Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fangs Look Good on a Woman

"Vampire V" was my favorite nickname when I was five. My next-door best friend Elizabeth ("Smashed Lizard Guts" Liz) would watch Creature Features on TV with me and imitate Bela Lugosi. (This was before Buffy and Twilight.) Lizard and I would create dramas with our troll dolls in the dirt between our houses, enacting warfare under the shrubbery, triumphing over Gumby, and humiliating the Barbies with their grotesquely long legs.

My big sister's nickname for me was "The Little Pest." I lost my Vampire status when my mom took me to the dentist and had him pull the canines that protruded above my more "normal" teeth. Perhaps orthodontia saved me from looking like a freak. But I felt something had been lost... and not just because "Lizard" moved away.

I was learning how to be standard and fit in.

"Smashed Lizard Guts" Liz would make me laugh so hard, I'd pee all over the floor. I learned that laughing was dangerous, as was any wild behavior. Paradoxically, anything pretty and girlish was stupid, yet it was clearly my safest choice. I grew civilized. And there's no question I was one of the luckiest girls in the world.

Now I'm asking all the other lucky people in the world to join me in saving wildness. The "Fanged Wilds and Women Program" harnesses laughter, ladylike behavior, and grotesquely long legs to celebrate our love of the wilds.

Climate Change will increasingly put everything out of balance. Few things can repair that. A woman's touch is one thing. And vicious fangs are another. So many Pollyannas nowadays are influenced by "The Secret" and the "Power of Attraction," they ignore human accountability and negate anything scary like wild predators. Yet predators are 'keystone species" that keep forests and grasslands healthy so we can all tiptoe through the tulips.

Speaking out means that sometimes people look at me as if I'm Bela Lugosi. Words can feel too sharp when they challenge our comfort. 

Yet the rewards are legion. 

Fangs may save civilization.

VC Bestor

Fanged Wilds and Women Program is a 501c3 Tax-Exempt Organization