The ‘Matrix’ paradox: The classic film made as a trans metaphor is now a weapon of extreme authority. Feminism

on 22 December. fourth installment of matrix. Little is known about the film directed by Lana Wachowski. Without a trailer and yet without promotional images, a leak reveals that the film, which has already been shot, can be called Matrix Resurrection and beyond – its cast led by legions of Keanu Reeves (Neo), Carrie Ann-Moss (Trinity), Jada Pinkett-Smith (Niob), Daniel Bernhardt (Agent Johnson) and Lambert Wilson (Merovingian) – to name such Christina Ricci, Yahya Abdul Matin II, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra and Jonathan Groff have been added to the cast.

21 years after its premiere, $463.5 million was raised and cyberpunk was aesthetically revamped with subtle sunglasses and lots of dark leather. matrix Its new installment confronts a curious paradox: believing that a saga that was framed as a “trans metaphor” has been swallowed up and swallowed up by the Internet’s conspiratorial communities and wrong. Interpreted, where communities of the «red pill» resort to the symbols of the film to preach about the need for a «awakening society» – waking up, of course, as long as the most blatant misogyny is supported. is campaigned against, LGBTQ and gender imperatives and wildly lauded conspiracy – . How do we get here?

Why matrix is a trans metaphor

because so Confirmed One of its creators, Lily Wachowski. He did it in a video for the Netflix Film Club in 2020, where he clarified that, as debated on multiple forums, academic essay and even in viral transcendence essays like One published by journalist Emily VanDerwerf, The film is actually about the experience of being transgender. “That was the original intention, but the world wasn’t quite ready,” he revealed.

Lana Wachowski came out as a trans woman in 2010 (though rumors about her gender identity, especially painful and brutal in the press at the time, were rampant since its launch. matrix Reloaded in 2003). For her part, Lily Wachowski also made it public that she was trans in 2016, meaning she had not yet made her true gender identity official when the first part of the saga was released. By the time they confirmed it, the Internet didn’t hesitate to find hidden references or symbols in tapes for years. In 2020, one of the creative sisters wanted to confirm everything.

Released in 1999, The Matrix outlined that in the future, after a difficult world war, almost all humans were enslaved to machines and artificial intelligence. In a curious prophetic twist, matrix It was the first blockbuster film to portray the Internet as a toxic capitalist utopia that keeps society away from its reality. They are connected by slave matrix networks, suspended in the functional imagination of the 20th century as we imagined it. Free or enslaved live in the city of Zion, a desert landscape without opulence but in which you can enjoy the true self.

« The first line of text that appears on the screen in the ‘Matrix’ contains the word trans; “Call Trans Opt.” It is literally the second word of the film. It may be a coincidence, but the same line of text also appears at the end of the tape, “journalist Laura Hale wrote in an essay on why the Matrix is ​​a trans metaphor. Time will prove her right.” matrix It has to do with the desire for change, but everything has to come from a succinct perspective”, explained the co-director and co-screenwriter in the clip, explaining the meaning of the trilogy. The desire that the Wachowski sisters had in their heads was completely reversed in the character of Switch, a man in the real world and a woman in the Matrix in the original script, and who represented, according to the director, “where our mental places Were.”

In the Wachowski film’s approach, Switch was to be played by two actors of different genres with an androgynous profile, exchanging in and out of the Matrix. The goal was to prove that a person’s physical body and the way they see themselves in a world where they can control their appearance may not always coincide. This possibility was dropped from the film by the studio, and actress Belinda McClory – who appeared for only half the role – ended up acting. for both versions Switch character.

Switch’s character in ‘Matrix’ appears only in the first half of the saga. Photo: Warner Bros.

In line with the virtual emancipation of the chains of the genre that Donna Harvey defended in her cyber manifesto and which she now defends messy feminismIn The Matrix, the characters of Zion reject binary names and embrace the possibility of gender transcendence as they understand it: Neo (Keanu Reeves), joining Zion, rejects his name Thomas Anderson; When she meets Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss), she says she assumed he was a man, to which she replies, “A lot of people think so.” Their uniform is also an extension of that liberation: they wear black and asexually. “The whole film revolves around transcending forms of physical experience to explore the possibilities of our minds. Bodies are, at best, a suggestion. Your mind is what really matters,” Emily VanDerwaffe wrote in her review of the film.

But it was Morpheus’s legendary speech when he meets Neo that will change everything, for better and for worse:

Let me tell you why you are here. You are here because you know something. You can’t explain it, but you feel it. You have felt it all your life. There is something wrong in the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s like a splinter in your mind, driving you crazy. That feeling brought you to me. you know what I’m talking about?”

Few words, and in particular the red pill that existed shortly after awakening her mind and becoming aware of the Matrix, ironically about the Wachowski’s transcendence of gender and its infinite possibilities to be established and replicated in forums Beliefs are gone. They defend conspiracy theories or perpetuate the most wildly wrong culture on the net. Why?

Taking the “red pill” in 2021: QAnon from the macho area. By

Taking the red pill is a reference that works as an appropriation-wink matrix Extreme right to take the right pill like Neo, to discover the reality that others don’t want to see. The phenomenon, which has exploded especially in the last decade, is made up mostly of men – although there are also anti-women in the Red Pill community. These men are defined as “men who walk their own way” (MGTOW, for its acronym in English) in the so-called manosphere or macho region. its feminine reverse traditional wives Or the women of the red pill. Women who reject feminism, essentialists who are anchored in traditional values ​​and who defend female subjugation.

“In our reality, the idea of ​​taking the red pill has cemented the worst part of the internet,” Emily VanDerweis laments how the red pill communities have been standardized in far-flung fiction. A few years ago, if someone added a “red pill” to their username or their forum community, it would probably be criticizing progressive policies, denial of inequalities in social justice, especially on issues related to feminism or LGTBQ. Since the coronavirus crisis, the legend of waking up to taking the red pill has entered new communities, becoming a symbol of virus denial or conspiracy groups. In this way it is generally well liked on Telegram. Q-Anons in Spain or in Spanish, made up of more than 3,000 people, where it is written: «There is no virus. They have a cold and now they call it covid. This presumed virus – the coronavirus – has not been photographed, isolated or purified. Let’s get a little more serious, let’s take red pill, please”.

Journalist Julia Ebner, who has infiltrated anti-feminist forums and knows these communities well, made a list of all the cultural symbols that these groups have appropriated, claiming the films and books that represent their Open the doors to be a part of private chat. «1984 This is very hackneyed as it is the well-known metaphor commonly used by far-right people to refer to the current censorship and surveillance. fight Club u matrix They are standard Alt-Right movies too,” he wrote. secret life of extremists (Today’s Topics, 2020). In fact, according to Ebner, matrix It is losing strength among male spheres in the face of another mythological discourse, “We are the forgotten branches of history. No Objectives, No Home”, which Tyler Durden wrote in Chuck Pehlaniuk’s novel 20 Years Later, Segregated Whites. Sung to strengthen the wounded ego and alienation of the youth.

To understand this ironic twist of fate, it is enough to imagine a series of tweets between Elon Musk, Ivanka Trump and Lily Wachowski. When the Tesla founder tweeted, “Take the red pill,” the former US president’s daughter “taken it!” replied with. Matrix manufacturer’s response? fuck you two.

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