The Jute Scandal
André Jute is a struggling writer who you can read a bit about here: http://bit.ly/i54KS7
It is a perfectly natural, if somewhat depressing, human response for a writer, who considers himself or herself to be a good writer, to react in a malevolent, jealous way to an ‘inferior’ writer who achieves overnight the phenomenal success that the struggling writer has always dreamed about. That is the main reason behind André Jute’s attempted literary assassination of Stieg Larsson and his ‘Millennium’ trilogy.
It is surprisingly easy to refute André’s criticisms but, for pity’s sake, I will focus on just the headline complaint, for the moment, and I hope other contributors will pick up their own points of contention in response.
Firstly there is the extraordinary oversight on which André bases the title of his assassination attempt: ‘The Larsson Scandal’. This is encapsulated in the chapter titled ‘Is there a Single Feminist in a House of 50m People?’.
In this chapter André describes the bias of “those in authority, and especially the police” who “believe instinctively that victims of sexual attacks somehow provoke the attacks, by revealing attire or lascivious behaviour.” The counter argument to that is, of course, that wearing a short skirt and lots of make-up and dancing provocatively is NOT an invitation to rape. Larsson knew this as well as the rest of us.
André goes on to posit the notion that, because Lisbeth Salander returns to Bjurman with the intention of sexual activity (to film the act and use it to blackmail Bjurman), this reinforces the opinion that victims of sexual attack are “asking for it” and that this crushes all pretences of feminism that Larsson espoused.
André completely misses the point that if sex is non-consensual then it is rape. It’s irrelevant whether Salander puts herself in that position or knows that it’s going to happen. It’s the same as if she were to wear a short skirt and dance provocatively in a bar. She should be allowed to put herself in that position without fear that she will be forced to have sex against her will. That was Larsson’s point, which André appears to be oblivious to, though Gabrielsson apparently wasn’t. Salander should not have to be careful. She should not have to consider those risks.
“Can it be that [André] is stupid rather than merely suffering from tunnel vision?”
Posted by genji in Lisbethtown , 20 April 2011