In terms of the female characters on American Horror Story there are quite a few problematic elements. There is the issue of violence and rape, but one that often gets overlooked is the treatment of sex. It is impossible to have a discussion about sex and American Horror Story without examining the character of Moira.
In many ways, Moira is defined by her sexuality, even her origin as a ghost came about through her sexuality when Constance killed her for sleeping with her husband, shooting her in the eye and burying her body in the garden.
Since that moment, her ghost has been stuck in the persona as a sexual object for the pleasure of straight men. It is expressly labelled as this by the way her body shifts form depending on who looks at her. Alone of all of the ghosts in the house, she is not stuck in the body she died in - she is not always the young, attractive woman that Constance murdered. She only ever appears as her original form when a straight man is looking at her and not only does her appearance change, but so does her demeanour, her words and her actions. Moira’s attractiveness, her body, her sexuality is only ever apparent when it is time to titillate a straight man - it’s expressly there for both straight male pleasure and to be used as a tool for power against straight men. And many of the living straight male characters recognise this: for example Ben being surprised that Vivien is happy to keep Moira on because her attractiveness and her overtly sexual and seductive demeanour is so blatantly aimed at him that he assumes Vivien must see her as a threat or problem (especially since he has cheated before).
When Moira is not around a living straight man, a target for that sexuality, she is an old woman displaying a damaged eye where she was shot. She is presented as completely lacking in sexual attractiveness - not only in appearance but in demeanour as well. Her sexual nature is reserved for straight men.
Moira’s most fascinating persona is that of an older woman played by Frances Conroy. Older Moira is virtually passive until Vivien Harmon enlists her help to scare a new family away from the murder house. This character plays upon the idea that seniors, particularly senior women are not sexual and most certainly never the object of sexual desire.This is a societal construction that’s continually reified by the media. Consider for a moment that Sean Connery and Richard Gere are most definitely senior citizens but are still constructed as sex symbols and paired with significantly younger women in movies. There is never a question that they are desirable and their age is certainly never a barrier to sex. With Moira, her advanced age makes her decidedly non-sexual and without the veneer of youth and sexuality, she is powerless and impotent.