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“Rape/revenge is replete in tension and bloody cathartic release; there is terrifying violation, and then there is revenge you can feel good about. The films use women’s trauma to justify stereotypically male pleasures of hyperbolic violence. So Thelma and Louise get to pick up guns and shoot people like they’re in a Western, while Furiosa drag races across the desert and then gets to murder and take the place of the evil patriarch. Rape/revenge fits feminism into male genre narratives that Hollywood can embrace.

furiosa

…rape/revenge films are designed, often quite consciously, to let everyone in the audience experiment with, and experience, different gender roles, whether as trauma, empowerment, or both. That instability leads to a wide range of responses—and perhaps explains why rape/revenge is responsible for both some of the most critically lauded and most viscerally derided films of the last 40 years. For better and worse, the rape/revenge trope reveals how violence squats upon our understanding of gender—and how rarely, and timidly, that is confronted in popular culture.”

   -Excerpts from the article by Noah Berlatsky found on The Establishment.

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