In case you hadn’t heard, some Hollywood jokers have announced they are making a an All-Female remake of The Lord of the Flies.
Yes, it’s disturbing if you are a fan of the book, and as many know this book holds a special place for me and the Esoteric Order of Beelzebub; for it’s cameo appearance by the Horned-One himself, and also for the important questions it raises about the need for structure and authority in society.
You can google it yourself to see all the hype it’s creating, but here’s a couple of gems from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/31/all-female-lord-flies-remake-faces-backlash-misses-point-women/ :
Feminist writer Roxane Gay commented that “the plot of that book wouldn’t happen with all women”.
The author said he made his book all-male because a group of men can be boiled down to be representative of society in a way that women, in his opinion, cannot. He said: “I think women are foolish to pretend they’re equal to men – they’re far superior, and always have been.
It’s not even really clear yet whether it’s supposed to be empowering or dis-empowering to women, whether it’s about challenging traditional roles or more about sex-ploitation. But I’ll tell you either way I think it’s bullshit.
What really bothers me about this is that it comes down to revision of a historical classic. When people go back and revise historical classics for the most part this creates outrage. Like if they went back in to Lord of the Flies and just took out the violent parts – people would be outraged, because this would be changing the story and not true to what the author intended. But in the case of simply reversing the sexuality, this completely changes the story and is totally not true to what the author intended but we are expected to accept it under the threat of being accused of sexism. In this way one faction basically gets a free pass for historical revision and censorship.
Think if you spent a decade writing a book and it became a classic and got made into movies and taught in schools then 30 years later a couple of Hollywood wise-guys come along and decide to arbitrarily change the sexuality of all the characters – characters you’d spent all that time developing and pouring your soul into? Wouldn’t you be pissed off?
It would be different if they re-titled it “Lord of the Flies: a Re-imagining” or “Queen of the Flies”. But if they named it Queen of the Flies it wouldn’t even connect with Beelzebub anymore and then everyone would realize how ridiculous the whole thing is.
Actually I wonder if they WILL just white-wash the Beelzebub part out as well? In fact, why not just have them stuck in a mall overnight instead of a desert island? Where does it stop? Will they remake Call of the Wild and make Buck a female cat? Will they remake Moby Dick with a female Captain Ahab? Re-writing classic literature boarders precariously on re-writing history and we are supposed to be against that because that’s what Nazi’s, Communists, Christians, Muslims and other Totalitarians do.