Women in therapy often report disappointment with the 'human' males they're in relationship with," Hilburn said. "Would a handsome vampire sit in front of the television, scratching his stomach and drinking beer? Are women lusting after the undead Homer Simpson? Probably not. Imagining a heart-stoppingly-gorgeous man hovering outside your window is much more fun.Now, while Lynda has definitely scared me away from beer, she also has some pretty solid insights into woman's psyche, being a practicing psychotherapist. She goes on to add that the sales of vampire novels show a dramatic rise after the attacks of September the 11th:
A recent view is that women feel less safe and secure in the world, and the previous symbols of strong, semi-dangerous males -- our law enforcement and military warriors -- were replaced by supernatural beings. Indestructible supernatural beings. Unlike the undead, real flesh-and-blood men can be killed in war or through terrorist acts. Facing a frightening daily "reality" made escaping into magical worlds, filled with all-powerful, appealing immortals, a healthy coping mechanism.
The last comment is fairly revelatory, and similar trends can be found in artistic movements originating from both cultures and countries whose psyches have been, for lack of a better word, damaged. But let us not deviate in our quest to unearth the box office busting appeal of vampires. Speaking specifically of the Twilight series, Emily Hodgson Anderson Ph.D., an assistant professor of English at the University of Southern California, tells us:
The appeal now is precisely because we are not sexually repressed. Sex is everywhere. We're pretty desensitized. So these stories re-introduce anticipation, the almost infinite deferral of any type of sexual consummation.That was almost over my head, but I think I got it. Women like vampires because, in a culture where sex is commonplace and demystified, it has lost much of it anticipatory appeal. Romance, love, yearning, and courtship have become the relics of another age. I would like to think that this isn't entirely true, but I see Anderson's point. So, lastly, I give you John DeVore, who summarizes the debate humorously and succinctly in an article entitled "Why Women Love Vampires and Men Don't":
Dudes just don’t dig bloodsuckers, since vampires pretty much look like girls. We prefer zombies, because we love chainsaws, flamethrowers, and samurai swords. And because, on some level, we know that besides being vehicles for sperm, our other important, if lesser, genetic imperative is to defend our loved ones from hordes of unthinking, flesh-eating metaphors for current social anxieties.
I think John hits the nail on the head with this comment and manages to explain to me why I just can't get enough of zombie movies. Now, all that said, why do you like vampires or zombies? Do you have a favorite?