Okay, so this isn’t going to be great or well structured as I’m really breaking the rules to do this, but I can’t get it off my mind and might not sleep if I don’t write something about it.
I’ve been thinking about the Vuvalini for some times. I see the assumption often that the Green Place had only women. This was never my assumption. It didn’t occur to me that they would have a structure like that given what’s presented. I did assume their society was a matriarch, but this does not require a society composed only of women.
Knowing this, I’ve been thinking about how we do only meet female Vuvalini, and slowly a theory has been forming.
And then we got word about how when the water went sour, the Vuvalini apparently abandoned their male children to the crows, and that’s who we see on the stilts.
And this bothered me. A lot. It still does. Mostly because, without any context, it kind of retcons the characters we met. No way mothers left male children behind but took Furiosa’s word that strange men who came from Citadel are ‘reliable’ and have that be that.
No fucking way.
Sorry. I just do. not. buy. it.
Because let’s face it, if Furiosa was sold as a child, either Citadel or people in alliance with Citadel were raiding the Green Place long ago and would be what made the Vuvalini wary of men in the first place.
There’s some good conversation about it here and reading it was what made me put on my brace, pull out the laptop, and start writing. One, because I think Schwarmerei might be right in that there’s a good chance this was an idea at some point but was never settled on, but two, because this idea, if worded different, kind of works with the theory I’ve been forming.
Which is that the men from the Green Place had more viable alternatives to where they relocated when the water went sour. They were also safer staying in the Green Place. The Citadel sucks for everyone, but it’s less bad for men. And if all the men and their children were as healthy as Furiosa, things would look up for them at the Citadel—as far as looking up goes in those places. The men could take their male children and go to Citadel, Bullet Farm, Gas Town.
Because let’s face it, if the women left the male children behind, there were still fathers who had some responsibility for those male children too. While the society was matriarchal, I’m sure fathers weren’t left completely out of their children’s lives. It takes two to make a kid. Both the men and women would be responsible for what happened to their children, even if more of that weight is on their leaders’ shoulders.
As far as the crow people… sour water means weakness. Given that the Green Place was obviously raided sometimes for its girls, this would make defending their female children implausible, forcing the women to move on, away from the bog and away from the west. There is less need to hide and fight back for the men who stayed behind as, while raiders might take some men to be war boys or donors, it’s simply less worth it without the potential brides to steal. I’ve kind of assumed that since there was less incentive to run away from the Green Place when it went bad, they simply didn’t. There’s still water and food. More food in some respects then we see anywhere else than in Citadel.
It does seem strange that they’d leave their women to find their way on their own so completely, but maybe some didn’t and just didn’t survive for us to see them. They seemed to have more bikes than they did Vuvalini, which may suggest that their numbers have been slowly dwindling over the years anyway.
So like, this discussion is good and is important, and I definitely hope we get more explanation. Because I’m also very much with flamethrowing-hurdy-gurdy when they say:
usually those explanations read like some man thought em up, a man who can imagine only women hating on man as much as he hates on women. I’m thinking particularly about the Amazon myth which is used in the Enlightenment to put male cruelty into perspective, claiming if women were to rule the world they would be much crueler - lucky times men are in charge, eh.
I don’t like this new background information, but considering the skill Miller has shown so far I have a liiiittle bit of hope he manages to humanize the Vuvalini and depicting them neither as flawless godesses nor as raging beasts.
Because no, it’s not likely their civilization was perfect, but what’s presented, as it was, goes beyond merely ‘imperfect society.’ I never actually expected the Green Place to be some utopia, because it’s still in the wasteland! (And Furiosa has clearly built it up like her own Valhalla over the years.) Even without knowing it was soured, we know it got raided. Furiosa was stolen. Plagued societies are damaged and hurt societies. And maybe a society like that would grow hard and bitter towards men to the point that they internalized the idea that all men are evil. But if it got so ingrained that they just left the children behind, Max and Nux would have been shot on sight.
Edit: Ug, last edit for grammar resulted in a whole section disappearing. Luckily I’d copied the whole thing. WTF tumblr?!