Teeth: Female Empowerment at its Greatest

In case you have not heard of this fantastic film, it is a movie about a young girl who finds out her vagina has teeth. The main character, Dawn O’Keefe, is a High School student who has pledged to wait until marriage to have sex. But once a boy she likes rapes her, she discovers that her vagina is something of mythical proportions; during her rape, her vagina proceeds to bite off his you know what. After his screams of terror, and her own screams of terror, she is left wondering what the hell is happening in between her legs. VAGINA DENTATA (dentata is Latin for teeth) is what Dawn has, and she is afraid of the monster inside of her.

At first she blames herself for the rape, and is upset over her lost chastity. A scene where she drops her promise ring into the water is symbolic of her shame. But in reality it is obviously not her fault that she was raped and therefore had sex before marriage, but her lack of knowledge about sexuality leads to this conclusion.

The movie pertains to our discussion on sex education. Dawn is an abstinence girl, which includes hilarious shirts about waiting until marriage. The awkward situation between Dawn and her boy crush is hilarious. Tension is in the air when they even think about kissing and vagina shapes appear in the trees of the forest around them. Classic. But the scene in the movie where the picture in a textbook is blocked because it is a vagina pertains to our class discussion. The school board had forced the teacher to cover up the picture, while penises are okay. Dawn then proceeds to mention how women are naturally chaste and modest in her best I am saving it to marriage voice. Yuck. Kids in the room laugh. End of scene.

Teeth has to be one of my favorite films because there is a sense of empowerment in Dawn’s character. At first Dawn is ashamed of her sexuality and upset about her rape, but figures out that she should have pride with her own sexuality. When men fuck her over, she uses her power to castrate them. While many men might be cringing at the thought, the reason why Dawn ends up castrating some men is because they are taking advantage of her. And it is not like she does it on purpose. The teeth in her vagina is a defense mechanism. If she is enjoying the sex, they will not hurt the men. But if she is feeling used or coerced into sex, then bad things happen. So moral of the story: treat women with respect and do not use women as mere sexual objects. Should be common sense but apparently it isn’t.

If you have not seen this film, I highly recommend it. It is more funny than scary and the storyline is fantastic. I mean, her vagina has teeth, how much better could it get?


that is making the blog rounds. If you haven’t seen it yet:


Apologies that I didn’t play this in class the other day; I wanted to get started on discussion and then I got so into our discussion, I forgot!  Here is the film trailer (in English) and a small panel interview with Marjane Satrapi.  You can find the whole film on YouTube if you are interested.  I strongly suggest it as it just as amazing as the book.  (And film also covers her exile to Austria).

I know I have mentioned in class how much I like zombies.  I think they are so much more interesting than vampires and you can do so much more with them.  I mean c’mon—they cannot be killed because they are already dead.  Given my bouts with insomnia, I tend to have a bit of an affiliation with the little corpses.  But don’t worry: I am not going to go into a whole blog post about zombies.  Because, of course, I already have.  You can read it here.

So why would I post about zombies—yet again—and especially on a blog focused on Women’s Studies?  Because of Emily Hagins.


She’s twelve.


And a filmmaker.



Yeah.  You read it right.  A twelve-year-old filmmaker.  Feature length filmmaker.  I am not talking a 2-minute video edited in iMovie.  I mean a full-length film that has drawn the attention of many, mainly because she is the first teen girl in the US to direct a feature length film.

A documentary about Emily’s journey through filmmaking has already made the rounds at the film festivals.

This is so Third Wave, it ain’t even funny.  I mean, right?!  How utterly fabulous!