Friday, May 4, 2012

An Open Letter To The Guys Sitting In Front Of Me At The Avengers Last Night

I am going to put an anti-spoilers alert on this one: I promise that I will do everything in my power to avoid spoiling any part of this film so that if you haven't seen it yet you can still read this.

Dear douchebag dweebs sitting one row down and two seats over from me,
I know you noticed I'm a woman, and that one of the two people I was with at the midnight opening was a woman, because you had a conversation with us about an hour before the movie started.  That conversation also happened to be about how packed the theater was, so you had to notice how many other women were there, too.  And unless you read this POS article and believed it, you HAVE to know that there are girls who are fans of superhero movies and comics, right?

So can you cut us a little slack?  I saw just as many women as men in that theater last night but do you know how many women I saw on that big movies screen?  Three, and one of them was Pepper Potts so that really doesn't count.  Do you know how many men I saw?  A lot.  Now, I've seen a lot of movies--especially superhero movies--at midnight openings.  And I've seen all of the Marvel origin films leading up to this film.  Guess which Avengers got their own films?  Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk.  What did Black Widow get?  A little sidebar in Iron Man 2.

Now let's widen the net a little to all superhero movies.  When is the last time a good superhero film was built around a female superhero?  Can you remember?  I can't.  Now let's try another angle: when was the last time you saw a strong woman in one of the male-centered superhero movies?  Some claims could be made, surely...a case could be made for Peggy Carter in Captain America being a strong female character, but in the end she kind of ends up falling into damsel-in-distress category.  Same with Pepper Potts in Iron Man and even Jane Foster in Thor.  Mary Jane in the (now old news) trilogy of Spider-Man films is even worse.  We are left to hope that Anne Hathaway can bring something good to Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises this summer.

And let's talk about what they gave Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff to do in Iron Man 2 in that time that he character was introduced.  Did she kick some ass?  At times yes.  Did we see her in tight business outfits, leather catsuits and at one point in her underwear?  Naturally.  When she fought, did she get down and dirty or just kind of kick and punch while making some very sexy poses the whole time?  I think that one can be rhetorical.  That is one thing I will say for The Avengers (without saying too much)--at least they don't relegate her completely to sexy-fighting in skintight leather.  Now, what does it say about this genre that I have to be happy about THAT?

There are a lot of female fans of comic books and superheros, a really surprisingly large amount.  We don't see much to relate to on that screen.  We want to feel like we can kick ass, too, but that's not what the entertainment industry is telling us most of the time.  Sure, we can be the love interest or the token character without any superpowers, but we can't be the chick weilding the giant hammer or the woman in an awesome titanium suit.  We end up as pretty, pretty window dressing that's the backdrop to a bunch of explosions and manly fighting.

So could you please, please, PLEASE not make sexual innuendos and loudly guffaw at each other every time Scarlett Johansson is on screen?  Do you think you could give us the opportunity to enjoy our one measly female character without you obnoxious dudebros high-fiving about how much you want to bone her one row down?  I'm not gonna lie, there was some nice eye candy of both genders on that screen.  But you didn't hear me howling "yeah, baby!" every time one of the male leads was onscreen.  Us ladies, we don't get to have a lot of role models in superheros, and you get to have pretty much all of them.  A lot of us would like that to change, but it's certainly not guys like you that are leading the charge for powerful--and maybe even non-sexualized---female leads in these films.

So maybe just keep those thoughts to yourself until you can get home later tonight and bring them back up with a bottle of lotion and a few Kleenex, okay?  I certainly don't need to hear it.
Thank you.

By the way, everyone, The Avengers was amazing and please for the love of God go see it, you won't regret it.  It surpassed expectations and Joss Whedon did a truly amazing job, as he almost always does.  I have another post for you later today--I know, shocking after a month and a half of nothing!--and it's another entertainment post, so enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you back Alexis. Whatever happened to the sports guy?