...from an upcoming publication:
The fascination with Lisbeth [Salander] crosses genders, which is one reason why the film can be a commercial success. Specifically, though, the character has become a kind of women’s obsession, especially for feminists who either reject or embrace her. Many people, myself included, believe that Lisbeth is a feminist character (interestingly created by a man, clearly sprinkled with a little fairy dust by his partner of thirty years, Eva Gabrielsson, as she revealed in her recent interviews). Lisbeth is like an avenging angel for all women who have been wronged by society. How can a feminist not fall in love with a guy who has the guts to create a character that has been so screwed by the system yet retains the strength to come back and get revenge on the people who have done her wrong? On the other side of the argument are others who are adamant that a man could never have created Lisbeth and her story because they are both too feminist. Still others also believe that Lisbeth is a victim, and are very angry and disturbed by the violence depicted against women—particularly in the first novel and film (titled Men Who Hate Women in their native Sweden). True, the violence is disturbing and hard to watch. But it doesn’t mean that it isn’t feminist.
The debate about Lisbeth, the book, the films, and their relationship to feminism is one of the most exciting things about the upcoming film. 2010 might go down as the year when America—both men and women—became obsessed with books with a new feminist icon, but 2011 could go down as the year when Hollywood somehow releases a feminist film that becomes a big mainstream hit. Bring it on.