Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Riotous Pondering

A few days I go entered a new post into my old blog, Postmodern Critic... Simultaneously enjoying the ambiance I have created for myself there and keeping the web domain the exclusive playground of yours truly, the following is a Part 2 to that post on misogyny in the media.

Ask your friends: Do know what misogyny means? Many people have seen examples of what they would identify as such, but it's surprising how few are actually familiar with this word. The more aware they are of the challenges facing equality between the genders, the better. My mum didn't know before I talked to her about it last year, but it's amazing how just the addition of a single new word in your vocabulary can allow you to make bold new connections, for the greater good.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the movie I watched last week, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (originally called Men Who Hate Women), was that it introduced to a mass movie audience the kind of female character usually reserved for minor roles in arthouse / 'alternative' films. Lisbeth Salander is both the abused and the abuser, bisexual and has a history of mental disturbance. When men lash out at her, she lashes out in return, through both words and actions. She's part of the film's dark tapestry of firmly embedded social malaise, and perhaps the answer to the question more audiences asking these days: What hasn't been done before?

Perhaps it's a sign that society at large is more comfortable with women wielding power. Perhaps I could even, if I were so inclined, say that Lisbeth is a metaphor for how empowered a women is allowed to be in public consciousness - victimised but enduring, fighting back in a pool of moral ambiguity. Perhaps she will be the beginning of a new trend - especially as David Fincher is set to do an American remake in 2012.

Lisbeth S. is not my kind of feminist - in no way should a woman accept abuse passively and fearfully decline to seek legal justice, and in no way should she be the perpetrator of the very crime that was used against her. I do like the saying 'an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind'... But hopefully most people will start asking questions about female rage, rebellion and poetic justice, some of which will be long overdue.

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