Mag: Dunkirk “An Excuse to Celebrate Maleness”

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

Marie Claire thinks that we men like to celebrate maleness way too much.

Apparently, historical war movies that get great reviews and popular receptions will all be open to the accusation that they merely celebrate maleness. Mehera Bonner writes in Marie Claire under the headline, “I Think ‘Dunkirk’ Was Mediocre at Best, and It’s Not Because I’m Some Naive Woman Who Doesn’t Get It.

The most charitable interpretation of what she writes is that she clearly doesn’t get it.

But my main issue with Dunkirk is that it’s so clearly designed for men to man-out over. And look, it’s not like I need every movie to have “strong female leads.” Wonder Woman can probably tide me over for at least a year, and I understand that this war was dominated by brave male soldiers. I get that. But the packaging of the film, the general vibe, and the tenor of the people applauding it just screams “men-only”—and specifically seems to cater to a certain type of very pretentious man who would love nothing more than to explain to me why I’m wrong about not liking it.

That Bonner prefers science fiction to historical realism tells you something about the delusional nature of Feminism.

I guess congratulations are in order for Nolan managing to unite high-brow male critics and very annoying people on Twitter under a common bromance, but to me, Dunkirk felt like an excuse for men to celebrate maleness—which apparently they don’t get to do enough. Fine, great, go forth, but if Nolan’s entire purpose is breaking the established war movie mold and doing something different—why not make a movie about women in World War II? Or—because I know that will illicit cries of “ugh, not everything has to be about feminism, ugh!”—how about any other marginalized group? These stories shouldn’t be relegated to indie films and Oscar season. It’s up to giant powerhouse directors like Nolan to tell them, which is why Dunkirk feels so basic. It’s a summer war movie.

Amazing. All the males in my family loved Wonder Woman. No one objected that it “celebrated femaleness.” Never came up.

What kind of bitter, delusional resentment drives Marie Claire?

The twitter pushback was fun to read:

Read the full Marie Claire article.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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