American Horror Story Dishes the Truth About Women Today

Lets start todays discussion with episode eight of American Horror Story’s season of Freak Show and how it’s completely relevant to todays woman despite being set in the 1950’s. The scene is set at Ethel’s (played by Kathy Bates) funeral who had previously been the freak shows bearded lady. Standing around her casket we have Legless Susie, Desiree Dupree, Penny, and Amazon Eve. What takes place is a conversation that many women today can relate to starting with Desiree’s praising Ethel as a strong woman who never asked for handouts and raised a child on her own. What comes next is riveting, “we’ve never had it easy, especially us women.” says Desiree. The rest of the discussion is about how the law wont do anything to help mistreated women because they are property. This, ladies and gentleman, is where we start.

Freak Show is set in the early 1950’s which was the age of the repression of women. They stayed home and took care of the house and children while their husbands went to work and provided for them. Now that we are in the year 2017 it’s amazing how far women have come from then to now. Yet, despite the progress we’ve made to get out of the house and have jobs, we are still remarkably close to the repressed state we were in in the 1950’s. why don’t we look at some of these examples for those nonbelievers out there who say that we are mostly equal to how men are treated.

Why don’t we start with the law and rape charges. Yes, this topic is in no way comfortable to talk about but thats the point. Why don’t we analyze one of the more recent case of rape. Does anyone remember the case of the Stanford swimmer who raped a college graduate and got away with light charges? Thats right, only six months in jail despite the law itself stating that rape can be a ten year sentence. This case is a good reason as to why many rape victims don’t come forward. In this case it was made to look like it was the victims fault for being raped by the student because she had been drinking to the point to where she blacked out. Basically, the opinion was that if she could not remember anything then she might have given her consent for that act despite the fact that many college students are taught that consent can not be given when a person is intoxicated. So why should there be any confusion about that? There should not be.

This case is not the only example of how far women still have to go. At parties we have to be careful to watch our drinks so someone does not spike them, we have to be careful about what we wear or else people might think that we are “asking for it” and god forbid we try to be friends with the opposite sex, get hit on and reject them, and then get “slut shamed”. There will always be creative new ways to “put us in our place”. Whether its the gender pay gap or more reverends who point their bibles at us and call us “whores” for all to see.

This underlying current of women's rites in American Horror Story touches us all no matter if you are or are not a woman because it applies to sisters, wives, mothers an whoever else you know that’s female. It gives us the realization that it’s just as hard for women to live how they want these days as it was back in the 50’s.

Sources used:

Lombardo, Kayla. “The Brock Turner Sexual Assault Case, Explained.”, Sports Illustrated, 9 June 2016,

Murphy, Ryan. “American Horror Story.” Netflix, 26 August 2017,