The original idea for this paper occurred because I watched a film titled Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett, 2000). I related to it (or rather, to the figure of the werewolf within it) to an almost uncomfortable degree. This was not something I had expected at the outset. Ginger Snaps is a modestly budgeted Canadian horror film about a teenage girl who is bitten by, and subsequently transforms into, a werewolf—nothing about it pre-viewing struck me as potentially profound or paper-inspiring. And, to be fair, it was not the narrative of the movie that struck me or even any specific technical element of the film. Instead, it was one minor, seemingly insignificant scene. The scene in question finds the protagonist of the film, Ginger, discovering that she has begun growing a tail. Embarrassed by this new bodily development, Ginger tucks and tapes her tail between her legs before getting dressed and going to school. I assume that, for many people, this extremely brief scene whizzes by without much thought—a mere vignette in the life of a Canadian teenager becoming a werewolf—but this scene did something else for me: it found a way to depict something that I experience daily and yet never see depicted onscreen— to be explicit: tucking, the practice of hiding of one’s penis and testicles so that they are not visible through tight clothing. After this scene, not only did the whole of Ginger Snaps read differently to me; I had uncovered a very personal, uncomfortable subtext within a meager horror film.
Level of Honors
summa cum laude
Miller, Sam, "Werewomen: An Exhumation of Transness in Horror Cinema" (2020). Lawrence University Honors Projects. 151.