Men who hate women

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Dude and I went to see this movie for his birthday. I haven’t been interested in reading the books because a) I’m not a thriller/mystery fan and b) haven’t had time to devote to sampling genres I’m not usually interested in. I’m still not interested in reading the books, because I either read the book or see the movie, but not both. (I got burned in the Bonfire of the Vanities.) I am interested in seeing the Swedish version.

mraynes at Exponent II has an excellent post up about the exposition of misogyny in the book/movie.

Ironically, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo phenomenon is a prime example of how our society hides from the culture of violence against women. In the original Swedish version, Stieg Larsson titled the book “Man som hatar kvinnor” or “Men who hate women.” Believing that such a title would turn readers off, American publishers renamed the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, changing the emphasis away from violent misogyny to the physical body of the (anti)heroine. This alone speaks volumes about our society. Instead of dealing with the discomfort that in fact, some men do hate women, publishers felt that the only way to sell books was to objectify and sexualize the female protagonist.

Please read the whole post.

This brought to mind a blog post by a Cale McCaskey, ostensibly ripping on romance novels, but really ripping on women, and after I read mraynes’s post, I realized: This is the mindset. Taken by itself, his opinion is irrelevant and he’s a woman-hating man who is single and likely to remain that way.

However, how many WOMEN have I heard over the years say the same thing with regard to romance novels and the women who read them? To hear WOMEN talk about the women who read romance novels, we’re all a bunch of fat Peggy Bundys who, instead of earning advanced degrees, becoming Important People, tending to our hearths with the efficiency of Martha Stewart or a Mormon cupcake baker on Ritalin, or fighting against [patriarchy, white privilege, male privilege, rape culture, insert philosophy of choice].

It is not rapists and abusers alone who silence and hide victims. It is we, society, in our unwillingness to stare evil in the face, name it, and confront it. Until we acknowledge culpability within our culture of violence against women, our daughters, sisters and ourselves will be at risk.

Some men hate women. But so do some very vocal women. Women need to look to themselves concerning their own misogyny.

 

8 thoughts on “Men who hate women

  1. Th.

    .

    Cale’s post was one of the most unapologetically misogynistic things I’ve ever read. Or, more specifically, his comments thereon.

  2. MoJo Post author

    Barbara, post away!

    Th., yes, it was. Unfortunately, I’ve heard women say that and worse.

  3. Andrew Kincaid

    …this post (and the links therein) were like a slap to the head. But in a good way, like a Zen instructor whacking a particularly dense student :D

    I knew there was something bothering me about that movie, esp the ending (which I won’t give away here), but seeing the actual name of the book and seeing your perspective on it opened my eyes and gave me a brand new perspective on what the movie meant and what it means in the context of our world. And, on a different note, it makes me see my friends comments on the movie in an entirely different light as well (although, suffice it to say, I was already aware of the rampant misogyny in their statements…I’m also now aware that they completely missed the point of the movie).

    I personally despise misogyny (and any form of sexism, really). We are all people, regardless of gender differences, or any other differences real or imagined that people can perceive..

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  7. Scott Parkin

    (late to the game; sorry…it’s just when I came across the post)

    I watched and loved all three Swedish films. These are intensely and disturbingly violent, and the intensity is part what made them work. These are an (possibly only mild) exaggeration of very common attitudes taken to their extreme. But Lisbet’s rage is real, earned, and demands to be understood on its own terms.

    The intensity and casual brutality of the violence is precisely the point and needs to be understood as such. Things like this do happen, and people lose trust as a result.

    I highly recommend the Swedish films if you can tolerate very stark and brutal violence. I’ve been leery of seeing the American film precisely because I loved the Swedish versions so much; I fear it will pull back too far in the name of sensitivity to American audiences and undercut an extraordinarily powerful story.

    I’ll wait for it on Netflix.

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