I’ve seen The Matrix about four times, and to me it just keeps getting better and better. However, after theorizing the movie, I experienced an extreme range of emotions, from total empowerment to utter revulsion. I’ll share with you my negative impressions first to get them out of the way.
What struck me almost immediately was the mind worship. Morpheus tells Neo, “don’t think you are, know you are,” implying that your brain dictates everything. It decides what is and is not real, leaving the body as nothing more than the brain’s instrument. Indeed, the the bodies in the matrix hold such little value that the “awake” characters can kill them (in the most violent ways possible) without any remorse. I understand that these bodies aren’t “real.” But the bodies we see in the matrix are the ones that we recognize; they are more real to me than the bodies in the Nebakanezer. Therefore, I couldn’t help but feel that this treatment inadvertently justifies violence against bodies. And as long as the feminine and the corporeal are linked, this inevitably actualizes into violence against women.
However, what I loved about The Matrix is its decoding scene at the end. When Neo comes back to life, and sees the matrix in its code form, I couldn’t help but associate that with what it’s like to study cultural codes. Interestingly, Neo becomes master of his universe once he is able to 1. recognize the code, and 2. manipulate it to his advantage. Is that not what we are trying to do as students in Girl Power? I felt like Neo and I were kindred spirits in that moment, empowered by our understanding of our environment. Am I the Chosen One? Not quite yet. I’d say I’m just scratching the surface of all the code embedded deep in our universe. However, at least I have Neo as my spirit animal.
(This is how I see the world).