August 25, 2010
Knowledge is Power Knowledge is power. I have said this many times. Reading Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy this week’s has only reinforced this theme or idea. Lisbeth Salander is what Lynnette Porter would call a “Tarnished Hero.” She lives in a morally gray area. By no means is she innocent, but she is sympathetic. She reminded me of a much darker, edgier Kate from Lost.
Not only did her father do her damage, but they government and society did as well. The authorities who should have stepped in to help her and her mother turned a blind eye because she was part of a larger secret. Lisbeth and her mother were sacrificed, so Lisbeth had to take matters into her own hands. Lisbeth is an exceptionally smart and strong woman whose life was condemned to violence because of who her father was—a former Russian Spy. Had she a normal life, Lisbeth Salander might have been a journalist, a police officer, a lawyer, a doctor or a scientist. Instead of succeeding in life, she was lucky to have carved out a niche for herself as a hacker.
It was her desire to gather information and investigate that gave her power. Although trained as a boxer and although she carried weapons, this tough chick got ahead by digging up information on people. Her conflicts eventually led to blows, but she survived largely on her ability to wield knowledge as a weapon. Like me, she became a Lie Detector in order to turn her invisibility to her favr. The police wouldn’t listen to her and the psychologists never listened to her. Thankfully one Journalist in particular— Blomkvist—did.
Another Journalist, Tom Matlack, brings up an interesting topic in regards to The Millennium Series. “This book minimizes the brutal rape, torture and murder of dozens of women,” Matlack’s wife said after reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” the first book in the series. While it is disturbing that Blomkvist concealed all victims of Martin Vanger, the books can serve as a way to open a dialogue about Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Matlak is right about the fact that this subject is taboo even though it is a shockingly common occurrence. Most victims do not ever gain the power to fight back like Lisbeth Sander. Sadly, despite all of the advances that women have made towards equality, there is still a power imbalance. Society needs to change before this power imbalance can ever change. If you haven’t read my link to Matlack’s article you should. It is thought-provoking.
In any case, the best weapon in any woman’s arsenal is knowledge—knowledge about the people around you, the knowledge about what abuse looks like and knowledge of all the resources at your disposal. Be persistent and ask lots of questions I learned. You have the right to know the truth. Never be afraid to shine the light on people, places and things in the shadows. Knowledge is definitely power!