Friday, December 23, 2011

The Man Who Hates Men Who Hate Women

That’s not me. I’m not a woman-hater.

There are many kinds of men who hate women.

There’s the misanthropist who hates not only women but any other living human being in this planet. I fall under this category.

There’s the misogynist who were trained like stupid dogs to hate women exclusively.

And then, there are the gay people, the ones who are in perpetual competition with women in grabbing the most luscious men of the town- a reason good enough for some of them to hate women.

Finally there are those creepy sadomasochistic perverts who kill women for fun. Just for the pure pleasure of it.

But this is not about perverts. This is about the man who hates men who hate women- the late Swedish writer Stieg Larsson (1954-2004). His first novel of his Millenium Trilogy, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, is Larsson’s battle cry to protect women from sexual violence.

Stieg Larsson

The novel is a locked-room mystery. Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist and publisher of the Millennium magazine, was hired by the patriarch of the rich and powerful Vanger Family, the industrialist and former CEO of Vanger Corporation, Henrik Vanger to investigate the unsolved case of the murder of his relative Harriet Vanger.

As he was briefed about the situation of the bizarre mystery, he concluded that it was an impossible case. After taking the most logical steps to solve it and proceeded with the most cautious investigative procedures, prodded through all the mountains of files and records from the police and personal notes of Henrik, he couldn’t find new evidence or any other leads, until… the girl with the dragon tattoo enters the scene- Lisbeth Salander- the androgynous super hacker obsessive investigator.

This is the kind of the girl who scrutinizes the lives of other people just for the sheer fun of it. Unknown to Blomkvist, Henrik hired Salander through Milton Security to do a background check on him. And then… blah blah blah blah blah… whatever, just read how the heck these two people met, how they got so sexually involved with each other since they have different tastes in bed, etc.

The thing is, the book leaves you breathless as they look at the mystery and think outside the box. Reading it before sleeping wouldn’t even help because your eyes are forcing the lids to shut down but your mind and whole being keeps asking for more! Until you find yourself reading the book through the wee hours. All of a sudden you realize that you’re already late for work. IT’S A FACT.

You’ll be amazed with the discoveries of Blomkvist and Salander, how they were able to find the missing links, the missing pieces of the puzzle. And as they put them all together, they found out that they were not looking at Harriet’s unsolved case but a string of dirty family secrets and a series of murders. Don’t faint when they find out who’s that bastard of a serial killer.

They’ve actually made two movie adaptations. Gonna go watch it soon.

But enough raving about the novel! What really impressed me the most is that the book is an effort of the author to fight sexual violence against women. According to the most reliable source of information in planet Earth, Wikipedia, “Larsson witnessed the gang rape of a young girl when he was 15. He never forgave himself for failing to help the girl, whose name was Lisbeth- likt the youngmain character of his books, herself a rape victim, which inspired the theme of sexual violence against women in his books.”

Kudos to Larsson!

You see, after reading this book, I kind of had a change of heart. I am notoriously known for making fun of girls and saying sexist jokes about women. I AM NOT A MISOGYNIST! I don’t hate women. And after reading his novel, I just decided that I’m not going to be a sadistic perverted sexist! I am not and I will never be! It’s really disturbing.

And here’s the thing, and I always say this about great movies or great books- the novel was so good that it made me so paranoid and freaked out. I actually checked my younger sister if she was safely travelling on her way back home, or if my mother talked to any suspicious strange individuals. I know that I’m overreacting. I can’t help it! Thank God I got over that after a couple of weeks.

It’s so good it can really mess up your mind. 

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