Note: Originally, I was planning on making this one post covering both Disney and Marvel and the issues they have with sexist attitudes. But I decided to split it up into two. Consider this part 1
I’m a fan of both Disney and Marvel. I love them. So this is coming from someone who wants to see something I really enjoy improve.
Sexism and Marvel
I do not believe that the folks at Marvel are all misogynistic pigs as some people truly do. But there are problems in Marvel movies and merchandising. I will address the merchandising issue in the second post since that is also a Disney issue.
Yes, Age of Ultron had some glaring problems. Many people probably missed the Prima Nocta joke. I missed it at first because I couldn’t hear what Stark said clearly. When I leaned over and asked Mike what he said, I was a bit surprised. Rape jokes are never funny. The only thing I can think is the folks at Marvel were thinking this is Tony Stark’s character. You expect him to make a stupid and ill-conceived joke like that. I would also like to think that if he tried something like that with Lady Sif, he’d discover how stupid it really was. I truly hope that is the take away that the folks writing and directing this movie had in mind. But what it came off as was a crude and stupid joke about something that 20% of their female audience has probably experienced. Yes. 1 in 5 women have been raped. Think about that.
The second big issue that I had with Age of Ultron was with Black Widow, the only strong female in the group. Yes, she makes a silly joke about having to always clean up after the boys, putting her in the mother role. That can be considered cute and funny. But, contrasted with her comparing her inability to have children to making her a monster like The Hulk, that joke takes on another meaning. Comparing herself to a monster because she can’t have children offended me. Here is a woman, who as part of a spy indoctrination is forcibly sterilized as a child. She is no longer able to produce a baby. That makes her a monster. Boil this down to the base thought: A woman who can’t become pregnant is no woman. I truly hope that was not what the folks at Marvel were thinking. But when the company has had so many issues with how they portray and treat women, one has to think there is a tone deafness that needs to be fixed at the company.
Here are two free suggestions for Marvel:
- Understand that women are your fans as well. Stop offending us.
- Take some of that giant profit you have and spend it to hire a consultant to read your scripts rather than the pre-pubescent boy you currently have. You might be surprised that they can still be great movies while not encouraging rape jokes or comments about what makes a woman a human being or a monster.