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Who Killed the World?
You know, internet, Iâ€™ve found out something interesting about myself â€“ if menâ€™s rights activists boycott something, I tend to enjoy it. So withÂ that in mind, I was thoroughly excited to see Mad Max: Fury Road â€“ I mean Fury Road does not look like feminist propaganda.
Obvious Second-Wave Feminism
Now, in fairness to MRAs (and this will be the only time), they claim that they didnâ€™t â€œboycottâ€ the film, they just collectively didnâ€™t see it forâ€¦reasonsâ€¦lady reasons. Specifically because of Furiosa, the character Charlize Theron plays. Spoilers ahead if you havenâ€™t seen Mad Max, Fury Road. Although, if youâ€™re planning on seeing Fury Road you probably have a good idea of what youâ€™re going to get.
Official Fury Road Storyboard
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mad Max, it follows Max on his continuing adventures through a post-apocalyptic desert hellscape. The franchise is wildly held as one of the best action franchises of all time. So you can imagine that when Return of Kings accused Fury Road of being â€œfeminist propaganda posing as a guy flickâ€ I was a bit confused.
I really can’t stress enough that this is a real shot from this film
Let me just get this out of the way: Mad Max will, in fact, not make you less sexist. If female CEOs and male nurses arenâ€™t something you understand then this movie will offer you no relief. Yes, â€œwomen are not thingsâ€ is a feminist belief â€“ but itâ€™s one that I hope most people were exposed to prior to seeing this particular film.
Letâ€™s get to the core of my issue with MRAs â€“ they really donâ€™t make any sense. Fury Road is a feminist film insofar as it passes the Bechdel test and that it convinced me that Charlize Theron could win an MMA match with one arm tied behind her back.
Awesome? Yes. Feminist? Eh, Maybe?
The reality is that women can be involved in a film without making it a feminist film â€“ Fury Road had virtually no people of color, despite being filmed in Namibia; made no attempt at a deeper message about how women are treated in the modern world, and was every bit the mindless, beautiful, explosion filled adventure that youâ€™d expect from Mad Max. So when you go see Mad Max are you going to be â€œtricked into viewing a piece of American culture ruined and rewrittenâ€? Well, no. Itâ€™s never implied that the society depicted by the film is struggling because it does not value women, nor is the devaluation considered to be systemic. In the real world it isnâ€™t like the removal of one powerful person holding sexist ideas changes things for all women, but thatâ€™s the world depicted by Mad Max.
Also, the film is Australian â€“ written by Australians, directed by an Australian, originally starring an actor with Australian heritage who was raised in Australia. Itâ€™s not really related to what I’m talking about, but itâ€™s wrong â€“ MRAs are wrong about lots of things. I just thought it was important to point that out.
In short â€“ go see Mad Max if youâ€™d like, or donâ€™t, it wonâ€™t affect your views about gender â€“ however, it might upset men who believe women donâ€™t belong in â€œmanly filmsâ€, and if youâ€™re anything like me that will make your day better.
Written by Community Engagement Coordinator Dominic Goodall.
Questions? You can reach Dominic at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The views expressed in this article are solely the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of HopeWorks of Howard County.