Tag: women

Mad Max on the Feminism Road

mad max fury road reaction gif

Really enjoyed this post from Freddie de Boer about his frustration with the common misinterpretation of Mad Max: Fury Road as “Furiosa replaces Max in a Mad Max movie”—a take that’s entirely false:

It’s important to understand that Furiosa doesn’t replace Max because the entire movie demonstrates the failure of dictatorship and the superiority of communal leadership. It’s not about men being erased in deference to women; it would be totally bizarre for a movie with that intent to place so much agency in its male characters. (Nux’s sacrifice saves the lives of the remaining characters, to pick an obvious example.) It’s about the superiority of democracy and shared governance and diversity over the the whims of an individual autocrat.

He then links this framework to how a “new masculinity”, embodied by Max, can be “unthreatened by the strengths and abilities of others” while joining with the ideal version of feminism:

Feminism is not about women replacing men in an equally stratified and undemocratic structure as the patriarchy that preceded it; that’s a parody of feminism. Feminism is about equality, diversity, communalism, and radical democracy. Indeed, the movie models consensus and communal deliberation for us. When they stop and discuss whether to continue on the salt flats or turn back for the Citadel, Max and Furiosa do most of the talking, but everyone weighs in and is heard. Furiosa doesn’t lead by fiat. She listens and becomes convinced, as do the rest, and they all make a plan together. Max isn’t erased; he’s a valued and essential part of the whole, just as white men will be in the new world of democracy and equality we are building.

In that group discussion on the salt flats—one of the few quiet moments of the movie—Max concludes his case to Furiosa thusly:

Look, it’ll be a hard day. But I guarantee you that 160 days riding that way, there’s nothing but salt. At least that way, we might be able to, together, come across some kind of redemption.

What a great metaphor! The path towards a better world is hard and painful, but retreating away from it is worse in the long run. “The obstacle is the way,” as Ryan Holiday would say.

Might be time for a Fury Road rewatch.

Desirable

This is the artistic version of the previous post. It’s a writing project I had to do for Creative Writing last year. The objective was to write a story/opinion piece/whatever in the perspective of the opposite sex. My attempt got the top prize for realism. See what you ladies think.

Sometimes I wish I were a guy. They don’t worry about their appearance as much as girls do. I hate myself for hating myself. I see the supermodels and hot actresses in perfect condition and wish I could be that attractive. It seems like I’m always too fat or too ugly to get any attention from guys. I want to be beautiful. When a guy does hit on me, even if I know it’s for the wrong reasons, I eat it up. It means he thinks I’m attractive enough, and I love that. I know it’s so shallow, but if there is one thing that can bring me out of the dumps, it’s a compliment. But sometimes I want something beyond the average compliment; I want to be called beautiful. Not ‘hot’, not ‘fine’, not even ‘sexy’. Beautiful. When you say that, you’re saying that I am desirable on a level beyond my weight, my bra size, or how good or bad I could ever perform in the bedroom. You’re saying that I am more attractive on so many more levels than any supermodel could seem to be. I want to feel desirable. I want to be the only thing you can’t stop thinking about throughout your day, the only thing in the world you want to be with.

A simple phrase can change everything. If you love me, say it. Tell me everything about me that you find desirable. As guys want to feel respected and admired, girls want to feel loved and adored. If you like the way my hair looks today, say it. Being told by a boyfriend or even a boy friend that there is something about me that he enjoys or adores lifts my self-esteem to unimaginable levels. People wonder why so many women suffer from eating disorders and the intense desire to be skinny, but I know it’s because they feel inadequate. You never know if I had just been cut down by a friend and so needed a compliment by someone who cares about me. If you love me, tell your friends about me, and do it when she’s not around. This shows that you aren’t being superficial when you’re around her and that you care for her enough to risk being sentimental around your macho buddies.

All in all I just want to be loved. I want to feel safe when I’m around you, knowing that you care enough about me to protect me. I want to be a woman worth fighting for, whose heart you are willing to risk all to defend. Your eyes should be the only mirror I will ever need.

I want to be desirable.