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

By Editor

5 thoughts on “The Jute Scandal”
  1. No, you”re wrong. Wearing a short skirt to a bar or dancing is not the same thing as going to a man’s house who had previously made her give him oral sex. She thought she could control the situation, went in with an agenda, and much to her “chagrin” things went awry. She has some personal responsibility here, you can’t expect to go through life with your eyes closed to danger. We should have the right to drive in cars without getting into collisions, but we still have seat-belts because we cognizant of the fact that sometimes people get killed in car wrecks. I wouldn’t walk into a lion cage holding thick steaks and start impugning the lion masculinity in a loud taunting voice feeling secure in my safety because I have some kind of “right” to do whatever I want. Yes it was rape, but who in their right minds walks to a house to see a man who had earlier forced a blowjob on them. I’m a police officer, and I’ve never blamed the victims of a sexual assault. But this fictional story is making me shake my head. No one has ever come to us and said “I went to a rapists house and got raped…” it’s like…yeah, of course you did, cause he’s a rapist. The whole night could have been alot different if she had, I don’t know, gone to a movie, turned her phone off. She is a genius hacker, why not simply create another identity, and move? She doesn’t have to just sit there impassively and be a victim so she feels justified in doing what comes next. It’s like, gimme a break lady

  2. Ithink most of contributors have missed the point of the BJURMAN rape episode.Rape is more about control rather than sex.In Salander,s situation re. guardianship she was obliged to attend meetings with BJURMAN.If she reported him to authorities she would not be believed because of her documented history.Therefore her solution is perfectly believable.

    Posted by Gerry Cafferkey. in Dublin,Ireland ,

  3. It is a story for Pete’s sake. Why all the debate? Let the story be the way it is. This is like arguing over dots with Monet.

    Posted by Terri in Somewhere down in Texas ,

  4. Salander TOOK control in this situation…..she decided that it was worth it to give another blow job in order to blackmail him and make him leave her alone and get her declared competent. This was her decision. Unfortunately, he had other much worse things in mind that she ended up having to suffer through. The blackmail plan did work though. The first time it was sexual abuse, and it was also abuse and rape the second time. The difference is that Salander went there knowing she was going to participate in some sexual acts in order to get the film for blackmail.

    Posted by Cass K ,

  5. It seems that Andre Jute must have cut class during the entirety of Fiction 101. Fiction–good fiction–is not about cautious, ordinary characters doing ordinary things and playing it safe. Fiction is about extraordinary characters doing extraordinary things, most times with extraordinary motives. I was once scathingly criticized in one creative writing course I took because I, a man, had the audacity to write a short story about a woman who intentionally put herself in a risky situation after having previously been sexually assaulted. Her reason for doing so? She was determined to overcome an unreasonable fear of men that had resulted from her assault. I sat silently, as was the class rule, as person after person attacked the very premise of the story. When the last criticism was finished, I said nothing in defense of my story, but, to myself, I said, “I wrote a damned good story!” No one in the entire classroom had said anything about the structure or style of the story, or that it was difficult to follow or hard to finish, only that they had issues with the actions taken by the protagonist at the end.

    Fiction is about creating, hopefully, a character that the reader can sympathize with and enjoy reading about enough that, when the story is over, he/she says, “I want to read more about this character! Where is the sequel?” Stieg Larsson did just that with both Michael Bloomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. Do I hope that one day I might enjoy the same success with my writing that Stieg would be, were he still alive? Hell, yes! Do I envy his success and think that it should be mine instead of his? No! You did good, Stieg! I wish you were still around to finish the next seven books you had planned. I miss Lisbeth something awful, because you took her with you when you departed.

    Sincerely,

    RickBull

    Posted by rickbull in Nashville ,

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