Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Why I hated Men Who Hate Women

A little over two years ago, I checked out The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (original Swedish title: Men Who Hate Women) from the library. The beginning was promising but it wasn't long before I realized this was NOT a book for me. I wish I had known the original title before I decided to read it. Everybody has their certain thing(s) they can't handle in books (or movies). Apparently my thing that I can't handle in books is the horribly brutal sexual abuse of women. And The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was full of it. So I stopped reading it and tried to forget what I had read.

So I have to admit that I was shocked when this book became so HUGE. Everyone loved it, everyone raved about it. Everyone couldn't wait to read the next book, and then the next. In the meantime, I wondered if we were all talking about the same book. I was disturbed enough that there existed a person in the world (the author, a male) who could think up these horribly creative ways of demeaning women and take the time to write it all down in prose, on the published page. The fact that people around the world were eating it up like it was no big deal was even more disturbing to me.

Just because the men who do the horrible things to women are the bad guys, doesn't make it right, not to me. Just because sometimes the woman who is abused gets to take revenge on her attacker, doesn't make it right, either. And aside from the horrific abuse that takes place in this book, there is a systematic undercurrent of misogyny in the book that reveals itself in other ways. Like how the main character (a female. Horribly abused? Of course) hates her small breasts. Like how all the females in a 50-mile radius of the other main character (a man) just can't wait to sleep with him. And sure, he's nice to women, because he doesn't rape them, see? I guess. Maybe there are even more examples of all of the above; I don't know because I didn't finish reading the book.

I don't see how men can write books like this and get away with it - and sometimes get called pro-feminist to boot, because maybe somewhere in there, one of the women getting raped is a "strong female character."

Look, if you read this book and liked it, I'm not trying to judge you. Like I said, everyone has their thing that really gets to them, and this is mine. I am asking the wider question, though, of how male authors can write these horrible things about women, and about things that they make happen to women, in ways that specifically denigrate their womanhood, and nobody seems to make a fuss about it. I hear people complain about Edward watching Bella sleep (or whatever) every other day but you have a woman get brutally raped a couple of times during the course of a book and everybody is dying to read the sequel. What the heck?

June 29th, outsourced

YA binge, Austen, Africa, and Hitler