Okay this blog post is not THAT simple. I want to explore the meaning of homosocial desire as it pertains to women in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as I feel Sedgwick’s Between Men does an amazing job at describing the homosocial desire, however it is only…between men, so where does that leave our women? The line in Dracula that honestly intrigued me most was Mina’s referencing to Lucy that she loves her “with all the moods and tenses of the verb”. I believe that this does not imply a sister love or friendship, but rather as a lover. However, I part of me is also curious as to why Mina and Lucy are victims to the vampire epidemic specifically. Although neither Mina nor Lucy actually does anything to violate Victorian gender norms, they come close to doing so, and Stoker’s reclamation of Mina suggests that the only appropriate gender boundaries that women can cross are ones that benefit men.
Mina and Lucy are each depictions of the New Women, in different stages, Lucy being more progressive and Mina a tad more reserved. The result, in my eyes, is the fact that Mina loves Lucy, not only for being herself, but for being everything that Mina wants to become. Mina and Lucy’s perceived transgressions make them potential New Women–and thus, potential victims for vampires, since that is what they seem to be attracted to. However, I acknowledge the ambiguous nature of Mina and Lucy’s relationship, but I believe the answer lies in penetration. The way in which one becomes a vampire is through penetrative practices of exchanging or sucking blood, and I want to tie this into the Victorian belief of what classifies as “sex”. Since Mina and Lucy cannot have penetrative sex, there cannot be (in the Victorian mind) a relationship between the two women, and therefore there is no sex to be had. I wish I could elaborate further, however, I already feel as though this is a stretch. Let me know what you think.