(we didn't have zucchini on girls' night)
|Old-fashioned Chelsea Waffles from Vegan Brunch|
Breakfast for dinner is always the way to go, whether it be girls' night or any other day. Our yummy selections for the evening were tofu scramble, grapefruit mimosas, strawberries, and waffles! Yum! This was quite a breakthrough for me because normally making waffles leaves me a crying lump on the couch while somebody else (the husband) cleans up the mess and picks up whatever I threw in a fit of rage (I wish I was kidding) but no more! My usual mistake is forgetting to spray the iron between each and every waffle but I assigned my lady friends the task of watching me to make sure that such a mistake was not repeated and there was success! Okay, they totally failed me once but fortunately I had over-sprayed for the previous waffle so the waffle just split apart but did not stick… we munched the pieces while waiting for the rest of the food to be done, so all was not lost! I completely forgot to take pictures, but waffles and tofu scramble don't vary too much so the pictures are of waffle leftovers and previous tofu scrambles. Stay tuned for my delicious tofu scramble recipe!
On to Teeth. This movie is… disturbing. Yeah yeah, vagina dentata, big deal. That's really not what's so bothersome, largely because it's not real. What is disturbing is how many times the main character is raped, molested, and sexually harassed. Dawn O'Keefe, the main character of Teeth is a teen who speaks to her peers about abstinence and believes in purity. Being human, she also has to deal with the sexual feelings that she can't help but experience and figure out how to deal with them. In a moment of weakness, she kisses a crush of hers who immediately capitalizes on her weakness and rapes her. This was incredibly disturbing, as I'm sure you can imagine.
Reflecting on it, I think that rape is generally alluded to or mentioned in movies or books but rarely shown or described in great detail. The one exception that I know of is Lucky by Alice Sebold, a memoir; memoirs are probably the one genre that would contain more brutal descriptions of rape because that's often the point. In Teeth though, there was no effort made to soften the blow. Dawn is shown being overpowered, even as she screams "I'm saying no!" repeatedly until the man, in his brute force, bangs her head on a rock. He seems remorseful for that, yet doesn't stop what he has begun until Dawn's vagina's teeth take control. His penis chomped in half, he falls in the water and drowns (and I cheered).
Sadder still is Dawn's seeming belief that she is no longer pure, despite the fact that she was a victim. I fear that there are people who would watch this and blame her - Well, she shouldn't have gone swimming alone with him and kissed him and pressed her body against his - she was clearly asking for it so it's her fault. I can just hear people saying this and it's just so awful and terrible that they would, as though any sort of physical intimacy automatically implies sexual assent. Poor Dawn seems to think it's her fault too and doesn't tell anybody what's happening to her - it's just lucky that she has her extra set of teeth to ensure justice.
The movie's not entirely depressing though. I tend to take everything a bit more seriously than others, though how you could take a girl being raped and molested lightly I don't know. It is a about vaginal teeth after all, implying a certain level of ridiculousness to go hand-in-hand with the heavy subject matter. There's a lot of dark humor in it (like a crab climbing over a discarded penis head) which lightens the mood and kept me from becoming too emotional.
Teeth almost seemed like a cautionary tale though for whom I'm not sure. Does it warn girls against the dangers of men? Does is warn men against taking advantage of girls? I have no idea but I think that it should be taken a little more seriously than it tends to be. Vagina dentata might make you laugh but sexual assault is no joke no matter how much humor surrounds it.
I realize that I've moved away from reviewing and into speculation and sermonizing but that's okay. Teeth is more than just a spectacle and despite what many people think, it's okay to think about what you watch instead of just taking it at face value (cough cough at everybody who yells at me for "over-thinking" Indiana Jones). In fact, I think it's better to analyze everything we watch at some level - otherwise you might start believing that all historical artifacts really do belong in a museum or that rape is something laughable. What you don't view critically, you may absorb and that is usually far from ideal. What I'm saying is while you're enjoying your movies and TV shows, keep your brain on. There's no reason you can't watch and think at the same time.
Anyway… yes, I recommend Teeth - upsetting yes, but it is enjoyable as well and definitely food for thought on the dangers that women can never quite seem to escape despite promises of our equality in this country. Dawn does seem to harness her own power at the end though, leaving female views smug and happy that she can finally actively punish the horrible men in her life. I'll warn you though - some of the mutilated penises are a bit gross but nowhere near as visually disturbing as some of the other aspects of the movie.