Gender Identity and 'Normative' Masculinity
The patriarchal gaze and male hysteria does indeed emasculate human subjectivity. There is escalating insult and injury from ignorant people who feel their own sexual identity is threatened by the girls' expression of gender identity; from jests at a bar to spray-painting the bus. To me Felicia seems almost as ignorant by mocking Mitzie for being married and having a child. Even though these are ways of life that fall under patriarchal logic, choices regarding marriage and children are just as personal as choices of sexuality and gender expression. Although, I appreciate Felicia's use of humor to deal with the trauma of a pedophile uncle uses his mother's ignorance to purchase the bus. The road outside of their urban home in Sydney reminds the girls of how exposed they are. They feel trapped in the van even though it provides sanctuary against the infinite road and geographical bigotry. Their haven from the bus is called the "Underground Hotel" signifying that they are still aware of the oppression found on the road. This can also be seen when Bernadette walks into the desert alone to find help for the broken bus. She is totally exposed to nature and the ignorance of the men who rescue her and then proceed to drive away. As American outsiders, we are also aware of Australia as an isolated, island continent.