The Internet can be a wonderful place to discuss the tearing down of traditional gender roles. Sites like The Mary Sue and Jezebel have become bastions for starting a discourse concerning the way women are portrayed in modern media. Outside the Internet, we have shows like Inside Amy Schumer cleverly and hilariously bringing this discourse to an even wider audience. With all that, it’s hard not to feel like Hollywood is moving in the right direction when a movie like Mad Max: Fury Road gets pre-release buzz for featuring autonomous female characters acting independently from their male counterparts. Some though have (somehow) taken issue with this.
Enter the peculiar “Men’s Rights Activists,” an online movement focused on empowering men in the face of what they feel is rampantly oppressive feminism. Over on the MRA-centric Return of Kings, one member of the so-called movement took the focus on Charlize Theron’s character Furiosa as an affront to his pre-women’s-suffrage male sensibilities.
This is the vehicle by which they are guaranteed to force a lecture on feminism down your throat. This is the Trojan Horse feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to (vainly) insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things, including physique, strength, and logic. And this is the subterfuge they will use to blur the lines between masculinity and femininity, further ruining women for men, and men for women.
This person is referring to the very same movie that one New York Magazine critic referred to as “the Sistine Chapel of action filmmaking.” Clearly there’s some difference in opinion here between one camp (aka virtually every respected film critic) and another (a bizarre Internet subculture of men who somehow feel victimized).
It’s strange that anyone could take a movie that appears to be about souped-up murder-cars and stunningly realized action sequences and think, “Yes, as a man, I feel oppressed by this.” One could argue that the folks over at Return of Kings haven’t actually seen the movie, given their gripe with “an unnecessary romance sub-plot” that critics claim never actually occurs. What this whole saga represents instead is a seedy Internet subculture looking at movie trailers and trying to find shapes in clouds to further a backwards agenda. It boggles the mind to think of how your standard audience could feel overtly threatened by an empowered female character, but that “behind the keyboard” mentality always seems to take hold somewhere.
All that aside, early returns for Mad Max: Fury Road are overwhelmingly positive. Out of 71 total reviews, Rotten Tomatoes has the movie at a breathtaking 99% rating, all praising Charlize Theron’s performance as one of the best of the early year. Thankfully we’re not living by rules established by 1950s Americana, meaning we don’t have to cower in our respective boots in the face of a female character being a stone-cold badass. If you’re going to see this movie for one reason, let it be to watch as Theron rules over the post-apocalyptic Australian Outback, knowing that somewhere on the Internet people are intimidated by the mere mention of gender equality.
The movie’s wide release will likely continue the debate, as the Men’s Rights Activists curl up in their chairs at the movie theater every time Furiosa confusingly refuses to do the dishes for her dominant male counterpart. It would all be so much easier if we could return to simpler times, back when caveman drawings were all about men hunting sabretooth tigers and not the finer points of gender politics. Alas, we’re stuck with the unadulterated glory that is Mad Max: Fury Road. A real shame, isn’t it?
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