Femme Monsters, Their Origins, And Warranted Rage

In Mitchell Lichtenstein’s 2007 movie “Teeth,” Dawn (Jess Weixler) is your run-of-the-mill American teenager, whose proximity to a nuclear energy plant turned her right into a residing instance of the parable of vagina dentata; a vagina with tooth. This deformity provides her the wherewithal to defend herself on the behest of males who goal to sexually benefit from her.

The film opens with a panning shot bringing our eyes to the 2 nuclear plumes mounted within the backdrop of this nondescript American suburbia. In the vein of Michaelangelo Antonioni’s “Red Desert,” the viewers is made keenly conscious of the methods by which these industrial monsters disrupt the panorama, and the way their presence looms over the well-being of these residing of their neighborhood.

We’re launched to Dawn and her soon-to-be stepbrother, Brad (John Hensley) as younger youngsters sitting in an inflatable pool, whereas their respective organic dad and mom, who’re courting one another, discuss in lounge chairs behind them. Dawn is not more than about 5 years previous on the time, Brad about 7 or 8, when he sustains an damage whereas the 2 youngsters are exhibiting one another their genitals; you understand, as younger youngsters do. Dawn says nothing throughout this scene and commits no act of violence that audiences can see. All we all know is, the younger boy’s hand discovered itself in a spot the place it should not be, and Dawn’s physique defended her, biting off the tip of Brad’s finger.

We’re then reintroduced to Dawn at age 16, who’s now preaching abstinence for youngsters and youths in her neighborhood. This program additionally dissuades individuals from different types of intimacy, in addition to self-fulfilling pleasure. Knowing that that is presumably a path Dawn has adopted since childhood, we are able to conjecture that she is aware of as little about her personal anatomical anomalies because the viewers does. In tandem with a altering physique and lack of solutions, Dawn’s mother is affected by an unspecified sickness — which we are able to attribute to their house’s proximity to the nuclear energy plant — stopping her from having the ability to act as a useful resource to her maturing daughter.

During intercourse training, the visible illustrations of vulvas in every pupil’s textbook have been coated up, whereas the guides to extra phallic organs are on show to be realized and understood. Between her abstinence pledge, the training system actively obstructing complete intercourse training, and the impression nuclear air pollution had on Dawn’s bodily physique, our protagonist has been compelled to put on blinders for her personal existence.

Dawn’s first sexual interplay with one other purity-preaching lemming, Tobey (Hale Appleman), sadly, results in a sexual assault. However, this ends in her “monstrous” anatomy coming to her protection, completely maiming her assailant and stopping the assault in its tracks. Dawn’s desires of marriage, purity, and heteronormative life come crumbling down, dismantling her understanding of herself, her beliefs, and her physique. The establishments of chastity and modesty fall away as she realizes that the tenets of Christianity she believed in do not serve her in any respect; they’ve truly betrayed her. When Dawn will get house, her stepdad calls out to her providing a plate of dinner, to which Dawn responds, “I ate.” Yes, you certain did, Dawn.

The “monster” that lives inside Dawn serves to guard her. This monster is each the byproduct and the foil of bigger, man-made points surrounding air pollution, violence, industrialization, sexism, and church-based values. She throws her purity ring into the quarry the place the assault came about, and we see her step right into a newfound energy, which is actually only a sense of self-understanding. As the story continues, Dawn develops a way of management and is ready to wield her tooth at any time when confronted with a non-consensual, painful, or displeasing encounter. Essentially, the ultimate line of protection defending her from man’s aggressive advances.

As Dawn continues to realize management of her energy, she begins utilizing her physique as a method of vindication and justice. After her ailing mom passes, Dawn externalizes her rage by initiating intercourse together with her step-brother, completely maiming him, after which invitations Brad’s bloodthirsty canine to devour his misplaced phallus. The kicker? The canine is known as Mother.

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