Apparently, a bunch of “Men’s Rights Activists” and their supporters have their man-knickers in a knot over the latest action movie to hit the cinemas- Mad Max:Fury Road.
In a nutshell, this has all come about because a blogger called Aaron Clarey wrote an article for a website called Return of Kings. In it, Clarey complains that although Mad Max: Fury Road was looking really good, it got his “spidey senses” going because Charlize Theron’s character, Imperator Furiosa, seemed to feature more prominently in previews than Tom Hardy’s Mad Max.
Fury is pretty accurate at least, as Clarey had a bit of a fit over Charlize Theron’s character and the general “feminist propaganda” that he somehow identified in the film. Apparently Theron’s character, Furiosa, has the audacity to bark orders at Max, and I’m given to understand that nobody barks orders at Mad Max.
Despite having not actually seen Mad Max: Fury Road (because why should that get in the way of a review?! ), Clarey says he has no desire to have a “lecture on feminism” shoved down his throat and has called on men to boycott the film. He says he is NOT a men’s rights activist or a misogynist, though, just so we are clear on that. He might write about “men’s issues” and might have written some godawful rubbish about feminism and might love to criticise women and make broad generalisations about them fairly regularly but he’s no misogynist, alright? I mean, he states in this video that he’s actually defended women on YouTube before!
Anyway, his post on a film he hasn’t seen promptly went viral. He has a bit of a rant about Eve Ensler consulting on the film, then goes into a bigger rant about how Hollywood is “kowtowing to feminism” and then something about how a female character in an action movie is a way of insulting men and tricking them into watching the ruination of American culture. Because a movie about a post-apocalyptic world written by an Australian, who also co-directed it, and was filmed primarily in Namibia was clearly taking aim at American culture. Or something. I don’t really know what he was on about there. Anyway, he is actually righteously angry that he was “tricked” into wanting to see the film. Don’t you hate how this advertising stuff is done in such a way as to “trick” you into wanting to see it/buy it/visit it/eat it/wear it and so on? Especially when it’s a film like this that all looks so amazing and you’re expecting it to be about a man with principles doing principled, strong, man-things. But no, before you know it, you’ve read a few articles and watched the previews and you just KNOW this is about conditioning young women to be like (made up character) Imerator Furiosa and not (real person) Sophia Loren. Bloody feminism, sneaking it’s way into popular culture! I mean, before too long, we’ll be wanting equal pay and opportunities and stuff.
The thing is, women have actually been kicking arse in action movies for some time. It’s not exactly a new thing, really, is it? I’m not sure why Mad Max: Fury Road is the final straw, when there are so many that came before it, but for whatever reason, it just IS, ok?
Did you know that there is even a generation of younger women growing up watching movies and reading books about young women that aren’t exactly delicate flowers who sit around waiting for a decent man to rescue them? They are feisty young women that take care of business just as well as their male counterparts. It’s true!
Actually, when I think about it, I can see that the “feminist propaganda” machine really starts well before the teenage years these days.
Don’t get me wrong, mainstream movies have got quite a way to go when representing women. Very few pass the Bechdel test and there is also issues of gender inequality in the film industry itself. However, I personally think showcasing strong female characters a bit more often is a bloody good start. By strong, I don’t mean necessarily just violent, either. I mean tough, clever, brave and resourceful female characters who are able to be violent if it’s called for, just as male characters can be, but it’s not the aspect that solely defines them. They are telling a story for our entertainment.
We might learn something from them. We might just enjoy checking out of reality for a couple of hours.
Does it really hurt if they don’t reinforce every negative female stereotype known to man?!
Anyway, after reading Clarey’s review of the previews and a couple of articles he read, I did a bit more reading. I liked a lot of what I read about it. So I must thank him, really. I’m off to the movies today!
Special thanks to the good people at DoNotLink.com I have used their services a fair bit in this post so feel free to click any links safe in the knowledge that you aren’t increasing search engine positions of any websites you might not wanna help out. All images sourced from Giphy.com.
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