Mad Max Pissing Off MRAs

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Re: Mad Max Pissing Off MRAs

Post by PintsizeBro on Wed May 20, 2015 4:13 pm

I'd be interested in knowing what she wants Fury Road, or other action movies, to look like. For example, here's a summarized version of how she's gone on the record saying she'd like video games to change. Everything on this list is pretty reasonable:

Anita Sarkeesian, the tl;dr version wrote:1.   Avoid the Smurfette principle (don't have just one female character in an ensemble cast, let alone one whose personality is more or less "girl" or "woman.")
2.   "Lingerie is not armor" (Dress female characters as something other than sex objects.)
3.   Have female characters of various body types
4.   Don't over-emphasize female characters' rear ends, not any more than you would the average male character's.
5.   Include more female characters of color.
6.   Animate female characters to move the way normal women, soldiers or athletes would move.
7.   Record female character voiceover so that pain sounds painful, not orgasmic
8.   Include female enemies, but don't sexualize those enemies

Fury Road actually hits a lot of these points, at least as they are applicable to live-action movies rather than games.

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Re: Mad Max Pissing Off MRAs

Post by Enail on Wed May 20, 2015 4:24 pm

I think maybe the video game list is her low bar (not feminist-unfriendly) while she's criticizing Fury Road as not meeting her high bar (something like 'lives up to a feminist ideal'). A low bar, most feminists and some people who are not specifically feminist are pretty much going to agree on, but the high bar not so much.
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Re: Mad Max Pissing Off MRAs

Post by eselle28 on Wed May 20, 2015 4:28 pm

Enail wrote:I think maybe the video game list is her low bar (not feminist-unfriendly) while she's criticizing Fury Road as not meeting her high bar (something like 'lives up to a feminist ideal'). A low bar, most feminists and some people who are not specifically feminist are pretty much going to agree on, but the high bar not so much.

Ah, that would be fair, and I have to say that I agree that something that is being praised for being feminist maybe should be examined with a little more scrutiny than something that's being evaluated as being egregiously offensive versus mostly okay.
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Re: Mad Max Pissing Off MRAs

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Wed May 20, 2015 4:38 pm

I'm of two minds on that. If George Miller has set out to make A Feminist Movie, I'd be inclined to agree. His goal was only to have the women in the movie be realistic characters for their circumstances. The label of Feminist Movie was applied after the fact. So it really feels like her debate is more with people who applied that label than the movie itself but she doesn't substantively address the arguments that others use in applying that label.

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Re: Mad Max Pissing Off MRAs

Post by Enail on Wed May 20, 2015 5:00 pm

Yes, I think she is intending to debate the people who applied that label rather than the movie or George Miller, and that maybe she's trying to say "yay, there are women in active, non-sexualized roles" is not sufficient for something to be considered A Feminist Movie. I'm not sure I believe in the concept of A Feminist Movie, so much as movies that are feminist-friendly/not feminist-unfriendly and ones that have various feminist messages, so I don't know that I could even agree or disagree with her premise, although if I did agree with the premise, I would disagree with some of her criteria. ...that was a mess of a paragraph :S
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Re: Mad Max Pissing Off MRAs

Post by Guest on Wed May 20, 2015 9:28 pm

The Wisp wrote:There's a long tradition of a gender essentialist brand of feminism. It's not a majority, at least not anymore, but it's still a force and I think it is fair to say Sarkeesian is one of those people. I don't think she's a hypocrite so much as somebody who ascribes to a very different sort of feminism that we all think is wrong.

ETA: I haven't seen the new Mad Max movie, but Sarkeesian's critique strikes me as yet another instance of why I never liked her criticism and never found it convincing (besides me just thinking her kind of feminism is wrong in many respects), even though there is a lot of legitimate sexism in media to pick apart. It is that she doesn't seem to actually engage with works on their own terms but rather imposes a sort of (radical?) feminist media critique 101 worldview onto works, which leads to uncharitable and specious critiques.

I've tried watching her videos before. The first one was about Mario and how it's sexist. She said something along the lines of "Peach is a damsel in distress, and can't fend for herself, and this is sexist." To which I responded, "no shit," and shut the video off.

She's never really interested in saying anything more than the things that are obviously misogynistic. I'm not about to claim that games shouldn't be attacked for being sexist, it's very apparent that gaming has ways to go before being a gender neutral setting that doesn't hypersexualize women. But even so, I'd like to see her tackle actual gender issues we're facing today, on a far more analytic level than just "MARIO IS BAD." That's like saying that The Birth of a Nation is racist, you can appreciate them while accepting just how hateful they are in their treatment of women and ethnic minorities.

I understand entirely why Gamergate started. Not because it was even a remotely rational response (because sending death threats over something like that is beyond stupid), not even to say that Sarkeesian is an evil evil person for attacking LE G@MER$, just that a bunch of insecure women-hating nerds went rabid thanks to her and Zoe Quinn.

Did either of them deserve the vitriol they got? Not at all. But I understand why it happened. Are either of them the incredible saints of feminism they're put out to be? Not really.

Does Mad Max glorify violence? Goddamn right it does. Are Immortan and his War Boys cartoonish? Mmm hmm. Are the Wives treated like objects? That's sort of the entire point, I thought. The scene where Max sees them bathing themselves (not a spoiler to those who might be concerned, trust me) is filmed entirely with the male gaze, he's clearly not sure how to react about it. You can argue it was an opportunity for George Miller to objectify them, you could argue it was deliberate to show Max objectifying them. We'll never know, I like to believe the latter.

Now, to argue the point that "pop culture interprets feminism to mean that women can kill things too" part, I'd say that would be true if there was a desperate attempt to show a woman being superior to a man in a really half-assed way. Case in point: every bad action movie where a man does something wrong and then a woman does it correctly, and the screenwriter thinks he's being feminist. Tomb Raider is the absolute worst offender. That movie is everything Sarkeesian is complaining about. Men are incompetent and stupid and women are awesome, 3feminist5me! But that film genuinely objectifies Angelina Jolie by showing many many scenes with her either naked or doing literally everything in a hypersexualized manner (every grunt out of Jolie in that film sounds like an orgasm, and she's not the type who normally does that).

Now let's compare to a similar scene in Mad Max, where Furiosa and Max fight over who gets to use a gun (also not a spoiler, being careful). Max tries to use the gun, Furiosa lets him. He can't use it properly, he has no idea how to shoot the damn thing. He sighs sadly, hands it to Furiosa.

See the difference? It's not because Furiosa is a girl or Max is a boy, and boys do this better and girls do that better. They have different training in combat, guns just happen to be Furiosa's thing. There's never any point where either of them say "that's a man's job" or "that's a woman's job," they just do it.

Closest thing to what Sarkeesian says is when those girls are bathing themselves. Still can't tell if that's objectification or a satire of objectification. I dunno. That's the part I'm willing to accept. It's not to say that Mad Max is the ultimate feminist movie, that it does everything possible to be gender neutral. Probably more it could've done.

Still, it's a huge step in the right direction (Avengers: Age of Ultron is unbelievably sexist, but to describe how would spoil the movie).

One more thing to chew on: depicting misogyny is not the same as endorsing it. The Wolf of Wall Street is a fantastic example of a film everyone claimed was misogynistic, but it was simply showing misogynistic people, who literally considered women as objects and talked about them like a literal commodity. Ex Machina is another example, people gave it shit for showing women sexually when it was doing so to make a point. Describing how would spoil that movie too.

If you can't depict misogyny, you'll never be able to combat it in pop culture. That's my two cents on it.

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Re: Mad Max Pissing Off MRAs

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Tue May 26, 2015 4:50 am

There's actually a more subtle thing going on with the gun. Max isn't incompetent. He's making a long shot into bright light at night. Its a tough shot, even for a hard boiled former action cop. Furiosa isn't a crack shot but (in a clever bit of subverting abelism that gets lost in the subverting of sexism) uses a brace to steady the barrel because she only had one arm. Its the brace that makes the difference, giving her a more steady aim.

Worth noting, Furiosa has a pretty major disability. She's missing half her arm. Her prosthetic is a prosthetic, not a Hollywood bionic arm. Its got a bit of grip but its not magic. The mechanics of how that works are clearly visible. No one ever mentioned it, she never has to give up on a job because of it, she beats a bad guy with her stump when it comes off.

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