Hey Girl, Feminist Mad Max Makes a Great Post-Apocalyptic Meme

Max is just mad about positive female role models and gender equality.

image via feminist mad max

While the now ubiquitous “hey girl” memes may have started with Ryan Gosling, it’s “Mad” Max Rockatansky who’s bringing the internet’s favorite feminist image macro into the future—the far future, in which the world has been ravaged by atomic war and ecological disaster.

Mad Max: Fury Road, the latest in the Mad Max film franchise, opened in theaters on May 15th, and has been hailed by critics and fans alike for not only being a “rocket-fueled romper-stomper,” but carrying within its scenes of automotive mayhem an unapologetically feminist message, as well. Actress Charlize Theron, who stars as “Imperator Furiosa,” plays a hero capable of kicking ass at amounts equal or greater than that kicked by the movie’s titular character. It may be Max’s name on the marquee, but Fury Road is definitely Furiosa’s movie. The film’s portrayal of powerful women probably shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering The Vagina Monologues creator Eve Ensler consulted with director George Miller during production. And while there are cranky corners of the internet filled with Men’s Rights Activists fuming over Fury Road’s depiction of female empowerment (the horror, the horror!), pretty much everyone else is on board with the film’s positive depiction of fierce female leaders.

To celebrate Fury Road’s far-future feminism, Tumblr blog “Feminist Mad Max” has been playfully spoofing the film’s gritty, dystopian vibe with the same sensitive tone that made its Gosling-based inspiration such a success. Check it out:

You can find the rest on Feminist Mad Max.

There’s evidence to suggest that memes like this aren’t simply fun homages, but may actually have a positive effect on society as a whole. A 2014 study entitled “​The Effect of Ryan Gosling Feminist Memes on Feminist Identification and Endorsement of Feminist Beliefs” found that while women who saw the Gosling “Hey Girl” memes experienced no measurable change in attitude, men who saw them were noticeably more open to certain streams of feminist theory.


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