Ladies of Horror: Alien


Written by Cat Wilson

Ellen Ripley, the Warrant Officer in Alien, is the best female characters in horror or science fiction seen to date. Her role in the movie Alien was originally written for a man, but Ridley Scott made the decision to cast Sigourney Weaver and not change the script. The term “everyman” is defined as ordinary individual with whom the audience identifies with and who is often placed in extraordinary circumstances. This term is in inherently bigoted because it implies the baseline character of any story is a white cisgender man. Ellen is one of the exceptions to this. She is not defined or constrained by her gender. She is not a “Smurfette” because she is not an object of desire or stereotype of femininity. Ripley is equal to the men around her. However, her character is also not a man stuffed into a woman’s skin. She shows great compassion and bravery when she risks her life to save a cat. Does it pass the Bechdel Test? Well what does Alison Bechdel say…