Seeing “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and thinking about New Stories


A couple of nights ago, we saw "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" with Laura Atkins and Neil. It is a Swedish movie with lots of subtitles. It is a hack story with lots of gore, a horrific rape scene – two rape scenes, I guess, depending on how you count them – and shot in Rembrandt lighting minus two f stops. I heartily recommend it.

It got me thinking. Why is this a hack story? because I have seen it before? Several times?  This is a story of Buffy Summers  and River Tam, it is the story of any woman in any Luc Besson film. Or, as far as that goes, like the Marine Lioness Program . Then I started thinking What if it isn't a hack story, but a new female archetype?

Mc lioness5

It is an archetype of a young woman as the most powerful person in the
Universe of the story.

Buffy Summers is all that is between Sunnydale and the hoard of
Vampires that will destroy the world. There are men who, maybe, can help her – often
not very well, atleast, compared to her – but she is the only one that can save the world. The men are there to hold the structure, but Buffy holds the power.

Part of the Buffy story is that she is both damaged and vulnerable and River Tam even more so. Mathilda, in Luc Besson's The Professional is incredibly vulnerable and damaged but, in the end, she is more powerful than Leon, her protector.

I think that this is a new myth. A New Story. Granted, my education in myths is preeeety shaky, but I can't think of a Grimm's Tale or a Greek Myth where the female is young, vulnerable, and straight up, kickass, powerful.

And, like any archetype, it is coming out in stories because it exists in the real world. One place, for sure, the archetype is starting to manifest itself is the Marines Lioness Program. The Marines are now training women to go on patrols because they can interact with the local women in Afghanistan and Iraq. In other words, they can go where the men can't. They have power the men don't.

3 thoughts on “Seeing “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and thinking about New Stories

  1. Steve,
    Enjoyed reading your post this morning. I, for one female, am thrilled with the new myth. It’s a breath of fresh air to have women’s power take its place on the world’s stage.
    As for seeing the story before, you have according to that review in Newsweek; I believe I sent you the link. And did you read that this film and “Terribly Happy” are being remade for American audiences? Can those jokers enjoy subtitles and films from the country of a book’s setting?
    Now back to my coffee.

  2. Thanks, Laura, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I am sort of thrilled with the new myth, too, as , maybe, you can tell from some of the other posts like Lynn Hill. I didn’t get the Newsweek review, you sent me an article on the author and his girlfriend.

  3. Interesting that the Swedish title of the book and movie is something along the lines of “Men Who Hate Women.” Am looking forward (with some trepidation) to the movie. The book and the sequel (there are 3 total but I don’t think the 3d book has been published here yet) are fantastic. Highly recommended.
    As to myths I think there are a fair number of powerful women but they always have to do it by stealth, often in away that makes the man look powerful. You are right that we may be on to something new.
    And since circumstances allow for a bad joke, the Navy announced recently that women will be on submarine crews soon ( meaning that the Turtles will have to change their entrance exam (see

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