the girl with the dragon tattoo….what’s a feminist mom to think?

I’m confused and conflicted and wonder if my brain wishes I didn’t think so much. Last fall I bought Alex the book, because she loves gory, gross thrillers. She also loves stories with happy endings, so the combination isn’t always easy to find. She rejected my offering and tossed the book to Kate, but read it later. Last night Alex told me she hated it, especially the ending. In fact I believe she said it was the worst book she had ever read.

My mom (who is a feminist) read it, and said she skipped over the violent parts. Um, that would be like half the book.

Last weekend I showed up in Vancouver with my new copy and Kate had hers out. We read our books together, but Kate finished first (heck, she was onto her third book before I finished). Kate claimed it was ok, just another pulp thriller. She didn’t seem moved one way or the other about it.

The women I know who have read (and been hooked) on this book are self-identified feminists, and/or are committed to the rights of women. I don’t know of any men who have read the book.

I refuse to watch any movie or tv show with violence or tension. It’s not a moral issue, but they just scare me and I don’t like being scared. But I was stuck on this book. I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up last night to finish it. It was a satisfying ending and I am hooked.

But it was really violent towards women. Young women. Women the same ages as my daughters. I read every word, and had to take breaks so I could breathe.

I can’t decide if this is a book about hating women, or women taking revenge. At first I thought it was about revenge (and there was a point where I was pretty impressed at the creative revenge-taking). But then it got even more violent, and the number of victims seemed excessive.  There was a point being made, but I am not sure I understand it (oh, I need a book club for this.) If I am indeed thinking too much, and it’s just entertainment, then I am really having a hard time with it.

I presume others have the same conflict. I checked out this review, and this one.

I don’t know what to think. What do you think? Tell me, because I want the next book…..and I need some help justifying it.

About kim tackett

Northern CA marketing consultant, writer of very small stories, and drinker of very strong coffee.
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2 Responses to the girl with the dragon tattoo….what’s a feminist mom to think?

  1. kathleen says:

    read all 3 books, liked them, so did Robert. Read about the author, pretty amazing guy, too bad about the MI. Story goes he left his girlfriend the laptop with another (?partial) book on it, legal battles with greedy relatives of course. Not sure about going to see the movie because what I can handle in print I can’t handle on the big screen, even if I take my glasses off.

  2. Claire says:

    Keep reading. I just finished Hornet’s Nest yesterday. It only gets more feminist as the story advances. I like the last book the best…by a lot.

    Saw the Swedish movie of dragon tatoo. Liked it. Doubt I’ll see the Hollywood version when it comes out.

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