Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Mad Max: Fury Road - thoughts on feminism
This review is totally late, but when the movie came out, I was in the middle of prep for my commercial flight test (which I passed - I'm officially a commercial pilot!) so sue me.
This movie was awesome in every way. My husband was skeptical because I'd put on the original Mad Max to educate myself on the franchise and the movie was a very 80's style movie with a lot of draggy bits, and so little dialogue as to make the plot confusing, and all the female characters got fridged.
So he wasn't expecting much until I explained that the anti-feminists were freaking out and boycotting it, at which point he said, "Well, then it must be good!"
There's been a ton of reviews already, and it sounds like it's been nominated for a whole bunch of awards to do with the aesthetics of the movie, which were amazing. This is like, the definition of dieselpunk, and the style of dieselpunk I like most. The creativity in the worldbuilding and set and prop design are amazing.
I'd like to comment on the whole feminist thing. It wasn't really a "feminist" movie. It just wasn't misogynist. It's nice to have something to point to when directors are including gratuitous sexual assault scenes in a movie to vilify their villains, to show them you can have a movie centred around sex slaves escaping their former captor without on-scene rape.
And the fact that there were so many female characters with developed personalities, meant that they could kill more than a couple without it being an every-female-character-dies situation. The one female character doesn't have to represent all of womanhood with her character, because there are others. You can have female characters be weak and it not be offensive if it's balanced by the other female characters who are strong. The way it's done with male characters.
So, there have been people lamenting the fact that what passes as feminism these days is just a lack of mysogyny. That just treating female characters with the same respect they do male characters, and giving them the same development is enough to upset pissbaby Mens Rights Activists. But on the other hand, the definition of feminism is believing in equality between genders and sexes, so in that sense, it very much is feminist.