Teenage Mutant Twincest Murders: Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988)

Radical technology was required.

Teenage Mutant Twincest Murders: Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988)

Welcome to May! A new month means a new theme, and this month's theme – to honor all the ancient fertility festivals and so forth – is GUYNECOLOGY. To answer your questions: Yes, I stole this pun from a book cover. No, I will not be giving it back.

I didn’t hate my body, growing up. I just thought I enjoyed being disgusting.

I was always entranced by the physical grossness of my reproductive life; swollen body parts, leaking fluids, the living creature rooting around under my skin and feeding itself by sucking food from my bones. My body produced goo and slime and liquid. It had folds and slippery portions and disconcerting squishy parts. I mistook the gleeful disgust I felt about this for comfort, unaware that being entertained by my body's grotesqueness still meant finding myself grotesque.

I wrote a whole book about how men stigmatize and fear the “female” body — all those gross, squishy, slippery horror-movie monsters that arise out of people’s half-conscious memories of Mom. Yet it never occurred to me that I was writing my way through my own discomfort. I wrote and wrote and never saw it coming: The person who was most afraid of my female body was me.

Dead Ringers is about men’s discomfort with “women’s” bodies; more accurately, it’s about cis men’s phobia of bodies with uteruses and vaginas and blood and breast milk and cervical mucus, about how men put themselves into positions of authority over women to conquer their dread of all those squishy, liquid, slimy, fleshy things.

This post is for paying subscribers only

Already have an account? Sign in.