Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Joss Whedon, Misogynist .... Really?

UPDATE THE THIRD: Tor agrees with me about why Black Widow unnerves them. Otherwise, they're as hysterical as the rest.

UPDATE: Joss has said he wasn't chased offline by the psychos. However, the psychos are still there, they still said these things. So this still works.

UPDATE: I think Sarah Hoyt has a great post on this topic, even though she doesn't mention Joss Whedon once.


So, Joss Whedon was harassed and harangued off of Twitter for not being sufficiently feminist.

No, this is not a joke. This is not a prank. This is a real event.

Black Widow is not amused.
Apparently, Joss Whedon has made a lot of statements that has outed him as someone who wouldn't like ... well, me (a member of an organized religion, and who is generally pro-life, and a few other tidbits in there).

This is the point where everyone asks: What The Hell Goes On Here?
After “Avengers: Age of Ultron” debuted in theaters Friday, some people harassed Whedon, since Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) was portrayed as a “damsel in distress.” Naysayers labeled him a “hypocrite.”
Uh ... huh.  Yes. Really. That happened.

Also....
“The Avengers’ Black Widow Problem: How Marvel Slut-Shamed Their Most Badass Superheroine.”
What?  Somehow, Black Widow uses her charms as a weapon, and that's .... what?  Really?  Why does my brain hurt so much?

(Before someone refers to Renner's and Evans' jokes about Black Widow, that wasn't what the article was about .... also, I expected ScarJo to come out and list the male-sluts of the Marvel Comicbook Universe, which include Hawkeye, Iron Man, and Daredevil, but that's just me)

Normally at this point, I would say "spoilers," but it's not, really.  Black Widow was in as much jeopardy as everyone else for most of the movie, and she was held prisoner by the bad guy for about .... five minutes?  Maybe less.  She then proceeds to kick ass throughout the rest of the entire film.

And it can't be that Black Widow doesn't have a Marvel film, Joss is one of many people (Matt and myself included) who wanted a Black Widow movie, was pissed that he couldn't get one.

Does everyone remember the first Avengers, where she was tied up .... only because she wanted to be, just to make the bad guy think he was the one doing the interrogating? She even pulled that on Loki.  She tricked the Norse god of trickery.

Seriously, people, how do you get more badass than that?

There really should be a meme somewhere for Black Widow: outsmarts spies, gods, stops interstellar armies, hacker, martial artist ... Really, we're getting to the point where Black Widow has a skill set that matches whatever the threat level is.  Normally, that would be a Mary Sue, but she pulls it off so well. Just look at her CV for a second.  Wipe the floor with a dozen human hostiles, check (Iron Man 2). Go toe-to-toe with an alien army?  Check.  Did anyone else notice that Black Widow saved the world in The Avengers, while everyone else was basically in a holding action? Yeah. Really.

Black Widow, legs spread ... before she garrotes someone.
Get your head out of the gutter.
But Joss Whedon is a misogynist.  Riiiiiiiiggghhhhhttttt.

As for slut-shaming ... how? She's teased Captain America about his lack of a dating life, while not actually making any moves on him.  Even kissing him was a matter of avoiding surveillance.  There were no cues in The Avengers that she was throwing off with Hawkeye (for good reason, as we will discover).  She actively disliked Tony Stark in Iron Man 2. From what I can tell, over the course of four films, she hasn't had any actual social life, and has genuinely used her "seduction" skills on one person for real.

Come to think of it, even on a spy level, she hasn't actively flirted with anyone as part of a mission.

There is also the theory that, well, Black Widow is beautiful.  She is stunning. She is strong and capable and ... there are some women who will happily tear down other women, just because.

However, if you want my REAL thoughts on the matter, it involves politics ... yes, again. Why? Because I think we're assuming that the people who brought out the torches and pitchforks against Joss Whedon are entirely rational. But what brings out the crazies on twitter like nothing else? Politics.

Because on the one hand, Joss Whedon's Avengers films, and even his Firefly movie, are all war films. Have you ever noticed that?

If I were a politically minded nutcase who saw everything through the lens of politics, I could even say that Buffy was conservative because the season 3 finale was about how guns save lives, even issued to high school students. The season 4 finale was not only a war story, but the entire season was about how big government was inept, while small, private institutions can get the job done!

Yes, it's a little insane insane, but so's accusing Joss of being a misogynist.

If you apply this line of thought to the Avengers film, these points are even worse -- cops and the national guard help in the all out war against Loki's Chitauri, the individuals are saving the world while the big bad world Council is trying to nuke Manhattan, and in Age of Ultron, the film opens with individuals cleaning up a massive world threat of Hydra. There's Hawkeye's little socially conservative secret.  Captain America isn't a douchebag but he's a soldier, and America, and grrrrr.

Maybe they're pissed off because the Scarlet Witch wasn't given a pep talk by Black Widow about "sisterhood is strong." Would that have satisfied some of the nutters out there? Maybe not

There's also one other subject that can make some people go bat guano insane.

There are some real SPOILERS coming up ... now.


At one point during Age of Ultron, Black Widow has a flashback to her history with the KGB. Remember, in the movie universe she was trained from age five or so (much like Manana Shushurin in A Pius Man ... no, I didn't know about that when I wrote the book in 2004), and went through some highly unpleasant training.  The "graduation ceremony" was sterilization -- no children, no distractions. When Black Widow reports this during the movie, she doesn't sound happy about it.  She sounds downright disturbed about what has happened to her.

Is that the problem here? We've got a certain strain of feminists who really are kinda fascist, and they're not so much pro-choice as pro-abortion, it's less come off as "we'd rather have no children than have pro-lifers win."  I'd really hope that's not the case, because if it is, that's called the left eating it's own.  Seriously, some of Whedon's statements have been very, very left, he is very pro-choice (unless you're a man, in which case you are allowed no input at all).

If that factors into their torches and pitchforks, they are very, very, very off here.

SPOILERS END.

So, you've got a whole bunch of suggestions above, here and there.  Maybe I'm wrong, maybe not. And maybe there are just a whole bunch of people who want Marvel to fail. To go away.  Marvel has done the seemingly impossible, and making money hand over fist, and now, there are some people out there who just want them to die, to stop making summer movies.  To falter and to disintegrate. Because there's a reason that envy is a deadly sin.

There are some people who just want to watch the world burn. 

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