Lady Libertine is an original story by Layla Holzer inspired by ideas of the man-eating femme castrice and the way in which she uses her sexuality to seduce men to feed her appetite. Lady Libertine is an unruly and unrefined female who exists in a society where females are flattened into submission. They sit delicately holding teacups and embroidery hoops with their tight little pouts sealed shut. The big, clumsy, wooden Lady Libertine strikes a stark contrast next to the almost translucent paper thin ladies who all despair at her crudeness.
Wood and paper have been specifically chosen as materials to indicate power and status. Those who conform to the rigid expectations of society are made from paper, a malleable man-made material that’s easily manipulated and destroyed. Paer is also a by product of wood, a natural material that is used here to suggest strength and stubbornness. Lady Libertine’s rough, blemished wooden form identifies her as a power above all others which is seen as a threat to the neat refined order of society.
She towers above the rest of the females, crudely talking over them and seducing their husbands. The men fall easily to her charms, unable to resist her seductive offers. Yet they remain wary of her, and they soon realise that they have reason to be as they witness her gobbling up men as she satisfies her urges.
Lady Libertine’s punishment is inspired by the way in which females are kept under control in real societies across the world, from silencing and incarcerating them, to female genital mutilation. Ultimately, Lady Libertine is punished for being openly sexual, succumbing to the natural urges that lurk within the female body.