An Observation

[Content Note: Disablism; fat hatred; spoilers for Mad Max: Fury Road.]

So, I really liked Mad Max: Fury Road. (You may have heard.) And I liked it, in part, because I found it to be a deeply feminist film, if a flawed one, for lots of reasons.

Over the past few days, I've read some white feminists' criticisms of the film as unfeminist, with some of whom I typically agree on most things. And, you know, to each her own. Not all of us have to agree on everything!

But one thing I've noticed among these critiques is that there hasn't been much (or any) acknowledgement of the positive representations of fat women and women with disabilities in the film.

That isn't incidental.

Read Laura talking about what it meant to see a body like hers in this film. Listen to Ana Mardoll and me talking about what it meant to us to see fat women as heroes.

Visibilizing and validating marginalized female bodies is a feminist act.

Ignoring or minimizing the importance of fat and disability in Mad Max: Fury Road, in order to claim it's unfeminist, feels shitty to this fat feminist with a disability. Especially given the fact that corporate white feminism routinely ignores disability and fat as feminist issues.

I can imagine if you aren't used to desperately wishing to see positive images of visible fat women, if you don't give a shit about fat as a feminist issue, then the sight of freed fat women quenching the world's thirst might not have registered as very important. But I cheered. And I cried.

I've seen and heard people say, "Oh, I didn't even notice it was the fat women who released the water." I noticed. I noticed what felt like poetry written just for me, and didn't even register to people busily asserting the film isn't feminist.

I saw a woman with a disability kick ass in a hundred different ways. I saw fat women who were coerced to nourish their captors use their first act of freedom to nourish the whole world. I saw a pregnant woman be a hero. I saw old women be powerful warriors. I sat in an audience who was asked to believe victimized women, rather than being shown their victimization, no "evidence" required. ALL IN ONE FUCKING MOVIE.

Would that all "unfeminist" films were so goddamn feminist.

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