Vagina dentata

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Vagina dentata is Latin for toothed vagina. Various cultures have folk tales about women with toothed vaginas, frequently told as cautionary tales warning of the dangers of sex with strange women and to discourage the act of rape.

The concept is also of importance in psychoanalysis, where it is held to relate to the unconscious fears associated with castration anxiety.


[edit] Cultural basis

The vagina dentata appears in the myths of several cultures. Erich Neumann relays one such myth in which “a fish inhabits the vagina of the Terrible Mother; the hero is the man who overcomes the Terrible Mother, breaks the teeth out of her vagina, and so makes her into a woman.”[1]

The myth appears for example in the second of the three sequences of founding Māori myths, where the hero, Māui, has to enter the goddess of night and death Hinenuitepo through her toothed vagina to try and pluck her heart, in an attempt to make mankind immortal. He fails and becomes the first man to die.[citation needed]

The legend also appears in the mythology of the Chaco and Guiana [disambiguation needed] tribes. In some versions, the hero leaves one tooth.[2]

In his book, The Wimp Factor, Stephen J. Ducat expresses the view that these myths express the threat sexual intercourse poses for men who, although entering triumphantly, always leave diminished. The myth is also popularized in the movie Teeth, starring Jess Weixler.[3]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Neumann, Erich; translated by Ralph Manheim (1955). The Great Mother. Princeton: Princeton University Press. pp. 168. 
  2. ^ Leach, Maria (1972). "vagina dentata". Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend. entry by Erminie W. Voegelin. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. pp. 1152. ISBN 0308400909. 
  3. ^ Ducat, Stephen J. (2004). jacinta curtis. Boston: Beacon Press. pp. 115–149. 

[edit] See also

  • Teeth - A 2007 Sundance film in which a girl has teeth in her vagina.
  • Lady Terminator - a film in which a woman keeps a snake in her vagina for the same purpose.
  • The Image of the Beast (1968) - Philip Jose Farmer - One of the 3 Herald Childe novels. "Private investigator Herald Childe watches a snuff movie of his partner being brutally murdered. The subsequent pursuit of his killers takes him through the Los Angeles smog and into a waking nightmare of sexual brutality and supernatural bestiality: the most extreme and disturbing case of his career." One of the protagonists has a snake like creature in her vagina.
  • Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - One of the main characters, YT, has an anti-rape device called a dentata which injects a "powerful cocktail of narcotics and depressants" into the bloodstream of a sexual assailant via a hypodermic needle.
  • Pink Floyd's The Wall film - animated scenes show toothed genitalia

[edit] External links

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