"Unappalled by the calm dignity of blameless womanhood, your minion has torn me from my spotless home, and dragged me, blindfold and shrieking, through hedges, over stiles, and across a very difficult country, and left me, helpless and trembling, at your mercy! Yet not helpless, coward sir, for approach one step — nay, but the twentieth part of one poor inch — and this poniard shall teach ye what it is to lay unholy hands on old Stephen Trusty's daughter!"
The villain is trying to have his way with a beautiful maiden
. He lifts up her dress and things look bad... but what's this? The damsel has quietly pulled a knife from her garter! She stabs him, putting an end to his evil ways once and for all.
The Chastity Dagger is the favored weapon of delicate, civilized young ladies
in fantasy and historical works. It is almost always used as a means of self-defense when in danger of being raped, robbed or kidnapped, but a Femme Fatale
may also use it in conjunction with her feminine charm to assassinate a male character while he is distracted. A more modern variation is the Little Useless Gun
Subtrope of Hidden Weapons
; Trouser Space
is favourite, but Victoria's Secret Compartment
is another option. See also Silk Hiding Steel
For a fantastic, Body Horror
variation, see Vagina Dentata
Anime and Manga
- While not a dagger, Casca from Berserk uses a chastity stick in order to plunge it into the eye of a would-be rapist during the battle with Adon's soldiers.
- A double subversion in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; The Sheriff of Nottingham gives Maid Marian a dagger for protection. However she can look after herself and donates it to Robin's cause. Then, in the final battle when the Sheriff's in full on I Have You Now, My Pretty mode, Robin turns up and (after being disarmed) ultimately uses the dagger as a weapon of last resort to save her.
- Romancing the Stone's Fake-Out Opening ends this way. And the ex-Shrinking Violet heroine resorts to a Chastity Switchblade before it's all over.
- In Sherlock Holmes, thugs attempt to rob Irene Adler at knifepoint. Irene takes out a concealed knife and robs the robbers.
- This was a favorite tactic of Milady DeWinter in The Three Musketeers (1993).
- In Troy, Briseis stabs Agamemmnon this way during the sack of Troy.
- Combined with Fan Disservice in The Emperors New Groove: Yzma pulls up her skirt, causing the protagonists to recoil in terror. Turns out she keeps her dagger there. They're both immensely relieved.
- Conan the Buccaneer has another version - all the virgins of Zingara carry small knives to kill themselves (they value chastity a bit too highly).
- Discussed a couple of times in the Gor series; in Beasts of Gor Tarl strips a free woman and makes her comb her hair, where she has a poisoned needle hidden. At least one other time Tarl talks to a free woman about it too, saying she'd better not have a hidden dagger or it won't go well for her with her captors.
- In Ruddigore, when Robin as Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd has Hannah kidnapped, she pulls a small dagger with which she menaces him in swashbuckling style. She releases it only to pick up a much larger sword and continues to advance on him as he cries for mercy.
- Played with in the Sienkiewicz Trilogy. The first woman chooses to stab herself instead, the second one iseasily disarmed, only for a henchman she had saved earlier to brain the villain with a blunt object and the third has no dagger but uses a pistol as an improvised blunt weapon and deals a hit that costs the villain an eye.
- In the Sword of Truth book Stone of Tears, Kahlan kills a would-be rapist with a ceremonial knife carved out of a human bone. She was half dead from poison at the time, and the book implies it wasn't her killing him, but the spirit of the man the bone used to belong to.
- In Thais of Athens, a rich merchant tries kidnapping Thais' beautiful slave girl Eris. What he doesn't know is that Eris is an ex-priestess of a dark goddess and keeps enough hidden blades on her (near naked) body to leave him and his cronies Gutted Like a Fish on the ground before they even touch her.
- In the Vorkosigan Saga, Barrayaran ladies traditionally carry "Vorfemme blades" (ornate concealable knives) for this purpose... And also, it is implied, to slit the throats of any mutant children they might bear. One character, musing on the tradition, points out that while the right to carry a dagger made you better armed than the peasants were allowed to be, your husband was allowed to carry two swords, so you were still outgunned; were the Vor lords really that scared of their ladies? Her companion reminds her of an ancestor of fearsome reputation, and she concedes that yes, perhaps the Lords should have been that afraid...
- In the Belgariad and sequels, Nadrak women have about four of them handy at all times. At least one of them is always on display to remind men of the consequences of taking liberties, with "lesser offenses" usually just earning a nasty scar.
- The Elenium and its sequels feature Mirtai, who always has knives on her person and more than once used them to protect her innocence after having been sold to a brothel. She even keeps knives strapped to her inner thighs to ensure that she can fight off any attacker.
- In the first book of the Tales of the Otori, Kaede uses a needle to defend herself against the feudal lord who had planned on raping her.
- Game of Thrones
- Shae carries one on the night King's Landing is attacked by Stannis's fleet, insisting she won't be raped if the castle is taken.
- Catelyn Stark draws a knife when attacked by the Mountain Clans, though it's not clear if this is a last-ditch defense or to kill herself rather than face rape and a likely brutal death.
- The Star Trek Mirror Universe episodes heavily implied that this is one reason all of the women in the Mirror Universe carry daggers in those Bare Your Midriff outfits; Uhura in particular uses one to fend off Mirror Sulu's lecherous advances on her at one point.
- Prince Valiant: Princess Aleta has one of these, and she uses it to great effect on numerous occasions, whether to free herself from ropes or to stab an unsuspecting villain.
- Touhou: Sakuya keeps a mind-boggling number of daggers in two bandoliers around her thighs.
- In old Spain, women used to carry a knife literally called "salvavirgo".
- A device invented in South Africa during a time when rape crimes were especially common was a combination of this and a Chastity Belt.