It’s not every day that a stone cold feminist shows up in literature. With Lisbeth Salander (aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest), Swedish author Stieg Larsson somehow managed to do just that with the book originally titled Men Who Hate Women. The best part? He admittedly based this character on his visualization of a grown up Pippi Longstocking.
I have this aversion to jumping on the literary bandwagon. From John Grisham’s The Firm to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books to (gulp) the Twilight series (yes, I read the damn things long before the great dildo debacle), I mutter a lot about fads and refuse to read popular books on some general principle I don’t fully understand myself.
Anyway, I did it yet again with Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy … and I was completely wrong. Except for the ending, I found these books to be outstanding works of literature. If you haven’t read them, you really should. And just so you know, I’m not going to give away any sort of big surprise in this post — if anything, think of it as an effort to further pique your interest as we examine Salander’s feminism.
Considering my great affinity for lists (and I hope you’re catching the sarcasm here), it seemed like a great opportunity to pay it forward a bit. Therefore, I am happy to present you with my first list.
10 Reasons Why Lisbeth Salander is a Feminist
1. She does not buy into the stereotype.
Although Salander is described throughout the series as tiny (her height is given numerous times as under five feet), “anorexic-looking,” and even “doll-like,” she possesses great physical strength that, combined with an incredibly quick mind, make her a worthy adversary for anyone. Even if she didn’t take pains to make her appearance as gender-neutral as possible, her affinity for Billy’s Pan Pizza and Marlboro Lights do balance out her feminine side a bit.
2. She is friends with a variety of people instead of pigeonholing a group that fits with her exterior appearance.
Mikhail Blomkvist, an honest journalist (referred to by Salander herself as a “practical pig”). Mimmi Wu, a very open lesbian college student. Dragan Armansky, the director of a prestigious security company. “Plague,” a 350 pound recluse …