I Spit on Your Grave

Rape Revenge Fantasies: The Roundup

Thelma__Louise

Check out all of the posts for Rape Revenge Fantasies Theme Week here.

“I’ll Make You Feel Like You’ve Never Felt Before”: Jennifer’s Power in ‘I Spit on Your Grave’

Jennifer, before she murders the final man

No movies ever had to justify a cowboy going on a rogue revenge kick after his log cabin was burned to the ground or his family was killed; certain sufferings of injury, murder of loved ones, robbery, etc., have been accepted throughout cinematic history to merit revenge at all costs. ‘I Spit on Your Grave’ was a large part of a relatively new phenomenon, possibly born out of the feminist movement, to add rape—based on the woman’s experience of rape, whether validated by law or not—to that list of worthy harms, which is an important statement in our rape culture.

Seed & Spark: Rape as a MacGuffin: The Hollywood Cop Out

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But why are stories of female characters taking aggressive or assertive stances allowed to happen only after they have been victimized? In men’s revenge stories, oftentimes a woman has been killed off and he sets out to even the score. In a female revenge story, more often than not she has been assaulted and wants to get even. In both cases, women are victimized and the female body is used to move the narrative forward.