Violent Women: The Roundup


Check out all of the posts from our Violent Women Theme Week here.

What’s in a Name: Anxiety About Violent Women in ‘Monster,’ ‘Teeth,’ and ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’


The first college course I ever developed focuses on women and violence. Stemming from my interest in women who enact violence on and off the page, I wanted to ask students to think about our perceptions of women as “naturally” peaceful.

The Violent Vagina: The Real Horror Behind the ‘Teeth’


It’s a conundrum, one that Dawn faces head (or vagina) on. She is forced to confront these opposing views, and her body reacts the only way it knows how, it bites the penis of society, it castrates the men that want to turn her into something she doesn’t want to be: a sexual young woman.

The “Blurred Lines” of Body Horror and Rape Culture

Still from John Carpenter's The Thing

The idea of “coulda, shoulda, woulda, didn’t” in regard to the source of most body horror films is very reminiscent of the way we as a society deal with victims/survivors of rape. Why is it that people immediately feel bad for MacReady and the boys when they’re attacked by The Thing without ever telling them they were “asking for it” by playing with a stray animal, but at the same time we’re still seeing news reporters and politicians try and discredit rape victims and assume it was the victim’s fault? Body horror is very closely related to rape culture because it puts a mask on the violence of rape by putting it in the context of an “other worldly invasion” and makes it permissible to revel in the other person’s destruction.

Rape Revenge Fantasies: The Roundup


Check out all of the posts for Rape Revenge Fantasies Theme Week here.

On Milk-Bones, Toothed Vaginas, and Adolescence: ‘Teeth’ As Cautionary Tale

But when Dawn learns that Ryan has bedded her as part of a bet while he is still inside of her, Dawn’s evolutionary adaptation intercedes and Ryan is punished for his use and abuse of Dawn. So now two trusted boyfriends and a doctor have initiated Dawn into the world of oppressive sex and violence, and all three times her vagina—the thing that has left her most vulnerable—has acted as a protector.

Child and Teenage Girl Protagonists: The Roundup

The personification of freedom

Check out all of the posts for Child and Teenage Girl Protagonists Theme Week here.

‘Brave’ and the Legacy of Female Prepubescent Power Fantasies

Basically, Brave isn’t really that brave of a film. It’s traipsing through a well-established trope that, though positive, is stagnant. Don’t get me wrong; I love all the prepubescent female power fantasy tales I’ve listed, and I’m grateful that they exist and that I could grow up with many of them. However, we can’t pretend that Brave is pushing any boundaries. It sends the message that little girls can be powerful as long as they remain little girls. The dearth of representations of postpubescent heroines who are not objectified, whose sexuality does not rule their interactions, and who are the heroes of their own stories is appalling.

On Milk-Bones, Toothed Vaginas, and Adolescence: ‘Teeth’ As Cautionary Tale

Teeth movie poster

Early in the film, Dawn is a nymph-like virgin committed to “saving herself” until marriage. She is the poster child for the “good” girl: a loving daughter who obeys the doctrines of the church and spends her time spreading the gospel of virginity. Everything Dawn knows about the world and herself changes when her falsely pious boyfriend Tobey takes her to a far off swimming hole and tries to rape her. A confused and terrified Dawn reacts by screaming and then—much to everyone’s surprise—cutting off his penis to interrupt the rape. Little does Dawn know that her lessons about Darwin in her biology classes are taking hold in her own body.

2013 Oscar Week: ‘Brave’ and the Legacy of Female Prepubescent Power Fantasies

Written by Amanda Rodriguez. I liked Disney Pixar’s Brave well enough. It’s pretty enough. It’s a story about a mother and daughter, and there was no romance, both of which are nice; though, as I’ll show, neither are as uncommon as they might initially appear. I didn’t find the feminist qualities of this movie to […]

Horror Week 2012: Top 10: Best Female-Centered Horror Films

This is a guest post from Eli Lewy. Horror films are commonly seen as one of the most sexist film genres; utilizing the voyeuristic male gaze, objectifying the female body, and reveling in helpless women being victimized. I am not discounting these claims, but horror has the potential to be more than that: films which […]