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The Problem with 'Mad Max' Feminism

Is men’s propensity for violence really something to be imitated?
The Problem with 'Mad Max' Feminism
Image: Jasin Boland / Warner Bros.
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in 'Mad Max: Fury Road.'

"Imperator Furiosa." Now that is how you name a movie character.

Imperator Furiosa is the protagonist of the new Mad Max movie, played with a fierce vulnerability (and a shaved head) by Charlize Theron. A few phrases came to mind while watching the movie, the first being "stunning spectacle." Men bolted to steel poles wobbling dozens of feet in the air, which are in turn bolted to cars that seem to have come straight out of, well, a Mad Max movie. Then a huge truck rumbles by, featuring a guitarist whose guitar spits fire out of its headstock. If such a scene does not describe "stunning spectacle," then I don't know what does.

The other phrase that came to mind while watching the movie was "unbridled feminism." This seems to have come as a surprise to some viewers, but they must not be true fans of the original movies. After all, there was the crossbow-wielding Warrior Woman of The Road Warrior, and then the crossbow-wielding Aunty Entity of Beyond Thunderdome. Anyone who saw Tina Turner strut her stuff as the fearsome and quixotic Aunty Entity would have never been surprised by a character like Imperator Furiosa.

But it is not just Imperator Furiosa who carries the feminist banner in Fury Road, but also the motorcycle gang composed of elderly women. A geriatric women's motorcycle gang would seem an implausible idea, but one does not watch a Mad Max movie for its “plausibility." I also think there is a kind of bizarre logic to this concept, given that old women are always the ones who have seen and survived the most in life. My own grandmothers survived the Japanese occupation of Korea, World War II, and the Korean War. Joining an apocalyptic motorcycle ...

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Third Culture
Third Culture looks at matters of faith from the multicultural and minority perspective.
Peter Chin
Peter W. Chin is the pastor of Rainier Avenue Church and author of Blindsided By God. His advocacy work for racial reconciliation has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, and the Washington Post.
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The Problem with 'Mad Max' Feminism
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