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Good point here:

To be honest, I can't think of another Avenger whose story Natasha could have swapped with who wouldn't, in some way, raise questions of whether the story was influenced by gender stereotypes. If she had Tony's story, she'd be the one who messed up and wouldn't listen, who created the need for a rescue. If she had Cap's story, she'd be the one who tries to keep everyone from being vulgar – the behavior cop. If she had the Hulk's story, she'd be the one whose superpower is being carried away by her uncontrollable emotions. If she had Thor's story, she'd be the one who doesn't have very much to do and is omitted from a large stretch of the movie. If she had Hawkeye's story, she'd be the one who just wanted to go home and be with the kids.

Any of these things could look like a stereotype. This is a very, very hard piece of ground to walk without tripping over something: Whedon fans tend to be disappointed because they had their expectations set by Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but it is the rankest of cultural amnesia to forget how frequently people took issue with elements of that show's treatment of issues around sexual violence and sexuality.


Black Widow, Scarce Resources And High-Stakes Stories
MAY 12, 201512:14 PM ET
Linda Holmes


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 16th, 2015 09:06 pm (UTC)
I agree with this article very much and have mused on the same topic (though not in print). If, say, a powerful, competent woman is also sexy, it means Hollywood's not willing to cast non-hot women. If she's not hot, it implies "people don't accept that a woman can be powerful as well as attractive" (I have heard that complaint made).
Or there was an article I read a while back that complained the female hacker in Transformers being smarter than the Pentagon's IT staff was a ridiculous attempt to create a "strong female character." I thought of it as a typical summer blockbuster character (it's the type of film where the hackers and conspiracy theorists always know more than the authorities) who just happened to be a woman.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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