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Commentary: No need to blow whistle on ‘The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo’s’ rape scenes

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

I was one of those people who saw “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” without first having read the book. I wanted to keep my mind free of any prejudice for the movie. I already knew there would be an intense rape scene, but I was not mentally prepared for it. It was brutal, heartbreaking and induced rage in me I didn’t know I had.

But I wasn’t angry with the director, David Fincher, for including the scene, I was furious with the overall injustice at the idea of rape. Some people (actually a lot of people) were offended by the director’s choice to put the scene in the film. But why wouldn’t he?

Not only did the late author, Stieg Larsson, write the scene in the book, but it’s also a crucial scene that helps motivate Lisbeth Salander in the decisions she makes afterwards. I applaud Fincher and Rooney Mara, who played Salander, in being brave enough to do this scene. In a recent Entertainment Weekly interview, Mara said the scene was very hard to do because they had to repeat it several times to get it right.

For those people who said they weren’t given enough warning before the rape happened, the movie is rated R, with several warnings of the scene in question. So even if you don’t glance over film reviews or check any social media websites, at the very least, the rating will let you know what is eventually going to happen. You’re also allowed to shut your eyes and cover your ears.

For those people who were appalled and offended at the violence of the scene, I ask: What were you possibly expecting? Rape doesn’t involve a picnic, some flowers, low lighting and Marvin Gaye in the background. Rape is usually brutal in nature and should be treated as such. Any softening or coddling of the scene would insult every victim of sexual assault.

And for those people who couldn’t bear to watch the scene and walked out of the theater, you paid money for it. So it’s your loss because you missed out on a particularly spectacular revenge scene and an amazingly well-done film. I’m not saying people have to sit through it and watch with eagerness or awe, but I think people should realize that this is a very real situation, even if it’s just a movie adaptation of a book.

I was very disturbed by the rape, as any normal human being would be, but I wasn’t irritated with the director because he was working off of the book. If you truly needed to direct your anger at anyone, it should be the author. He’s already been criticized for his apparent fascination with brutality towards women in his trilogy. Not that he cares, anyway — he’s dead.

In reality, I hope this movie sparks a fire in people to do something to help prevent this sort of thing from happening. Rape doesn’t just happen out of nowhere — there’s an attitude behind it: A warped ideal that is created through society, which teaches women to not get raped, rather than teaching people not to rape.

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