Marie Claire, the magazine that advises go-ahead young women on key issues like how to enjoy anal sex when you have irritable bowel syndrome, has discovered the main problem with the hit movie Dunkirk: it’s all about men.
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.
Yes. Can confirm; saw the movie at the weekend: the film really does celebrate maleness.
It celebrates the kind of maleness which – contra Marie Claire‘s movie critic Mehera Bonner – we hear all too little of these days in this feminised, unpatriotic, self-hating age when papers like the Guardian think the time is now ripe to publish essays like this:
Here is some of the maleness celebrated in Dunkirk: getting blown to pieces by Stuka dive-bombers; being immolated by burning oil; drowning while trapped below decks in a torpedoed ship; being shot down in flames by an Me 109; being shot by random small arms fire…
Yes I do have certain quibbles about the movie – its failure to quite capture the scale of the event and numbers of men involved; its implausible view of how many enemy planes a Spitfire would typically shoot down in a dogfight; the dismal weather continuity. (Here, by historian James Holland, is the best-informed article you will read on this subject). But one thing, undeniably, it does very well is convey something of the horror and pity of war.
The cruel fickleness of fate, the terrifying helplessness of exhausted men harried in retreat, the myriad awful ways in which it is possible to die, flashes of heroism, long periods of gnawing fear and boredom and miserable exposure to the elements and confusion: Dunkirk tells you not just about the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force and elements of the French army from France in 1940, but also, more generally, about the experience of men in combat through the ages.
And yes – pace the odd historical anomaly: the Amazons; female Soviet fighter pilots; the YPJ in Syria – we are definitely talking mostly men, here.
For Marie Claire’s reviewer this is all a bit meh. Or “basic”, as she terms it, using the kids’ current putdown for anything that isn’t on the cutting edge of knowing hipster cool.
Which would be perfectly fine if this girl were merely some random idiot.
Unfortunately, as Kyle Smith observes at National Review, she’s probably closer to the rule than the exception.
It seems unlikely that Marie Claire’s reviewer, Mehera Bonner, has before her an exceptionally bright career of writing about film. As for a career of writing about feminism, though, the sky, for Bonner, is the limit. Her essay could plausibly have appeared on any number of bristling feminist sites.
Yes indeed. I’m trying to think of a male analogy for the ineffable crassness of what Bonner just did. Maybe a tyro hack from a men’s magazine going to review Wonder Woman and then wondering why the hell the title character couldn’t have been a guy.
Except, of course, that wouldn’t happen. No male critic of Ms Bonner’s generation – I’m assuming she’s a millennial or younger – would think to make such a point, even in jest, because they’ve all been so brainwashed at college with impeccably SJW values; and also because they know that if they did they’d instantly be ripped to shreds online by a horde of feminazi avengers.
These days only women are given licence to write such seriously offensive shit. Because feminism. Or historic patriarchal injustice. Or some such post-modern nonsense.
Meanwhile, in the real world, men – yes, still, mostly men – continue to enlist in the military to fight for their country just like the ‘Greatest Generation’ did in the Second World War.
They do it, yes, partly because they are adventurous and full of testosterone and want to “see the elephant.” But these are just facets of being a man and are inextricably bound with other, more obviously noble male instincts, like wanting to protect your loved ones and keep faith with your comrades and serve your nation.
To mock these impulses – as Mehera Bonner does in her petulant, spiteful, silly little girl’s review – is to reject precisely those values which, since time immemorial, have endeavored to keep people of Bonner’s sex safe from the hostile outside forces which would rape and enslave them.
If you were seeking the examplar of a decaying civilization in its dying moments, you really couldn’t do much better than this: a fashionable magazine celebrating handbags, girlpower and sexual perversion running an article by some half-baked feminist ninny making light of history and glorying in the notion that men, male courage and wartime cameraderie are, like, so totally irrelevant and passe.
It would be a terrible thing if all the young liberated feminists out there who think that what Mehera Bonner is saying is sophisticated and clever ever got to experience what it’s like to live in a world where they have successfully ridiculed men into giving up on their traditional role.
But if it happens, they’ve only themselves to blame.