(Updated) Does the New Girl With the Dragon Tattoo H&M Collection Trivialize the Experience of Rape Survivors?
When it was announced that H&M would release a Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-inspired line designed by the film's costume designer, Trish Summerville, some die-hard Lisbeth fans balked. Lisbeth, a loner misfit who shuns society, wouldn't be down with the the commercialization of her image, was the criticism. Summerville's appropriate response? “She’s a character from books," she told the NY Post. "So she doesn’t really have a voice in it.” But a new, more serious, issue has come to light regarding the collection, in stores on December 14, and the fact that Lisbeth's character is a rape survivor. The WSJ noticed some internet rumblings about the questionable propriety of basing a clothing line on a rape victim, whose experiences essentially cause her to "retreat into a dark, genderless, punk shell of a life — with a tough-but-listless wardrobe to match." Lisbeth Salander is one of those literary characters who stays with you a long time after you shut the book--just imagine how strongly she must resonate with people who have had similar experiences. Writer Natalie Karneef, who is a rape survivor, posted an open letter to H&M about the collection.