Sunday, November 2, 2014

Black Widow Offensive

So, did I mention before what a nerd I am? No? But I did mention gaming, going online for World of Warcraft and even playing good old-fashioned RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons. And being a brony. Well, pegasister, technically. And loving cosplay and fantasy and dragons and werewolves. So yeah, I'm a nerd.

I love science fiction. I was a little girl when my sister took me to see Star Wars for the first time. I got hooked immediately. I read all the books that were available. Keep in mind, at the time we still lived behind the Iron Curtain. I got my hands on anything I could.

I fell in love with comics. Spiderman first, then I got familiar with the rest. My favourite series was X-Men. As the shy girl, the one with the weird thoughts and never ending sea of questions, I was always an outsider.

For the first time, I could empathise with fictional characters. As a child, fairy tales were not for me. They were nice stories, but I could not identify with the girls in those stories. They seemed dumb, illogical and helpless. And too pretty. The hero would fall in love with them at first sight and go on quests for them. I hated that. I knew I would never have that because I felt ugly. And I wanted to go on quests myself.

I have learned that representation matters. And now that I have a little girl, it is very important to me that she has access to stories that represent her. That is why I love cartoons and movies that have a girl protagonist, like Kim Possible or Merida from Brave. And she started reading kiddie comics.

I want her to have access to stories about women who are not waiting for a hero but become one. Wonder Woman, Wasp, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Storm, Batwoman, Lady Thor, She Hulk, Rogue, I want her to know them all. And because I am a feminist, I want equal chances and equal representation for all genders. So when Marvel announced their movie plans earlier this week, I was pissed off. Sure, Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) gets a movie, but that is it? There are 21 movies in 10 years (2008-2018) planned and only one has a female protagonist. What seems to be sure is that 12 of those are headlined by white men, 7 have an ensemble cast (mostly of white men), one has a female lead and one is a person of colour. That does not seem right.

 Not much we can do about it. None of us are in a decision making position at Marvel Studios. All we can do is wish and make our voices heard. So today, on November 2nd, I will join the Black Widow Offensive on Twitter. We will keep messaging those who call the shots with the hashtag #BlackWidowMovie to let them know there is a demand for strong, complex, well written women on the silver screen. Feel free to join me if you agree.

1 comment:

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Great oust, I totally agree with you. I have two boys but I don't want them growing up thinking boys are the heroes and girls are weak.
Picture books for children start out well with strong female characters and caring male characters but it is in the 5-8 range where things start to go wrong. Boys get Beastquest and girls get Daisy Meadows.
There is a big campaign to Let Books Be Books run alongside Let Toys Be Toys. If you don't already follow them I really recommend you look them up.