Mad Max might as well be driving a Barbie Malibu instead of an 18-wheeler War Machine in “Mad Max: Fury Road,” according to one men’s advocacy group, whose comments have started a huge media rumble.
Before we get into that, though, a little backstory:
Sometime last year, a Twitter hashtag started showing up: #meninist, apparently at first as a joke. But it morphed into being used as a way to express how increasingly difficult it is to be a man in the 21st century – we don’t all look like Channing Tatum or have ridiculously ripped abs.
But some took the “movement” even further. These men are taking a blatant stand against feminism. They think men should be manly men.
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That brings us to the website Return of Kings, even though it is apparently not a product of the #meninist movement (it seems to have existed since at least 2012). The website calls itself “a blog for heterosexual, masculine men.”
Browsing through it is downright awful. It at first seems like a joke, but it’s serious. From its “About” page:
“ROK aims to usher the return of the masculine man in a world where masculinity is being increasingly punished and shamed in favor of creating an androgynous and politically-correct society that allows women to assert superiority and control over men.”
Women and gay men are discouraged from commenting on the site. They have better things to do, anyway, like get root canals.
Return of Kings and #meninist have popped up in the same sentences lately because last week the website published a commentary titled “Why You Should Not Go See ‘Mad Max: Feminist Road’” by Aaron Clarey (who describes himself as “a misanthropic, hedonist, nihilistic, cynical type”).
The article is ridiculous, but has nonetheless started a media fervor and roaring backlash, understandably so.
Clarey says in his post:
“Fury Road was not going to be a movie made for men. It was going to be a feminist piece of propaganda posing as a guy flick.”
Call me silly, but I don’t see how a movie about freeing sex slaves is feminist. Or freeing women who are hooked up to machines to pump breast milk like they are imprisoned cows.
Clarey goes on to say that Hollywood is “ruining nearly every potentially-good action flick with a forced female character,” and that men are “going to be duped by explosions, fire tornadoes, and desert raiders into seeing what is guaranteed to be nothing more than feminist propaganda.”
First of all, if I am going to be duped by anything, it is absolutely going to be by explosions and fire tornadoes. So guilty there, duh.
I see where he is coming from, though. The film does have a strong female character – Furiosa (ferociously played by Charlize Theron) as one of its leads, and one could argue that she is just as integral to the story as Max (Tom Hardy). She kicks butt, drives an 18-wheeler rig like it’s a VW bus, saves supermodel-looking sex slaves from being forced to breed with a wacko ruler, saves Max from falling off said 18 wheeler, and DOES THIS ALL WITH ONE HAND.
Furiosa and Ellen Ripley should do lunch. Bottom line is Furiosa is a great character in a great film.
But Clarey wouldn’t know that because he refuses to even see “Fury Road.”
“So do yourself and all men across the world a favor. Not only REFUSE to see the movie, but spread the word to as many men as possible.”
I will spread the word, all right. But it won’t be the one you want.