"All of this is typical girl-fear. Once you realize that The Exorcist is, essentially, the story of a 12-year-old who starts cussing, masturbating, and disobeying her mother—in other words, going through puberty—it becomes apparent to the feminist-minded viewer why two adult men are called in to slap her around for much of the third act. People are convinced that something spooky is going on with girls; that, once they reach a certain age, they lose their adorable innocence and start tapping into something powerful and forbidden. Little girls are sugar and spice, but women are just plain scary. And the moment a girl becomes a woman is the moment you fear her most. Which explains why the culture keeps telling this story."
Rookie, The Season of the Witch
For readings on the correlation in horror between puberty and the monstrous, see:
I will add Carol Clover’s Men, Women, and Chain Saws here, although she’s concerned more with identification, monstrous-feminine as men’s horror, and the maternal aspects of possession tales (including a section on possession as oral penetration). Although both Creed and Clover are important feminist horror theorists who work in Psychoanalytical lenses, Barbara Creed talks more about transformation than Carol Clover does. And transformation is key to horror movies about how women are terrifying.
For variations on a theme, watch Ginger Snaps, Carrie, and Teeth together.
(Bonus: here is Kristeva’s Powers of Horror: an Essay on Abjection for free online)
I’m 90000% sure I wrote the text below this but it doesn’t link to (probably ff) anywhere. it’s important to keep sources in posts so that you don’t disorient authors about their own pasts,
This is the post I’ve been wanting my entire life.