Tough Chicks

Written after viewing The Matrix Reloaded

There have been a lot of tough chicks in the movies in the past years. Everything from GI Jane to Trinity, but they each have their own flavor. What separates a Lara Croft from a Trinity? They are both hot, smart, and can (and will) kick your ass. In Lara's case, she's funny and rich to boot.

Lara is all those things, and very very tough. But Trinity is a new specie of ToughChick: she is tough and smart and fatal. She is hot indeed. But there's more behind the surface. It's not a facade, but rather simply the beginning. Underneath, in private, we see Trinity as hopelessly hopeful, wary but always wanting to believe ["are you the one?"]. Whereas Morpeheus is convinced ["My faith doesn't require you to believe."], Trinity has had enough of false starts and empty promises, and is holding out for the real thing. Her spiritual needs are what drive her, far more than her sense of setting things to rights or of going out to get the bad guys. She is not merely kicking tail all over the matrix; she believes and hopes desperately that she is building something. Without deluding herself, she knows that nothing might come of her actions beyond tearing up the Matrix and getting the bad guys; she's okay with that, but not fulfilled by it. She doesn't live to code, but rather codes to live a life of her own.

Lara doesn't have to look deprivation in the eye very often. With all the toys, gadgets and tools money can provide, her quest is more a task of employing the tools well and using her vast education to analyze the clues directly, all while escaping the bad guys who would rather stop her.

Lara is pretty sexy, but we don't see much of her as sensual, let alone as spiritual. In Reloaded, we see the mass of Zion reveling in sensuality and passion. In other chambers, far removed from the din of the revel, we see Trinity and Neo as well. And yet for all that these are both sex scenes, they are completely different. The beat and driving primal passion on the floor of Zion bears no resemblance to the slow, caring and tender expression in the quarters above. As base as the profane dance in Zion is, the gentle and deep connection above articulates the sacred. Trinity is both tender and sacred, and more than anything this is what separates her from all the ToughChicks who have preceded her. For all her power and abilities, she is not without fear: she simply holds her belief and her love more dearly than her fear.

For those of us born after The Boom, we inherited a culture stripped of sexual norms. We have taken to mind the sexual revolution, given way and sway to the rocking, base pulse that beats deep within and calls us to touch, to claim sex as a need and to make it our own. But for all that our bodies are fulfilled, our hearts are not. By partaking in the hedonistic expression of our times, we have found that there is more to touch, an exploration that remains still unsatisfied as dawn slips in, bathing our dusky, depleted bodies in her pale pink light. And we feel how far from her tender cleansing we are, how deeply we need the connection provided not necessarily by activities shed of clothing, but born of listening.

If the red pill can help us shed our culture built on consuming for identity, perhaps Trinity can help us find a way out of screwing for intimacy. I thank the Boomers for their sexual revolution. I hope Gen X passes along the Intimacy Revolution, and can think of no better legacy to leave my children.