The Domino effect precipitated with me watching a movie named Teeth. Released in The Year of Our Lord 2007 with a protagonist whose facial contortions during the veritably unimportant procedure known as acting reminded me of a constipation-ridden loner, this movie had been suggested to us by our illustrious Fourth Year seniors during their Valedictory function. The function itself wasn’t one so formal, what with the ghosts of their gay antics being pulled out of the closet, and in some cases, right in front of their lady loves. Swears and abuses were bountiful, fusillading everywhere. But I digress.
The movie itself starts with two kids inside a baby pool, the girl kid being adopted and the bigger boy bloke not one bit happy about it, displaying it with unnatural glee, but then, belying all the profanities uttered by him regarding his sister a minute ago, pops his finger into his sister’s twat. (Wait, shit, I am not supposed to be telling that.) What emerges is a mangled bloody remain of that aforementioned finger and the sister flashing an innocent yet vindictive glance to the camera.
< Insert orchestral score and credits>
Some Years Later…
We have a dumb blonde lecturing kids on a No Sex Till Marriage campaign, where, bequeathing the dumbest looks a blonde could have ever mustered, she explains why everyone should remain pure. That sure as hell doesn’t prohibit her from smouldering on a complete stranger seated in the lecture. Nearly half an hour vested fruitlessly, it was just plain joblessness that motivated me to watch the movie further on.
The Hot Guy from the Lecture and our Heroine go on date inside a cave camouflaged behind a waterfall, where the Hot as well as Conscientious Kid attempts rape on our Heroine.
What followed was extremely appalling.
It was gore and grotesqueness personified.
His penis, magically, is CUT OFF, spouting streams of blood everywhere.
It was as if a subconscious entrail of my mind identified with the pain he must have experienced. I clutched my beloveds, making sure they weren’t in the least bit, mauled, and then caressed them in a fatherly manner to reassure them as they slowly rallied around, having retracted just a minute ago due to the scare. (This was something, which I read later on Wikipedia, called castration anxiety.)
To our Heroine came Google to the rescue. Heroine suffered from something known as Vaginal Dentata, meaning ‘teeth in the vagina’. Heroine then proceeded to go to a Gynaecologist for a check up, and cut off his fingers when that smart ass started lubing her up. She then cuts off two more pricks, including her brother’s, and as the movie ends, threatens to slash the tongue of an old timer who is too young at heart.
A million questions bombarded my mind. Wiki-ing Vagina Dentata, I discovered it was part of some mythology which envisioned the reduction in amount of rapes, sodomy and molestations by setting in the minds of the men a fear to attempt copulation with any strange woman or trying to rape one. Browsing down the page, I locked upon a link leading to a page containing information about the various rape preventive measures that had been taken.
Jaap Hauuman, a tampon like object, was to be worn which made insertion a cakewalk, but then, with an inbuilt spring blade sliced off a minor portion of the penis, rendering the man incapacitated.
Another device, called the Rape-aXe, is a latex sheath embedded with shafts of sharp inward facing barbs, somewhat like an intestinal villi. The transgressor, while attempting rape, can with utmost ease enter, but experiences excruciating pain while withdrawing, disorienting him for the moment while the woman flees the scene. The condom can then only be removed surgically, alerting hospitals and police.
As with the inception came critics. “How can you subject women to wear this all the time, it’s almost like making them adapt to rape?”, “This is a medieval instrument, based on male hating notions.” Others believed that the attacker might get enraged further which might actually put the victims into further jeopardy.
The critics were themselves women, which left me nothing short of nonplussed. I had held it in my mind that these inventions might have been heralded by womankind to be an answer to their helplessness. Anyways the thought that this was a medieval instrument was shocking. Centuries have passed by, and as much civilised as we may construe ourselves to become, a single rape illuminates the decades of backwardness in our thinking.
One might as well argue that severing through manhood is hardly justified a act as much as the heinous nature of other crimes. It might be like the capital punishment handed out by kings in the bygone eras, that of discerping a prisoner of a limb in case of a theft. What we might not wholly understand is the fact that as deep a gash such a device forges on an attacker physically, a deeper one is invariably made in the psyche of a victim. Recovering from such an incident requires oodles of courage and determination, as deleting the solemn silhouette of a morose memory isn’t something which could be perpetrated with a simple pressing of a button.
Sonette Elhers, inventor of Rape-aXe, said in the FAQ section of her website, “As with everything in life there will be negative attitudes and I can’t be responsible for people who refuse to educate men and feel the device is medieval,” and responded by calling the Rape-aXe “a medieval device for a medieval deed.” A woman who identified with the pain of the rape victims, one who saw the necessity of such a device to safeguard the dignity of women due to high occurrence of rapes in South Africa, as I see it, deserves at least an applause, if not a standing ovation.
In all probability, her deed will go unsung. But we can be rest assured that an attacker won’t go unstung.
(Apologies if the article above seems too much arbitrary. Here is a still from the movie capturing the sheer brilliance of the actresses’ acting skills. 🙂 )