I finished my work week with a little diversion. A night at the movies, which is a luxury I haven't had in awhile thanks to a hellishly busy work environment. But, by Friday I had hit the inevitable wall and needed an escape. Following through on that escapist bent, I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road. One of its predecessors, The Road Warrior, is one of my personal favorites for testosterone-laden escapist adventures. (Probably because in addition to my other vices, I like to go fast, in just about every aspect of my life, for good or bad.) This latest contribution to the series is, however, a little different and reflects some of what we have been talking about recently in terms of gender roles and expectations and how they impact leadership. One reviewer characterized the movie as "a kinetic, hallucinatory, boldly feminist chase flick," which sums it up pretty well -- but who would have thought "boldly feminist" would appear in the same sentence with "chase flick." But, there it is, and it's accurate.
As with most really good movies, this one doesn't tell, but shows. The lead character, by the end of the movie, really isn't Max but, rather, the female protagonist, Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron. She is the real "road warrior" in this flick. But, more than warrior. Leader. In this male-famale adventure match up, she is clearly the stronger player, in terms of both warrior-ing and leading. There is a great scene where the bad guys are coming, the good guys are down to three bullets. Max fires the rifle twice. Misses twice. He hesitates for a moment, then hands the gun to Furiosa, who fires and hits. It is a subtly powerful scene, with the warrior Max handing over the power to someone he knows is his better. And, like many really confident leaders, she doesn't demand or force. She lets him figure out that she is better than him in this area, allows the time necessary for him to make a free choice to hand leadership over to her and, once he does, she performs. Again, a lot going on in that one scene.
But, enough about that particular flick, particularly after I just said I wanted to go more light-hearted. This week's topic is about DD, FLR and similar power-exchange lifestyles in the movies and literature. What is your favorite movie, book or television show with such themes? Or that explore female leadership in positive or interesting ways?
Have a great weekend.