Men who hate Women – Concerning girls, tattoos and violence

Posted: December 23, 2011 by Emilio Garofalo Neto in Action, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
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Yesterday we discussed a bit about the basic plot of the movie (and a little about the trilogy). We considered the matter of hiding the truth or bringing it to light. Today we will deal with two other important themes:

1. Judging people by their appearance – Lisbeth, the main character, dresses and acts in a way that makes people suspicious of her. Part of it is intentional, she wants people to keep their distance. But people constantly misjudge her based on her piercings, leather clothing, shaved eyebrows. People talk to her and assume she is mentally unstable. People imagine she is hostile, rude, difficult. While she is rather difficult and can be hostile if threatened, she is in fact a kind of genius with a strong sense of right and wrong (not necessarily coinciding with the biblical right and wrong). My point here is that we are warned in the Bible not to judge according to what we see in appearance. Saul was a rather impressive man, and the people of Israel wanted someone like him to be their king. God’s anointed one, however, was a less impressive kind of man in the exterior, the youngest of a bunch of brothers, the one people would never imagine (1 Samuel 16). Jesus told the pharisees to stop judging the exterior, but start looking inwardly (John 7:24). How would we react if Lisbeth showed up Sunday morning, dressed in metal and black leather and  barely answering to the usher’s greetings…

2. Violence towards women – The first book is originally entitled Men Who Hate Women.  In some countries (including the US) the title was changed to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  The matter of hatred and violence towards women is central in the three books. From now on, expect minor spoilers of the first book/movie, but I promise to reveal very little of the following two…

There is in the story, the mystery of what happened to the missing girl. Around that one, we are also disturbed by the  issues of how Lisbeth is seriously mistreated by men in whom she should be able to trust. The investigation stumbles upon several different forms of mistreatment against women, from sex trafficking to child abuse, rape, torture and so on. The stories seek to expose men who take advantage of their power positions to exploit women, men who publicly condemn sex trafficking but in reality indulge in pornography and prostitution and so on. In this, we go to very dark corners while reading (and watching) the story. Yet, all this is sadly part of our fallen world.

Terribly, parts of the church are lenient towards forms of mistreatment against women, such as verbal, emotional and even sexual abuse in the home. Husbands try to use the Bible to justify forcing their wives (and no wonder feminist groups accuse the Bible of being sexist) and encouraging to such behaviors. But in reality, the Bible has a strong stance against mistreating, hating, abusing, and hitting women.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians (5:25) that the men should love their wives as Christ loves the church and gives himself for her. This is a serious, radical form of action. This means that the man should protect the woman with his own life; that he should put her interests first; that she should never have to fear abuse or mistreatment from him; that he should be the one in whom she can rely for any and all needs. But men are cowards; they abuse their power and strength; they use their position to dominate and hurt, rather than to lead in love and protection.

Christ never abuses his church, does not demand more than she can give, never defrauds, never hates, never hurts, never forces, never makes her fear him. Jesus is the man who truly loves his bride. The church should be bold in calling its members to a similar attitude; but sadly, in many homes, the wives live in fear of the husbands; that they will hurt, force them sexually, hit them if the food is not good, fault them for what the children do and so on. What a perversion. And people complain about tattoos.

  1. kiamalee says:

    Emilio — awesome article! I think I might just want to see the movie because now you’ve piqued my curiosity!

  2. Thanks Kim! The book is very interesting and I trust David Fincher will make a great movie. It is rather lenghty,more than 150 minutes. I think those are needed to tell the story well. As I mentioned, pretty dark and heavy stuff in involved…

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