I have read the books as well, and I really think that your response is fantastic. I honestly don't feel the need to add anything there myself. This is going to be a super long response as it is (just warning you guys now in case you want to skip
I have read the books as well, and I really think that your response is fantastic. I honestly don't feel the need to add anything there myself. This is going to be a super long response as it is (just warning you guys now in case you want to skip over this - I have a lot to say on the subject. ).
The one thing that I /am/ going to say specifically about the film is that I liked the original film MUCH better than the Hollywood remake. Part of that is that I'm generally biased against remaking things to be English-speaking rather than just reading the subtitles (plus I don't much care for Daniel Craig), but a much bigger part is the fact that I thought that the original Lisbeth, Noomi Rapace, did a much better job of portraying the character and her strength.
I read a ton of murder mysteries and detective novels, however those I choose generally don't have rape scenes at all, whether written by males or females. That isn't to say that there aren't references to a victim having been violated, but among the novels that I read, there is not likely to be an actual detailing of the act. For me, I think that this is actually somewhat unfortunate, because it makes rape seem like it's only worth mentioning in passing, and while I don't enjoy reading about violence of any kind, I think that it's important that readers really understand what's happening instead of just accepting it. I do find that a lot of authors will place female characters at risk of being sexually assaulted so that they can be "rescued," however this is something I notice especially often in novels by female writers. I think that you are right in saying that males are more likely to detail a scene in which rape actually occurs, but a lot of woman authors use a close call as a plot device, or have a survivor of assault (where the act is just referenced) as their protagonist.
I have read a lot more graphic descriptions of murders than of anything else in these books, and quite frankly I'm sometimes shocked about the lack of upset about this. George RR Martin said the following in an interview: "I can describe in exquisite detail an axe entering a man's skull and splattering blood and brains. Not a peep. I describe a penis entering a vagina in equivalent detail, the world has ended." I think that he used rape as a vehicle for character development in a way that really did justice both to the character and survivors of sexual assault, and to me, Lisbeth's resolve and strength can be better appreciated because the viewers (or readers) are subjected to the actual act rather than having it simply have "happened." Rape doesn't just "happen." It's horrible, it makes us uncomfortable, and for a lot of people, seeing it makes the violation more "real" than simply having a character mention it.
As awful as it is, there are some people who just won't connect the words with the brutality and horror of the act, and this way, anyone watching is essentially forced to realize just what a character really went through when they use those words. I do realize that it's an unnecessarily graphic addition for those of us who can really understand the concept, but there's such desensitization among the general population that just saying that something happened is no longer "real enough" for a lot of viewers. There are entire films based on murder after murder occurring - I mean, there are whole genres dedicated to this sort of violence - yet I have never seen a film about a serial rapist along the same vein. I think that violence is entirely too acceptable to society as a whole, but that if it's being used as a plot device in a story, I think that graphic detail when it's unexpected (outside of the horror/slasher/torture porn genre) will help to keep people from becoming comfortable with the idea of violence having happened, and hopefully keep them from just accepting it.