Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gone Girl (Warning: Contains only spoilers)

When Gone Girl came out in theaters, multiple people reached out to me to see if I had seen or read it because they thought that, as a feminist I'd hate it, or as a feminist I'd love it. I had not seen nor read it, but this conflict in opinions intrigued me and I love reading things that could lead to a hearty feminist rant. Luckily for you, Gone Girl did just that.

SPOILER ALERT: Everything I'm about to say is a spoiler. 

Gone Girl capitalizes on the age old tale of girl accuses boy of rape (and/or murder) because he hurt her and women are irrational and vindictive. I'm sure that this has happened before, but certainly not as often as rape culture would have you believe. What I hated most about this book was that it exploited this myth about sexual assault. This is a story about a mentally unstable individual. The problem is that this story has been projected onto too many victims of sexual assault, minimizing their experiences and disregarding their claims.

We're living in an age where every asshole on the internet thinks it's their responsibility to write critical analysis of every piece of entertainment (present!). They (we) can find a problem with everything. They (we) focus only on these negative aspects until everyone is exhausted and annoyed and no one wants to listen to them (us) anymore. So, is it just dramatic of me to criticize Gone Girl like this? Maybe. But you know why I am?  Because a woman sitting next to me on the plane looked over at me, noticed I was reading Gone Girl, and immediately said, "Everyone should read that book before they get married. Women are crazy." 

Blanket statement: Women are crazy. Now I don't know this person. She could be dumb idiot. But I wouldn't be surprised to hear that a large portion of people had the same reaction when they read this book because "women are crazy" is a cultural message we receive all the time. It's a message that perpetuates rape culture - it makes victims afraid to speak up and it allows perpetrators to get away with sexual assault. It makes people believe that 13 women would only accuse Bill Cosby of rape because they want to get something out of him. Because no one that nice would do such a thing to 13 different people. Because women are crazy.

Let me be clear, Gone Girl is not about women being crazy. It's about one specific woman with mental illness. But that's not the message we get. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear your comments unless you're an international spammer. Sorry.