I am sure he was an advocate for women's rights. And sincere about it, too.
And yet, instead of exploring or attempting to explore why some men rape--except for the obvious second generation of serial rapists in the first novel--surely an exception in the world of rapists, he chose to depict multiple rapes of multiple characters in very graphic detail. Lisbeth's rapist used her money to control her, to extract sex from her and finally raped her, all the while feeling quite pleased that he was making her pay with her own money to be raped by him. Until she got her revenge, of course.
Certainly I am all too familiar with the reality that rape is a common occurrence in the U.S. and world wide. Sex trafficking is not just for third world countries, either. In my supposedly very progressive state, there were recent raids and arrests. My local newspaper refers to the rape of children as sex with a child, not rape. And it seems that there's a lot of it going on in my small corner of the world. Not many convictions and not very lengthy sentences--unless the accused is not white. THAT merits a picture in the paper of the accused. And a host of letters to the local newspapers about how all of these out of towners are coming to our fair city to commit all sorts of crimes (and it is true: there is some attempt by drug dealers to expand their business to small towns and rural areas. Of course, that would mean competing with the LOCAL drug suppliers.) Long sentence, too.
He wrote a character who was small, built like a child, even a bit androgynous, until she got her implants (and really: rape victims go out and get implants just as soon as they get the ready cash?). Feisty. What a turn on to overcome such a spirited prey.
Lisbeth's revenge was rape of course. That's a whole lot of rape.
No wonder the books are so popular.