It's always good to see films or read books that inspire you and Fury Road totally got my brain. It got into my brain for other reasons unrelated to how awesome it is.
As a woman of colour, I felt that I couldn't write anything "problematic" as I've lived a lot of the experiences I tend to write about. Seeing Fury Road made me realize that just because I had been a victim of sexual assault didn't mean I was above using the horrible tropes associated with sexual assault in fiction. A screenplay I've been writing involved a scene where a character's sister is about to be raped in front of her. I thought that, because the character was female and her sister was saved, that scene would be ok. But then I started thinking about why I was using a rape of one character as a crime against another person. It bothers me when a woman's rape is a crime against a man in her life in various stories, films, whatever so why was it different in this case where the person in the woman's life was another woman?
One of my favourite bits about Fury Road is that the villain is a sex slaver and it has no on-screen rape. The wives' pregnant bellies, the chastity belts they cut off in one scene, and their obvious disgust for the villain implies a lot without the "titillating" shots that a lot of action movies show of sexual violence. You don't need to be shown a horrible act to know it's horrible yet a lot of movies will throw sexual violence into your face. I looked at my own stories and decided I needed to change some stuff.
I'm trying to be aware of how something can effect others. I hate when Native people are portrayed negatively so what gives me the right to not do good for someone else in a marginalized group. I've been struggling with this as I write a superhero story about a group of teenagers who, much like the X-Men, develop superpowers as they grow. One of the characters is Bronwyn: a young trans girl with the power to shape shift. I was just thinking about how it would feel to be a teenager, a horrible situation to be in already, with the power to make yourself over as you see fit. How about if you were trans?
Again though, I'm trying to be aware of the horrible tropes that have invaded my brain through bad movies and books. Media doesn't exist in a vacuum and I'm always trying to remain vigilante of what I do.
GIF Credit to Furioas on Tumblr
.....What are you still doing here? Go see Mad Max!