So, apparently I now have a catchphrase when it comes to the fight against the “isms” because I said it over and over again this weekend at Norwescon while on panels.
Making people miserable is evil.
I’d say something like “We shouldn’t be teaching people to say “no” more clearly. We should…
The scene, which does not go down this way in George R. R. Martin’s original books, is supremely disturbing all on its own, but the episode’s director Alex Graves made things even worse by stating that it was not rape. Graves said in interview with Alan Sepinwall that although Cersei Lannister spends literally the entire scene resisting her brother, the sex “becomes consensual by the end because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle.” In other words, Graves thinks pinning a woman down and having sex with her as she kicks, claws and repeatedly, unequivocally says “no” is not rape.
Are you kidding me? You don’t just get to force someone to have sex with you until they get so “turned on” that they relent and then call it consensual. Besides, the victim knew the perpetrator, had previous relationship with him and did not scream? This is literally the most common type of rape there is.
While Johansson’s first Marvel appearance in Iron Man 2 may have relied somewhat upon sex appeal, this was quickly nixed in favor of characterizing her as the most cerebral Avenger. Her most important scenes in The Avengers relied upon her intelligence and skills as a spy, to the extent that she even managed to outwit Loki, the God of Lies. At the end of the movie, she’s the one who closes the portal that let all the aliens into New York. Then in Winter Soldier she’s given second billing to Captain America, a meaty role that showcases a wide-ranging skillset that stretches far beyond just “kicking ass.” At no point during any of these movies does she seduce anyone, by the way.
Sadly, there’s very little sign of this character in the most easily accessible reviews of both The Avengers and Winter Soldier. Judging by the Guardian, WSJ, or New Yorker, Black Widow is more like a blow-up doll with a black belt. By their logic, if she’s wearing a tight outfit, then she must be a sexy ass-kicker, meaning that she must be the token female character, and therefore is little more than eye candy.
With that thought process in mind, it must make perfect sense to relegate Black Widow to a single sniggering comment about her catsuit, because obviously Scarlett Johansson is just there for decoration. And if you’ve read in the New York Times that Black Widow is a token female character, then chances are you’ll have internalized that opinion before you even buy a ticket. The feedback loop of misogynist preconceptions continues on, and in the end, we all lose out.
Inspirational Women [9/?]: Hayley Atwell, Actress
"Where are the women? Where are the women who are leading and not just the hot sex symbol in the tight outfits, or the aggressive ones with their sexy action sequences? Where are the ones that are battling with their own identity like Iron Man is? Or trying to make a difference in the forefront?"