. 

Granted, if I stumbled across a dead body in the woods that had been set on fire and burnt to a crisp, there is a very good chance that I would shriek. But a shriek is not a full throated scream. A shriek is when I pull the shower curtain and see one or more spiders in the tub. (As an aside, when I was a girl, I was enormously comforted when it was revealed on The Avengers that the only thing that frightened the redoubtable Emma Peel was the threat of being put in a dark room filled with spiders. Now that would get me screaming.)

Not that I watch them, but I know the screaming teenaged girl is a fixture in slasher films. While I was googling around for a “screaming woman” image to include here, I came across this on a website devoted to TV tropes. (Do follow the links. “Narm” is pretty funny.)

“When a truly terrifying danger rears its ugly head, maybe a monster appears or a large object is about to fall on them, one of the female characters stands there and screams helplessly, necessitating that one of the heroes pull her out of harm’s way. Or she dies. Is guaranteed to become even more annoying when said female character sees something dangerous, and stands and screams for the hero to help when they would have had plenty of time to get out of the way themselves.”


As I’ve already said, it’s the 21st century, guys. Enough with the helpless screaming females already. If you’re not prepared to give equal screen time to screaming men (which I’m willing to bet you’re not), then knock this infuriating female stereotype on the head.

It’s long past time.

From → Columns

  1. Donna permalink

    Hear, hear. Enough already. I’ve never screamed in my life and can’t imagine doing it, certainly not like helpless females in films. Although…I will admit to shrieking at the sight of a giant cockroach the size of a rodent (in Japan)!

  2. Totally agree! What’s more women are over-emotional and weak because we supposedly scream and cry (I have never been big on either) but men can rant and rage and throw full fledged ‘mantrums’ and they are tough and masculine. (But not emotional) Pffft!

  3. krysross permalink

    spot on

  4. janeshead permalink

    Right? I think a sharp intake of breath is all that’s required on finding a body, for instance. And if someone’s coming at you with a weapon, best save your energy on getting the fuck out of the way, honestly.

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