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The Irony of an All-Female ‘Lord of the Flies’

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A remake of the iconic Lord of the Flies is in the works, and it has received some interesting feedback

A story about a group of boys stranded on an island and their descent into savagery as they attempt to govern themselves will feature a new twist: all the characters will be girls.

It looks like they really missed the point.

Every person who has read Lord of the Flies. Source.

While the concept of replacing the characters with girls is bizarre enough, what is also sparking criticism is the fact the film will be written and directed by two men, Scott McGehee and David Siegel. It was announced by Deadline that they intend to do a “very faithful but contemporized adaption of the book.”

Siegel went on to say:

“It is a timeless story that is especially relevant today, with the interpersonal conflicts and bullying, and the idea of children forming a society and replicating the behavior they saw in grownups before they were marooned.”

It’s timeless because it’s relevant to boys. By deviating from conventions of boys and aggression do not change the fact that girls, especially preteen girls, have different natures. It simply isn’t possible for Siegel and MchGhee to shift the plot of Lord of the Flies and mold it to a female cast because the story itself is about toxic masculinity, of what happens when males aren’t bound by rules or regulations. It would have to be completely revamped if they intend to flip the gender dynamics.

Imagine what an all-female Lord of the Flies would be like. The girls would most likely live in harmony, sort out their differences, and get off the island. While the legendary Amazons have set a mythical precedent for successful matriarchies, there are a current handful of such societies that are fully functioning including: the Mosuo on the border of Tibet, who are renowned for their “walking marriages”; the Akan in Ghana, where positions of power are passed down matrilineally (through a man’s mothers, sisters and their children); and the Nogavisi in New Guinea, where women are entitled to land and are involved in leadership.

https://twitter.com/AE_DavidS/status/903096057336385536

One of the key differences between young boys and girls is physical violence. The simple fact is that girls would not respond to some of the scenes in the novel in the same manner as the boys. According a study by the Melissa Institute, girls across all ages are less likely to engage in aggressive behaviour, shifting to more nonverbal acts, and are less likely to engage in serious forms of violence. Considering the novel features some heavy acts of violence, it would be problematic to assume girls would act out the same violence.

Also, it seems that an all-female casting of Lord of the Flies would be a big no from the author, William Golding. In an undated interview, he explains why the book was written about boys and not girls.

“If you land with a group of little boys, they are more like scaled-down society than a group of little girls would be. Don’t ask me why, and this is a terrible thing to say, because I’m going to be chased from hell to breakfast by all the women who talk about equality. This has nothing to do with equality at all.”

He goes on to say,

“I mean, I think women are foolish to pretend they’re equal to men – they’re far superior and always have been. But the one thing you cannot do with them is take a bunch of them and boil them down, so to speak, into a set of little girls who would then because a kind of image of civilisation, of society.”

It’s only a matter of time before Hollywood realises this rather obvious mistake. Gender-bending has been a popular trend of late, but maybe leave Lord of the Flies to the boys.