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A Simple Favor - Book Review & Warning...

Updated: Sep 6, 2018

**MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD**

Do not read this if you do not want to know the contents of this book/film.


I didn't want to include this in our upcoming podcast because I felt using a blog as a medium felt more appropriate, could act as a reference for you with easily-accessible links and I could write out as much as I wanted! Well, here goes nothin'..


As one of Drake's most recent singles have said, "I'M UPSET". This book started out extremely intriguing and well-written. Clever, funny, mysterious, a bit predictable (only because at this point in my plethora of knowledge in the crime/horror/thriller genre) but captivating nevertheless. To be completely honest, I am stunned that this book was published and critically acclaimed in the same year that the saddening #MeToo movement gained credence and power. I am even more disgusted that the movie was released almost a year after the MeToo movement began. I enjoyed the premise, the three main characters, all believable and in some ways relatable.


However, I am upset with Darcey Bell for creating such an enigmatic, confident character like Emily (played by Blake Lively in the upcoming film) only to convey her as a disgruntled, conniving, manipulative estranged wife that lies about domestic abuse in order to attain revenge on a plan that never made sense to begin with. Not only did Darcey (A WOMAN!!!!) have complete control of writing this book, but this storyline to "lying victims" totally demeans, discredits and dismisses the REAL pain, silent suffering and fear that REAL WOMEN GO THROUGH AND HAVE FOUGHT THROUGH TO FINALLY LET THEIR VOICES BE HEARD, IN A WORLD THAT IMMEDIATELY CHOOSES TO NOT TRUST THEM OR BELIEVE THEM. I am disgusted. I will not watch this movie for this reason. Shame on you, Darcey Bell, for engineering a narrative that teaches us the only way a woman can elicit power is by lying and taking it from a man. Wow. It's the same problem I had with Gone Girl, which was another brilliantly written book by another female, whose work I generally enjoy; however, why are female writers adding more fuel to the fire by highlighting narratives that portray women as liars of sexual, physical or domestic abuse? It's deplorable and inexcusable in my opinion.


For the record, I want everyone to think about the women who have come forward because of #MeToo, not just the celebrities. Your friends, your co-workers, your family. Believe them. Listen to them. Ask them questions but.. don't ask them "why now?"; "Are you sure you didn't misinterpret that?"; "Were you drinking?"; "What were you wearing?"; "Well, why didn't you say anything? Why did you stay?" I encourage you to skip "A Simple Favor" and believe these women. If they've spoken up, think about how much courage and bravery that took; as well as how much shame, self-hatred and loneliness they must have felt and possibly still feel. Yes, there are people who lie but really look at how some of these celebrities have been treated- receiving tweets and instagram comments saying "I hope you die, you stupid slut"; "you wanted it"; "you're gonna pay for ruining ______'s career". WHY RISK THIS FOR A LIE?! Why write a five-page confessional, why waste your time?!?!?!


Many of these women who have spoken up only felt like they could because their careers had already launched while others are barely starting or never received the chance.. Men have been accused, "investigations" have been prompted and lots of these men keep their jobs;even more so, people feel BAD for them and end up hating, despising the "lying scorned woman". It's almost laughable how this has been so ingrained in our minds; that women are sneaky, lying, manipulatively all built from the sexist archetype of Eve tricking Adam in Genesis.


I really urge everyone to please challenge yourselves to think more critically about this movement and about the women and men who are speaking up about the abuse they've endured. Just because someone is nice to you, or seems friendly on the outside, doesn't mean they aren't monsters behind closed doors. Think about how some murderers' parents or friends have been so stunned to find out what the person they loved was capable of. Love blinds you sometimes, sure.. but some people are just better liars and are more dynamic than you think. Loved ones' first reactions are always "no, not the son I knew. He would never. I can't even imagine him doing that." Yes, there are some people who give away warning signs but there are plenty of others that don't. My advice is to not watch this movie as it promotes a narrative that I believe backtracks the #MeToo movement so offensively. I have not been this disgusted by a storyline in a long time. Excuse my French but..... How. fucking. tone. deaf.


Go see Crazy Rich Asians instead (yes, even if it's your fourth time. It's awesome!)


With love, truth and conviction always,

Brittany


Resources for anyone dealing with sexual abuse, domestic abuse, suicidal thoughts or mental health:

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