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the killer inside of you

As I wrote in April, to complain that "The Killer Inside Me" is full of misogynistic violence is a little like reading "Moby-Dick" and objecting to all the stuff about whaling. Violence against women is Thompson's text and theme and central metaphor -- and in case I haven't made this clear, anyone who might find the violence in this movie gratifying or arousing is already virtually beyond the bounds of professional help.

[. . .]

Within the first few minutes of the film, Lou is sent to run Joyce out of town and she responds by slapping and slugging him. She's bored and lonely and sick of sleeping with ugly guys for money; she's looking for a reaction, and she gets one: On the verge of walking out, Lou comes back and tackles her, pulling down her panties and whipping her bare ass with his belt. The sequence is both erotic and violent, profoundly troubling and potentially arousing, designed to provoke a whiplash of emotional, psychological and libidinal responses. It sets the table for what follows: an exploration of the dividing line between sex and death that's at least as morbid and philosophical as anything in modernist European literature. (Andrew O’hehir, “‘The Killer Inside Me:’ Much ado about misogyny,” Salon, 17 June 2010)


Re: “On the verge of walking out, Lou comes back and tackles her, pulling down her panties and whipping her bare ass with his belt. The sequence is both erotic and violent, profoundly troubling and potentially arousing, designed to provoke a whiplash of emotional, psychological and libidinal responses.”

Are you saying here that YOU found this panties-being-pulled-down, this bare-ass whipping erotic, that you are to be counted amongst the "potentials" who were aroused while watching it? Or that it JUST IS erotic and violent, smartly rigged to potentially or even likely trigger libidinal responses, ostensibly possessed by all of us?

If YOU found the scene erotic, I wish you had just said as much, and made clear whether or not you were also aroused by it -- and if not, how you were able to sense that others would find it so -- and either defended the remarkable possibility that you can be fundamentally woman-loving and experience eroticism and arousal in a scene of this nature, or brought forward the possibility that the fact that you did enjoy a scene you suspect you shouldn't have enjoyed, means you're not quite in fact so distinguished from the clearly mongrel, beyond-the-pale male who relishes this kind of violence.

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Killer inside of you

Personally, I think it unlikely that many men don't get a hard-on while watching explicit scenes of female victimization, not because they all regrettably still are in the possession of reptilian brian-stems that make they forever capable of lapsing brute animalistic, but because most were raised by mothers who were severely emotionally / intellectually deprived in the patriarchal societies / families they grew up in, and therefore spent their earliest part of their lives foremost serving their mothers' unmet needs rather than their own. Deprived mothers aren't magically capable of producing nurturance; nurturance only comes from the well-cared-for, the respected, the loved. So most men find ways -- are driven to find ways -- to enact revenge for their being used, but also to pretend that this isn't what they are up to, as they also learned early on that the one thing you don't do -- at the threat of abandonment, of experiencing catastrophic aloneness, destitution -- is to convey that you are on to the fact that mothers weren't entirely self-sacrificial and marvelous in their motives (their version, the only version), that they wanted to squeeze every bit of attendance out of you before they abandoned you once aging, teenagerdom, turned you on to other things. Patriarchy hurts mothers; hurt mothers hurt their kids: any other version is a lie "good boys and girls" have learned to, have been scared into, tell (ing).

Link: "The Killer Inside Me": Much ado about misogyny (Salon)


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