What about women’s dark, secret fantasies? asks Laurie Penny in the New Statesman.
We get plenty of cues as to what advertisers think women should fantasise about, mostly involving giant shoes made of chocolate, younger-looking skin and wild sex with men who wear a particular brand of deodorant. But what if there were more? What if women, too, had bad thoughts and private daydreams too transgressive for polite society? What if we fantasised about responding with criminal violence to everyday harassment? What if we wanted to make men afraid?
Laurie’s tip? Go home and act out your fantasies via a new video game
The makers of ‘Hey Baby’ have created an urban street simulation from the point of view of a woman walking home in the evening. As you pulverise digital aggressors into a welter of pixellated meat, headstones appear displaying their obnoxious comments. It’s not big and it’s not clever, but it is cathartic. All human beings have ugly thoughts, and the disjunction between everyday transgressive fantasy and the type of violent premeditated hate that obtains a real weapon and goes on a real murder spree is enormous
I wonder if the Laurie Penny who wrote the words above is related to the Laurie Penny who scribbled these earlier ones when reviewing the film The Killer Inside Me:
There is nothing edgy or iconoclastic about violence against women: it is a daily feature of the lives of ordinary people, including those who do not happen to be models or film stars.Films like The Killer Inside Me are part of a weary language of blithe, murderous complicity that is deeply encoded in the overculture. That language is not edgy. It’s not exciting. It’s poor taste, pure and simple.
So, to recap for those who fail to appreciate the nuance: video game in which women kill men – mere transgressive fantasy. Films in which men kill women – complicity in bloody murder.
Do try to keep up.