Kickstarter has never seen a goal so ambitious. Writer and director Rob Thomas has pledged to make a Veronica Mars film if his cult-like fandom of the series can raise $2 million or more on the website Kickstarter.
The series Veronica Mars garnered some credit in the past from fans for its decidedly feminist themes, dealing with issues of race, class, gender, and (sometimes) sexual violence in progressive ways. However, Thomas was never quite clear on his goals to make a "feminist" show and ended up getting some well-deserved flack for his stereotypical portrayals of feminists and sexual violence in the third and final season of the series. The chance to write and direct a Veronica Mars movie is a chance to have a strong, nuanced, female protagonist on the big screen and a chance for Thomas to rewrite his original (frustrating) definition of feminists.
In July 2009, Veronica Mars got the feminist seal of approval from Feminist Frequency's Anita Sarkeesian despite the problematic third season because of, "how technologically savvy Veronica Mars is. It’s a pretty rare representation to have young women shown as super knowledgeable about all different technologies" says Sarkeesian. And though Sarkeesian admits the shows dealing with racism and classicism leave a bit to be desired, it is commendable that the show at the time even attempted to work through and talk about the issues at all. And yet Sarkeesian, like Bitch magazine, The Fbomb, and blogger Purtek at the Hathor Legacy all found the third season to be a complete letdown because of the way Thomas wrote the story arc of a serial rapist on campus and Veronica's investigation.
In the third season story arc, there is a stereotypically negative and harmful representation of the group of feminists on campus in the "Lilith House." At one point in the season, they fake a rape in an effort to get the fraternities kicked off campus. Story lines of fake rape are nothing new in media. And while they can be written off as a "good twist" in a storyline, the very real consequence of reinforcing false reports of rape as a common occurrence is that real world survivors of sexual violence are questioned as to the legitimacy of their claim. The fact of the matter is that false rape reports comprise only 2% of the already largely unreported epidemic of sexual violence.
With that extremely low statistic, considering only about 10% of rapes are reported to begin with, it is so important that popular media stop hyping up the stereotype of women "crying rape" in order to achieve nefarious goals. Rob Thomas actually dealt quite a lot with sexual violence throughout Veronica Mars with Veronica herself being a survivor of rape early on in the series. And while he writes her character fairly well in dealing with this trauma, the sentiment is all but lost in the third season writing of the fake rape case.
I would love to revisit the world of Veronica Mars again. Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, and Warner Bros. are all on board for a movie and I would urge Thomas to use the film as a chance revisit his narrow definition of feminist, harmful representation of false rape accusations, and put a strong female protagonist like Veronica Mars back on the screen. As always, there's a slew of gifts being offered to backers of every level. So head over to Kickstarter to fund the project and get your cult-fandom on.