Origin and Evolution of the Term ‘Female Gothic’
With the passage of time, the term ‘gothic’ is becoming more and more critical. A lot of adjectives with this term came in picture over more than past three decades. The term ‘female gothic’ first appeared in 1976 or 1977 in ‘Literary Women’. The term was coined by Ellen Moers. Prior to the Moers’ book, gender discrimination could be clearly witnessed in the Goth novels. The example of Hume can be taken as an instance in this respect. He also presented this distinction between his “the novel of horror” and “the novel of terror”. He provided a male-dominated horror-gothic.
Some new questions were in the limelight with the emergence of this term. First question was whether female gothic would do anything good. Another question that was raised in the minds of people was if this genre is somewhere equivalent to the feminism. Since that time, a number of adjectives with word ‘gothic’ came in the limelight like ‘women’s gothic’, ‘feminine gothic’, ‘lesbian gothic’ and ‘gothic feminism’. Because of all this, it has become arduous to describe this term in just a few lines.
In 1994, Robert Miles suggested that the term female gothic had hardened into a literary classification. Today, this genre has taken various forms. Some of the authors also tried a female-horror gothic following the trend of male horror. We can take Lady Sybilla as a perfect example. This female vampire came in the limelight with famous serial True Blood Season 5 Episode 2. She is the female version of Demon Salvatore.
One thing that we see common in the male and female Goth cultures is the exploration of the dark aspects of the society. Goth culture focuses on the social trauma and negative aspects of the society; however the issues of the trauma may differ depending upon the story. This subculture is the result of the negative influences of industrialization and capitalism in the 19th century.
This outlook is reflected in the dresses also of the gothic people. The Goth women wear the outfits of dark shades. On the other hand, they use the black lipstick and nail polish. Many of the people belonging to this subculture blacken their hair also irrespective of their ethnicity. On the other hand, the Goth costumes have become the fashion statements and are worn by non-gothic people also on several themed events. This trend has put a great impact on some other subcultures also. We can see the prominent influence on steampunk, which is an edited form of Victorian trend. So, you can witness a number of people wearing the gothic and punk costumes in the steampunk festivals.