You’ve probably heard of penis envy. It’s Sigmund Freud’s idea that all females are born with a secret jealousy that they carry for their entire lives. Freud claims that, regardless of whether they acknowledge it or not, women desperately wish that they were born with a penis. It’s a crazy idea that has implanted itself into our collective consciousness, so that when we think of Sigmeund Freud, we think of penis envy.
Well, penis envy has a counterpart that is slightly less well-known. It’s called Vagina Dentata, or “the toothed vagina.” Vagina Dentata is a secret fear that men carry throughout their lives. According to Freud, every man alive is subconsciously worried that some day he’ll encounter a vagina with teeth, a vagina that will eat his penis.
Even though modern psychoanalysis has all but forgotten these Freudian theories, the symbols still survive. It’s easy to fin...
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