There’s a secret final boss in Bloodborne; it’s called Terrifying Unfucked Cunt and you cannot defeat it. You can wave your sword at it all you like, your extendable cleaver or your giant stone hammer, but it remains uninterested. You can spray bullets from your gun all over its surface but these seeds of death will never take root, never blossom into anything other than indifference. It is, as its title suggests, unfucked and unfuckable. When it discharges blood it is to its own rhythm, not yours.
You can play the game as many times, and for as many hours, as you like, but you will never find the final boss, because it is always there. It is the one thing that Bloodborne thinks that you are most scared of and as long as you play the game you are fighting it and you are losing. I have to hand it to From Software; they looked at the ‘core gamer’ audience and thought ‘what is it that is most frightening to these people, who so loudly and vociferously claim our games for their own?’ And their answer was the unfuckable cunt. Bloodborne drips with the fear of women’s sexual autonomy; with the terror that male ownership of female genitalia might be overthrown and their centrality to a reproductive future with it; with the horror that that unseverable semantic link between the vulva and the womb may not actually have ever existed. Mostly, though, Bloodborne just drips.
The unfuckable cunt is so frightening precisely because it is a cunt and not a womb. It is a barrier between the prick and what the prick, under reproductive futurism, sees as its manifest destiny, which is to seed the womb. But when the cunt is only interested in its own pleasure, and if it does not see that pleasure in a prick, or does not need that pleasure at all, then the prick is useless. It cannot create on its own and for all of its sound and fury it has nowhere to go. When the cunt is a thing in itself then the womb and its hidden reservoir of blood remains a mystery to the prick, if it even exists at all.
The prick sees itself as the thing that brings order to the primal chaos that is the womb. Without the prick to do its duty then the womb will discharge only blood and foulness, not the order of new life. This nightmare of menses is Bloodborne’s overriding theme. It is what the unfuckable cunt descends into monthly from the point of view of the scared little man who is playing this game and terrified by it. The fear articulated when a person describes reproduction without penis in vagina penetrative sex as ‘playing god’ is the same that sends women to a menstrual hut while they bleed or charges VAT on tampons. The fear that if we dispel the mythology of chaos that surrounds women’s bodies and menstruation then that chaos will infect and destroy us utterly. In Bloodborne the people of Yharnam tried to make babies without fucking and their world was drowned in blood. It might have been the scientists who investigated transcendence or the church that condemned it that sparked the fall but it is the player who wades through it all murdering the women who try to give voice to a new age. It’s the same old gynohorror and if that is what you call horrific then you deserve nothing more.
I can’t tell who Bloodborne is siding with, but the presence of the player only empties the world. I don’t know if the game’s fear of the cunt and all that it issues forth, blood and child alike, is a reflection or an enactment of misogyny. It is probably both, for such are the twin prongs of the medicalisation and the mystification of childbirth that make women into both object and divinity at once, but never human.
That so much of the eldritch is so rooted in the genital; that fear gushes forth from natural orifices; that we can even build a horror story from the imagery of the natural damns us all.