Tropes vs. Women: #4 The Evil Demon Seductress

Tropes vs. Women is a six-part video series by Feminist Frequency that explores the reoccurring stories, themes and representations of women in Hollywood films and TV shows.

The Evil Demon Seductress is a supernatural creature usually a demon, alien, robot, vampire etc. who is most often disguised as a sexy human female. She uses her sexuality and sexual wiles to manipulate, seduce, kill and often eat poor, hapless men by luring them into her evil web.

Related Links and Articles:

**Full video transcript is available at

** This video is available to be translated into other languages by volunteers like you. Please visit the subtitling page on Universal Subtitles and click TRANSLATE to get started.

by Anita Sarkeesian
View profile »

Get Bitch Media's top 9 reads of the week delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning! Sign up for the Weekly Reader:

8 Comments Have Been Posted

I've been reading a LOT about

I've been reading a LOT about this particular trope in my studies of feminism and science fiction. There are some great books that dig very, VERY deeply into this, among them

Decoding Gender in Science Fiction by Brian Attebery

A New Species: Gender and Science in Science Fiction by Robin Roberts (which probably goes into it in the most depth, even deconstructing/decoding the cover art of the SF pulps of the 30s/40s/50s)

Frankenstein's Daughters: Women Writing Science Fiction by Jane Donawerth

These cover mostly the literary sources, but SF is where a lot of the pop culture tv/movies draw ideas. The trope itself is often termed as "Woman as The Other". It's really interesting reading.


Thanks for the references Murphy Jacobs! I am taking such a class in the fall and can do some pre-research!

More Recs Please

I am a reg guy trying to learn as much as possible. Feminist Frequency is hugely helpful but I would like to read more and though I do not have access to Women Studies classes or university libraries I can go on Amazon, so recommendations from my fellow Bitch readers would be awesome.

great work!

Oh how I look forward to your vlogs and you never disappoint! Just watched this one with my nine year old daughter. Keep rockin' it!

(I love the vid was subtitled as well.)

Poison Ivy

First off, great video, as all in this series have been.

I just have a minor gripe... I totally understand why Poison Ivy was put into the video. She definitely fits the trope in many stories. But I feel it's a little unfair to lump her in with all these other examples, most of which are one-shot characters, when she's had the benefit of being around a lot longer, and thus been able to receive more development. There have been stories highlighting her more interesting characteristics, and over the years she has become a much more interesting character than most of these other one-dimensional trope embodiments.

Again, I understand her inclusion, but I feel she is a more complicated character than simply an 'evil demon seductress' trope. Using that horrible Batman movie and her Arkham Asylum appearance (a great game but also one in which even poor Harley Quinn was horribly oversexualized) is just choosing to use some of the worst examples of the character.

What I'm saying is, people who know little of Ivy and see her as only being the embodiment of this trope should look more into the character. I watched the whole 90's Batman animated series, and though her seductress side was definitely shown, I know I walked away from the series feeling she was more than just that, so hopefully others would too.

I'm done rambling now. :P Seriously great vid, can't wait for the next one.

Another awesome video!

Another awesome video! Seriously! I always look forward to these. The politician/celebrity connection is very true, and this trope is how women get blamed for men's bad decisions, because everyone is okay pointing the finger at a sexy seductress. ("Fatal Attraction!")

Don't forget Kirke and the

Don't forget Kirke and the sirens in the Odyssey... This trope is very, very old.

Great video and links. This

Great video and links. This trope is SO commonly internalized by both the tropee and the troper.

Add new comment