In Praise of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (or, basically, how the new Captain America movie has a feminist agenda if you peel back the pudding thick mascul-bullshit)

Black-Widow-the-avengers-32067137-500-268 Captain America: The Winter Soldier has awesome reviews, great word-of-mouth. I’ve heard from many a person that it’s the best superhero sequel of all time. But these people either never saw The Dark Knight, or they’re fucking stupid (no offence, yo!) I’m more than sick of these pseudo-masculine wank jobs which pass for comic book movies, and with each reboot, a little bit of my heart dies, like a raisin so rank and crusted it wouldn’t interest you, like, ever.

The reasons I die inside every time I have to see some shit-wig wearing, pimp chested douchebag save the fucking world yet again, are complex. And for a terrible film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier certainly had an effect on me. Mostly, because of a person I thought I’d never meaningfully connect with ever again (post-Woody Allen, and even pre-him, Scarlett waned for me, until now).

Be not mistaken, this is an incredibly boring movie. Okay, there’s a killer Tarantino reference if you sit still long enough, and the action sequences aren’t all badly-animated CGI, dated before its released. It’s not boring because I hate comic book movies, or superheroes. Far from. I’ve barely loved a thing more than 10 blissful years of Smallville, and almost any Batman incarnation is a boyfriend I swore I’d never go back to but, here we are, these years on, and I’m seriously considering Ben Affleck, bum chin and all. clint-natasha-hawkeye-and-black-widow-31064777-500-270 But this movie’s important, in a way which totally ties in with Amy Roberts’ awesome child assassins article: the women in this movie are kick-ass, when they’re allowed to be (which is not always, and exactly why we’re so fucking desperate to no longer have to rely on a 9 year old to pep the future of feminism). They’re more than cardboard cut-outs and, in fact, I’d hazard to say this story has more to do with Black Widow than it does old Cap America, who should just curl up and grave die with that super-old dementia girlfriend of his, a la The Notebook. Before I get to rant about what this movie did right, in merely suggesting the world could handle a superhero movie led by a woman (*gasp*), I’d like to complain about some of the latent shit.

And number one on that list is Peggy still being alive. I’m sorry, but what the actual fuck? Didn’t we establish at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger that everyone Steve Rogers knew was now dead and gone? I’m super upset by this revelation and the maths of it totally threw me. I definitely think too much, but there’s no fucking way Peggy, Steve’s wartime girlfriend, is still alive at this point. The scene we suffer through where good old love of her life Steve visits Peggy bedside was so akin to the old lady in Titanic popping her clogs next to twenty photos of the incredible life she managed to have after she murdered Leo DiCaprio I, for a second, forgot this was a movie meant for a male demographic. Excuse me for not being into your sexist bullshit which suggests that this lady did the best she could, but without the love of a superhero, her achievements are a bit disappointing. Let her die in peace, please, without the bleached hair douchebagging weekly visits.

As for Captain himself, as Scarlett says, he’s a fossil. Which begs: is Captain America only attractive in the way Clooney is, taken to an extreme? Everyone wants to fuck him because he’s like 94 but has a steel torso? He’s a total GILF, I get it but, also, doing a disservice to GILFs everywhere. Nothing hotter than an older man, is there? Except that he’s not. He’s engineered this way. And he doesn’t know who Nirvana are. He can fuck right off. At least we know he’s such a bad kisser that Scarlett would rather be alone forever. There’s always that.

SLOPPY

SLOPPY

This is Scarlett’s movie. I didn’t take a stopwatch but she clocks as much screen time as Chris Evans, if not more, which I was totally surprised by. The posters did nothing but reinforce the sexist bullshit that is the superhero movie, with Scarlett swaying that ginger wig, looking into the distance, cleavage enhanced for 3D, while the film’s men get to look at the camera. Avoiding eye contact can be sexy, but this is just ridiculous, and pandering to stereotypes everywhere. Especially when her character is not only pivotal, but central to the entire plot. She’s more important than any other sidekick, and I’d go as far as to say there’s no movie without her.

SEXIST POSTER BULLSHIT

SEXIST POSTER BULLSHIT

Interesting then, that we’re not getting a Black Widow movie any time soon. Instead, we’ve been covertly sold one, under the Captain America banner when, actually, this is almost it. It’s not perfect by any means (I called it boring, didn’t I?) but it’s a massive fucking step in 2014. Jesus, we should be bloody ashamed of ourselves that the best we can do for a female superhero role model is either a 12 year old girl or a badly wigged sidekick replete with sexual innuendo when not kicking ass. This is Scarlett’s movie not purely based on screen time, but character development. When she realises the people she’s been working for are totally corrupt, she questions every move she’s made to this point. Sure, meat head Chris Evans is there to console her (maybe meat head’s unfair – he can quip, I’ll give him that), but she doesn’t need him. She’s making choices, for herself, for the good of other people, and these weigh heavy on her. She doesn’t quit.

In a showdown with the worst wig of all time (Winter Soldier/Bucky), she outsmarts him, almost completely, deflecting him with a voice recording of herself, and generally kicking his face in. Unfortunately, she needs Captain to save her from this douchebag eventually, but I guess he had to be utilised somehow, the amount they’re paying him. She could’ve totes killed that Gossip Girl cuntwipe if she wanted though (he was wayyyyyyyyyy better in GG too, xoxo). Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 20.12.56

TOTAL GILF, AM I RIGHT?

TOTAL GILF, AM I RIGHT?

And in a total womanhood move, Black Widow’s the one that takes Robert Redford’s villain down (looking hot there, grandad, call me), which means spilling secrets about her history on to the internet in some questionable, yet plot-fully necessary, tech move, so the world knows everything she’s ever done. Redford calls her bluff, doesn’t believe she’ll go through with it, but there’s never a question. She’s resolute and assured in a decision once she’s made it: which means she more than rocks.

Scarlett’s not the only awesome woman in this film. Cobie Smulders returns as Agent Maria Hill and effortlessly perfects every fucking thing that she does. Shooting two men running at her is carried out with the ease of turning lights on, and killing security detail happens with a quip about her own helmet crushing her head. She’s a woman taking absolutely no shit, and I have no doubt she’s organising the majority of men in her life, including Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury (whose acting in this film is somehow impossibly worse than that of Snakes on a Plane). Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 19.44.48 Emily Van Camp doesn’t get much of a chance to show what’s possible here, and ends up being a dating prospect for Captain America, but the fact that she’s undercover and Captain America has been completely oblivious to this gives me hope. The women here are smarter, wiley, capable of using their charms, and eliminating sex like a switch the second weaponry is needed. I kind of wish Scarlett hadn’t talked quite so much about setting Cap up with a lady. She’s better than dating advice, and these women, frankly, are so over romancing a 94 year old emotionally defunct mince for brains, who’d rather throw down all weapons to fist fight like a real man. Like, seriously?

Along with the older-than-life ex-girlfriend, this movie has a mahoosive ageism problem, specifically being incredibly ageist towards women. Not only is the ex too old to be with the love of her life that seeing her’s basically community service, but Jenny Agutter, who plays Councilwoman Hawley, gets to beat the shit out of a bunch of people, only for it to turn out she didn’t, that it was Black Widow dressed as her. Which begs the question, why couldn’t we have Jenny Agutter take out a bunch of heavies? She did it, supremely, and it was one of my favourite moments of the film, until Scarlett pulled her disguise off to reveal she was behind the kicks and hits all along. Although, I applaud the fact it was a woman taking down this network of morons, why did the movie have to be so age-based? It undermines capabilities, and undercuts the cool surprise, only fuelling the sexist misogyny we’re selling the world lately, and always. Sort it the fuck out, now.

We’re left with Black Widow saying goodbye, and leaving the team to find herself, redefine who she is the light of recent revelations, now the world knows her secrets. If you look at it the way I like, you basically were just conned into watching a Black Widow movie, sold with a male superhero title. Let’s hope and fucking pray to any loser that’ll listen that when she gets a film with her name in the title it’s better than that whack job Electra’s. We’re ready. tumblr_ma7w94YRtW1qg7sago1_r5_500

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5 thoughts on “In Praise of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (or, basically, how the new Captain America movie has a feminist agenda if you peel back the pudding thick mascul-bullshit)

  1. Wait, what comicbook series is the movie based on? O that’s right; Captain America. I’m not a comic reader. I don’t know and don’t care who Black Widow is. I know you’re no comic book reader, and you did not know or heard of Black Widow before the first movie, and don’t kid yourself b/c you know you didn’t. All of these ridiculous movies that portray a physically dominating male as unable to quell a situation, but a female can… not just through wit, but through brawn too???? what the fuck???? Fantasy world, just like the teenie bopper books your daughters read which is why it’s so difficult to get them into science and technology sector jobs to begin with… So bioengineered captain america has a very tough time fighting the winter soldier, but a mere woman with above average strength and speed can easily take a couple shots at AND evade winter soldier? Uhm no… Keep in mind, she has nothing superhuman about her as far as boosters or alternating her human composition. Uhm no…. See, let me give it to you straight; there are far too many movies these days that have people doing things that are just ridiculous. Seeing a woman beat the shit out of a man is just ridiculous. I know you’re a female, and you don’t want to hear it, but it’s a fact. A woman is very highly exteremely unlikely to beat up a man. Possible? Yes. Likely? NO. Let alone beat up a bunch of men… A mere man couldn’t even do that… Movies these days are going way too far to please the female audience with this PC police crap. Women can do things men can’t do, and Men can do things women can’t do. Women and men are NOT the same! Quit with the feminist bullcrap agenda. Do you want your little girl to grow up and believe that she is just as capable on a physical level as a man? It simply isn’t true and you looking at your girl telling her these things in this feminist world is just a pure lie. Plain and simple.

    Fury’s agent makes an awesome return? with what, five lines? Keep the feminist bullcrap going… O yea, it wasn’t black widow who took out Robert Redford, it was Fury. Black Widow gave him the green light after using her emp to destroy the chest pin, dumbass. your quote: And in a total womanhood move, Black Widow’s the one that takes Robert Redford’s villain down.

    I’m sure you’re all too into the fight for equal wage feminist agenda bullshit. Bullshit? I’ll tell you why… Lets talk about paywage gap. Is it fair to say that statistics could be part of the reason there appears to be a wage gap? You have no idea where they get their data from (some bullcrap statistical website who claims to have accurate data). Really? What about private compaines who don’t publicize their information? How long have the females been in their position vs their counterpart? Women haven’t been fully in the workforce like they are now, 40 years ago. The bullcrap data that is shown now includes ALL workers; anyone earning an income. What they DON’T tell you, is since women haven’t been in the workforce nearly as long as men AS A WHOLE, the men have received MANY more years of service than women AS A WHOLE which equates to MANY MORE PAY RAISES for men than women. Remember, this isn’t about equal pay, b/c if it was, they’d break it down by actual job function AND time in the industry. All they show you is AVERAGE BY STATE, or AVERAGE PER POSITION. Average by state… again, women haven’t been in the workforce as long AS A WHOLE as men. Average per position… again, same thing. TIME is the thing that matters, and NO statistic on this subject shows time. Go and find one…

  2. Pingback: Ben Affleck Or George Clooney: Who’s The Better Batman? (A Serious Investigation) | Clarissa Explains Fuck All

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