I suppose it’s time I started admitting that this Tumblr page is more than just the tea blog I began it for. And post my vids and my fic (not that there are a lot of them). I will post a couple vids from the recent Vividcon, and also maybe my most recent story, from a couple months ago. Feel free to unfollow!!!
A few weeks ago, I watched the Hollywood version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (disclaimer: I have not read the book nor seen the Swedish version). I’ve had this kind of boiling rage ever since.
One of the reasons I haven’t read it or gone out of my way to see the films (it was on Starz, so I watched it) is because I knew there were graphic rape depictions in a story described as feminist. I don’t want to get into my feelings about the film and the quality of the story, but I will say that the acting is stellar all around, and I know many of my friends love these stories deeply.
But all I can think of when I consider the movie is this male privileged idea that vengeance for a rape makes a great feminist parable for all us women to rally behind. And that it’s often male writers who create these “feminist” stories with a woman avenging her own rape. Lisbeth (and I still can’t quite get behind the sheer physics implausability of her act of revenge), and all these female characters who’ve been raped or assaulted in graphic scenes on the page or on screen, are supposedly created by feminists, yet these scenes are never going to be read or seen by men as anything but titillating. I would wager just about almost every guy who watched the rape scene in TGWTDT or The Accused was aroused by it rather than horrified or repelled, or god forbid traumatized. Sure, yeah, there were probably like two good guys out there in the world who didn’t find it so, but for the most part? There is a reason these MEN are writing these “feminist” heroes who are raped as part of the narrative.
But OK, here’s the crux of my statement, the thing I can’t stop thinking about since I watched this: How about we just have a feminist heroine who doesn’t get raped? How about, for once, the female protaganist is just, I don’t know, damaged as a character because she has other problems that damage her? Or she has social disabilities because she just does? Or that she is strong and capable and kicks ass just because she, you know, can, rather than because she gets vengeance for a rape? Wouldn’t it be awesome if a woman was just a heroine who wasn’t assaulted in some way (I’m thinking of Buffy and the slayers who come from a long line of women who were assaulted by men)? Why can’t we have the movie where we don’t have to watch the woman being humiliated or assaulted in some way to make her our feminist heroine? Now that would be feminist.