The subject for my essay will be the portrayal of masculinity in cinema and television and how some male viewers feel that strong female characters threaten their visage. I first became aware of this subject following the controversy of the film Mad Max Fury Road, in which some men’s rights activists labelled it as Feminist propaganda. Here is a quote from the Independent newspaper “Men’s Rights Activists have called for a boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road, describing it as “feminist propaganda” and bemoaning liberal Hollywood’s attempt to undermine traditional masculinity.” (Battersby, 2015)
The article goes on to link to a website called returnofkings where the film in question receives this statement “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.” (Clarey, 2015) Now the question raised from this statement is what qualifies as a guy flick? Also why does this man feel threatened by this alleged feminist propaganda? Having seen the film there are feminist tones but they do not come at the expense of any of the male characters (besides the antagonists). The article states, “Nobody barks orders to Mad Max.” so this individual feels that a woman should hold position of authority over male characters who supposedly reinforce a patriarchal superiority complex.
What appears to be happening here is that these men’s rights activists want to maintain the status quo of gender roles because they feel that their perception of masculinity is undermined when it is challenged? I would to discover what has allowed this 50’s nuclear family mindset to persist to the modern age.
Battersby, M. (2015). Mad Max: Fury Road is ‘duping men’ into watching ‘feminist propaganda’ apparently. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/mad-max-fury-road-enrages-mens-rights-activists-who-claim-they-are-being-duped-by-explosions-into-10249443.html [Accessed 13 Oct. 2015].
Clarey, A. (2015). Why You Should Not Go See “Mad Max: Feminist Road”. [online] returnofkings. Available at: http://www.returnofkings.com/63036/why-you-should-not-go-see-mad-max-feminist-road [Accessed 13 Oct. 2015].