ROSEMARY’S BABY And The Insidiousness Of Medical Gaslighting, The Real Queen Of Horror And MORE!
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The Bite #114
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ROSEMARY’S BABY And The Insidiousness Of Medical Gaslighting, The Real Queen Of Horror And MORE!

June 16, 2020

In this Issue:


Rosemary’s Baby And The Insidiousness Of Medical Gaslighting

By Lex Briscuso

In Rosemary’s Baby, the depiction of gaslighting, impressively brought to life by Mia Farrow, hinges on the real-life plight of so many women navigating the healthcare system to this day. We see the arc of a pregnancy carried to term under duress, through the majority of which the mother’s well-being has been deemed unimportant.

From conception, it seems, Rosemary isn’t trusted with her own pregnancy. The doctor she sees sets arbitrary rules backed by lies to keep her in a state of denial about the debilitating pain in her abdomen. At one point, she reveals concerns about an ectopic pregnancy, for which she’s almost mocked. If your womb hadn’t been rented to Satan, that would be a valid concern — and a damning one for a doctor to write off.

For women in the real world, there aren’t usually evil forces or devil-worshipping cults behind not being believed. Studies show that women are often neglected when it comes to medical research, suggesting a massive and dangerous knowledge gap. Coupled with the reality that doctors often don’t trust their Black patients when it comes to pain and its treatment leaves a massive gray area for healthcare providers to haphazardly diagnose … or not diagnose at all.

This gender bias in medicine is insidious and it dates back to long before any of us were born. “There’s a very direct lineage, where hysteria, in the 19th-century idea of it, has been passed down generation by generation,” Maya Dusenbery, author of Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick, told Vice in 2018. “Symptoms aren’t taken seriously, and they’re dismissed as depression or anxiety.”

Interestingly enough, medical gaslighting has been more widely discussed on the internet over the last few years. It’s been the focus of multiple studies as well as articles in mainstream publications such as The GuardianThe BBCThe New York Times, and The Atlantic (multiple times). On top of the lack of medical research about women’s health and the systemic discrimination that comes from simply being female, women of color also deal with racial a bias that stems from “false beliefs about biological differences.”

If Rosemary had been a woman of color, she would have had a far more difficult time being believed let alone getting the care she deserved. Rosemary’s Baby shows that this gender and racial bias has been an insidious trend for some time, and, like the devil himself, is known by many different names.

* Lex Briscuso is a film critic, poet, journalist, and radio host living in Brooklyn. You can find her slinging celeb gossip and entertainment coverage over at In Touch Weekly and Life & Style. Her radio show, Your Niche Is Dead, airs live Mondays 4-6pm on


Image Of The Week #114 - Underneath It All By Ashley Powell Elvira Von Leon - The Bite

Underneath It All

Ashley Powell, AKA Elvira Von Leon, creates deeply trippy celestial horror shows like this image, one of her favourite pieces, Underneath It AllIt’s Elvira’s world, and we’re just happy to live in it.

Shudder SHUTIN Promo - The Bite

Don’t go up to the attic for entertainment. No, seriously, don’t go up there. New members can try the platform free for 30 days when they sign up online with promo code: SHUTIN



If you’re looking for something new to watch, consider adding these 5 new horror titles to your watchlist

… along with these 14 essential horror movies by Black filmmakers, from classics like Blacula and Ganja & Hess to newer fare like Get Out and Atlantics.

OurCulture wrote an in-depth piece on filmmaker Mariama Diallo’s new horror short, Hair Wolf, and we cannot wait to see it.

Looking for some new fashion and accessory stores to support? Check out these amazing Black-owned businesses sure to meet your creepy clothing needs.

The PlayStation 5 announcement came with a bunch of new horror game trailers, including Oddworld: SoulstormGhostWire: TokyoReturnalDemon’s Souls, and of course…

… the highly anticipated Resident Evil VIII: VillageThe Hollywood Reporter wrote about how this entry could be a game changer for the franchise.

Stephen King tweeted one of his unpublished book ideas that would explore a first-person narrative from Jason Voorhees himself, and we want to know who’s going to write this because we all need it.

While some folks are clamoring for the Snyder Cut of Justice Leaguethe horror community is still dying for the director’s cut of Event Horizon.

Kevin Bacon’s reteaming with Stir Of Echoes director, David Koepp, on the upcoming Blumhouse ghost story, You Should Have Left.

Architectural Digest looked at some of Ryan Murphy’s most iconic sets, including, of course, the Coven house, the titular hotel from AHS season 5, and Apocalypse’s bunker.

Herman Munster, Fred Gwynne’s patriarch from the beloved 1960’s sitcom The Munsters, is in the spotlight after his timely pep talk for werewolf son, Eddie, went viral.

Metal heads and horror fans are calling for the Richmond, Virginia statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to be replaced with one of the late GWAR frontman, Oderus Urungus. We second this motion.


Things We Love #114 - Zena The Real Queen Of Horror You Are Enough - The Bite

You Are More Than Enough

Last week, Zena, the Real Queen Of Horror, shared this deeply personal video on her YouTube channel. In it she discusses the struggles she’s faced as a Black woman in the horror industry, from the hours of hard work she put into refining her craft to being passed over for opportunities and promotions.


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