#lordoftheflies #whatthefuckamireading #getthefuckoutofherewiththisshit
This is me this morning after my boyfriend told me what was all over his social media: An All-Female remake of William Golding’s classic, The Lord of the Flies.
Now, as a Feminist, I’m sure the two men heading up this project expected me (and women like me) to be overjoyed by this gender-reversal. However, I am not amused. Why, you ask? Well, you probably didn’t want to get me started, but TOO LATE, HERE WE GO!
1) The Book is About Toxic Masculinity, Which is Already a Feminist Idea!
The book’s whole theme is that despite the rigidity and decorum of the British boys when they arrive, they devolve into violent little monsters by the end, crushing the boy who is deemed “feminine” and “weak” and giving into their destructive, masculine tribalism, where the strongest and most ruthless torment the “others.”
I mean, the main symbolism in the book is boys using spears to violently penetrate a sow, for crying out loud! Sexualized violence is par for the course in this book, which is another look at the “shadow side” of masculinity (unchecked by compassion).
This is juxtaposed by the very “civilized” British naval officers who find and rescue the boys at the end. They know that, they, too, despite all of their discipline, could end up the same violent mess as these kids after they miss 3-4 meals… and that’s the whole damn point of the book!
The theme of Lord of the Flies is that the masculine tendency (due to societal pressures) of “otherizing” the weak or the feminine and resorting to violence is terrible, and needs to be acknowledged. There is a beast inside of men, specifically, that can get out of hand if not tempered.
Women have a similar beast, but one that comes out differently, also due to societal pressures and gender norms, which brings me to my second point:
2) The Story Would be Inherently Different!
Now, I’m not one of those women who kids herself into thinking that women aren’t violent, or that we’re not capable of the viciousness and tribalism men are capable of. But I’m also not a moron and know that we’ve been socializing women differently from men since birth (a frequent topic of feminist discussion), and that women’s violence would create a very, very different story.
It would be a touch of “Mean Girls,” meets “Heathers,” with people-pleasing women being passive-aggressive, until someone snapped and poisoned everyone. Or something.
But, the point is, it wouldn’t be The Lord of the Flies!
Women are trained, at least in Western society, to be quiet, agreeable, and keep our underlying violence confined to using our words instead of our fists. This isn’t to say that some women (like me), tend to be more outspoken and fist-usey than others (I grew up a rough kid and got into my fair share of scrapes!), but most women have grown up with these internalized lessons, so that would be a factor in this new story, just like the boys’ internalized lessons about what it means to be “a man” were the whole them of the actual Lord of the Flies.
A less lazy writer would tell THAT story, instead of trying to co-opt one that already exists, which brings me to my THIRD point:
3) I Know What You’re Up To, and I Hate It
Um, Scott McGehee? David Seigel?
I’m watching you, bitches.
I know exactly what you’re doing, and seriously? I don’t fucking appreciate it.
These two dudes are using the “feminist” label to get free outrage-driven publicity for their new film, without actually giving two craps about the message, AND are probably counting on women being the scapegoats if it goes tits-up.
Think about it. It’s win/win for these guys!
If the movie does well, they can pretend that it was for “the cause,” but if not, then all the fan boys will attack, not them!, but FEMINISTS for “wanting” this all-girl movie, or the SJW’s, or PC Culture run amok!
And the heat will be off them entirely.
And this bugs the hell out of me. I mean, did YOU ask for this movie? Because I sure the Hell didn’t! As a Feminist movie, it makes no goddamn sense. It takes away from the original, already helpful message, and then dumps all of the hate mail onto unwitting women.
I just have one thing to say about that.