WTF Files: Girl with a Dragon Tattoo Revisited

October 12th, 2011 § 0 comments

So Amber,

Remember when I recommended The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo last year? Well, not that I’m taking it back, but I feel like I need to air out some thoughts. While reading it, I was completely wrapped up in the mystery, but even with a good story a little something nagged at me. And when I started the sequel, that little something grew and I quit 20 pages in.

The sequel starts with a scene of violence against a young girl – “she lay on her back fastened by leather straps to a narrow bed with a steel frame.” Reading those first words, I knew what I disliked in the first book. As much as Dragon Tattoo smacks of “female empowerment,” underneath is this running current of exploitation – a sort of titillating tale of sexual violence against women. The book works hard to mask it as somehow unveiling this underworld (scattering statistics throughout the chapters) or leading with a “strong” female character (is she really though?), but that’s all it is – a mask.

I never returned to the sequel, although sometimes I contemplate reading it. I’ve even been wondering if I’d watch the Hollywood version coming out soon.** But all my discomfort and irritation came roaring back with the release of this movie poster.

WTF. A fully clothed older male and a topless young woman, all to sell entertainment – can we say problematic? There’s also a version out there without the date obscuring what little is covered. It seems the movie will reflect the book very well. It all just kinda feels like a sexist fantasy played out by the author.

Anybody else read the book? Seen the Swedish movie version? What’s your thoughts? Is it just me?



** Okay, yeah, I probably kinda wanna see it because of Daniel Craig. ;)

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