Blockbuster Shaming

It’s getting harder to make blockbusters without incurring the wrath of the SJW sphere.

Case in point: the reaction to the “sexism” of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Made by the self-declared feminist Joss Whedon, you’d expect this film to be kosher when it comes to gender politics and aware of the latest hot takes on women’s issues. Apparently not so.

One of the major gripes with the latest entry in the Avengers series is the role assigned to Black Widow—the supposed femme fatale played by Scarlett Johansson. Johansson loves to tout her feminist credentials and has lately become the go-to star for playing “badass hotties”—usurping the previous queen of Hollywood tough ladies Angelina Jolie.

Even though Black Widow gets to kick a fair amount of ass in Age of Ultron and the film goes to great lengths to portray her unbelievable martial skill, this wasn’t enough for the detractors. Their contention rests on the fact that Widow is abducted by the villain and serves for most of the movie as the despised damsel-in-distress archetype.

Even worse, the Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff, expresses intense guilt that she is unable to have children and feels like a monster for her forced sterilization. That set off feminists who think women (and really humans) shouldn’t be defined by reproduction and it’s simply a choice—like fashion styles and shopping habits.

To top it off, a male co-star described the fictional female as “kind of a slut.” You guessed it—that’s slut shaming. Add in her failure to appear in toys for young SWPL toddlers ready to pursue a career as Russian assassins and you have an all-around gender sensitivity shitstorm.

And the misdeeds committed against the lone female Avenger isn’t the film’s only sin—there’s also a “rape joke” uttered in the script. The line considered a rape joke comes from Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. After accepting Thor’s challenge that he can rule Asgard if he’s capable of lifting Mjolnir, Iron Man boasts that he will institute prima nocta if he gets the hammer off the table. That, according to Slate, trivializes rape and should never be included in a film made in 2015. Prima nocta, like Iron Man, is fictional and the jest was intended to highlight Tony Stark’s cocky and not-so-flattering persona. But apparently he needs to keep his douchebaggery within the limits set by political correctness.

All of these microaggressions set off an intense Twitter flame campaign against Mr. Whedon and forced the director to depart from the social media service. Like a good male feminist, Whedon claimed the idea he dropped out due to feminists was “horseshit” and he just needed to take a break from all the noise. . .that was caused entirely by angry SJWs.

Even though left-leaning outlets are up in arms over the movie, the Avengers sequel is raking in the dough at the box office and is nearly matching the records set by its predecessor. So this uproar is having virtually no economic effect and the only real result has been the sackless Whedon deleting his Twitter account. Guess the masses really don’t care what Vox thinks about gender injustices.

But Hollywood is receptive to what the chatterers of New York and DC have to say about current issues. The controversy surrounding the Avengers flick shows just how much a movie has to conform to the prevalent orthodoxy to avoid attacks. It’s now all but assured that the Black Widow character will receive her own stand-alone film. Whether it will do well is up in the air, but that’s not the point.

The point is to have a female superhero on the big screen and to convey to young girls that they’re just as tough as boys. . .even though there’s another trend that disproves that notion.

That trend is the rise of the safe space and “trigger” awareness on college campus. Driven by young women, we’re now taught we can touch certain topics because they might trigger trauma for certain females. The idea you get is that a lot of women—as implied by the idea of a safe space—can’t handle the nitty-gritty aspects of life.

So while young women are being victimized by the writings of Ovid, we’re at the same time supposed to buy into the idea that a woman of the same class can be a world-saving badass. Not to read too much into the character of Black Widow, but she does oddly resemble the dark side of urban elf womanhood.

Many urban elf females imagine themselves as ass-kicking feminists who can take on anything life sends them. Cat-callers, sexist bosses, rude comments—they can take them on (and by take on, they mean call on men with guns to handle those issues.) They’re good-looking but tough, and they don’t need no man to help them out. And they especially don’t need to have children to feel their life has meaning—their respective careers fill that void.

Black Widow’s image is all of these things, yet she needs the rest of the Avengers to save her from Ultron. And she ultimately feels like a monster over the sterilization that allows her to be a successful assassin. This side of the fictional hero is probably unintentional, but it is interesting how a character feminists are so worked up about reflects the unstated downsides of living as a sheltered career woman in a cruel world.

I wonder if they’ll explore that in the stand-alone film. . .