I was warned not to see the new apocalyptic thriller Mad Max: Fury Road.
I was told it was emasculating feminist propaganda cleverly disguised as an explosion-filled action flick.
But did I listen to the so-called men’s rights advocates who are boycotting the movie? No, I didn’t. I charged forward, man-like, and boldly asked my wife if it was OK for me to go see a movie.
Then I headed to the theater, floating on a wave of my own testosterone. I sat — legs spread wide, alpha-male-style — and focused my dude-eyes on the screen, ready to do mental battle with whatever liberal feminist nonsense appeared.
If you’re unfamiliar with controversy swirling around the new Mad Max movie, here’s a quick rundown:
There are men out there who believe America is being feminized and that real men — men who are tough and non-girly and totally secure in their masculinity and not in any way weird or scary — are being pushed to the fringes of society.
These men are sometimes called “meninists” or members of the “men’s rights movement” or all manner of “other things” that appear in “quote marks” because they don’t make any sense.
A writer on the website Return of Kings — a popular blog for “heterosexual, masculine men” — wrote a piece explaining why the Mad Max movie, which he refuses to see, is offensive to men.
First off, it has a strong female character played by Charlize Theron who has the audacity to give Mad Max orders. Second, and probably worst of all, the woman who wrote the play The Vagina Monologues was a consultant to the movie’s director.
Per the blog post: “This is the vehicle by which they are guaranteed to force a lecture on feminism down your throat. This is the Trojan Horse feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to (vainly) insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things, including physique, strength and logic.”
He then extols men to not see the movie, to not be lured in by “fire tornadoes and explosions.”
I had two problems with that:
1) I REALLY like fire tornadoes and explosions.
2) I can’t imagine anything less manly than letting some other dude tell me what movie I can or can’t see.
So I put on my big-boy pants and went to meet the man-shaming cinematic nightmare face to face.
It was a harrowing experience.
For starters, there were a few women in the film. That means I was forced to acknowledge that women exist, which took my attention away from the incessant gunfire, the hundreds of male actors and the mid-air impalements.
Everyone knows the only movies acceptable to heterosexual, masculine men are ones featuring wall-to-wall dudes. Mad Max failed that test miserably.
Adding to the feminine intrusion, Theron’s character was called Imperator Furiosa, a classic girly name. As I had been warned by my meninist pals, Furiosa was Mad Max’s equal in killing, thinking about killing, and staring off into the distance while not speaking.
That’s absurd. God intended action movies as vehicles for men to show their toughness and brutality while women do more womanly things like getting kidnapped by men and then getting un-kidnapped by other men.
One scene along Fury Road stood out in particular as a cinematic atrocity against my endangered gender. With only a few bullets left, Mad Max tries to take out a bad guy’s vehicle. He shoots and misses, then shoots and misses again.
Then, without even politely asking permission, Furiosa — who I’ll remind you is female — takes the gun from Max and shoots the vehicle, causing it to burst into flames.
The moment was so heavy on the feminism I was worried my penis might fall off. (I was able to keep it on by thinking about America’s lack of paid maternity leave.)
Unless you have an impenetrable shield of manliness like I do, there’s a very good chance you’ll walk out of Mad Max: Fury Road with a desire to engage in non-meninist behavior, like treating women as equals.
I strongly recommend that all men’s rights advocates steer clear of this dangerous new movie. In fact, stay indoors at all times. And while you’re at it, cease all communication with the outside world.
Seriously, be very, very quiet, lest you become feminized.
I’ll let you know when it’s safe to come out.
Rex Huppke is a columnist for The Chicago Tribune and a noted hypocrisy enthusiast. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @RexHuppke.
Carl Hiaasen is off today.