I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I am a bit of a comic book fan. Marvel Avengers specifically. So I was pretty excited to FINALLY take my kids to see the Avengers. This of course meant putting my feelings regarding the huge gender gap I the comic book industry aside to enjoy some of my favorite characters. It also meant silently praying to myself as the kids and I made our way to our seats that the misogyny we often see in action movies was not so much that I would regret talking my kids.
It’s no secret that comic books and comic book movies are not always kind to girls and women. A serious lack of gender diversity in the world of comic books (writers, creators illustrators, AND characters) have often made for unhealthy scantily clad sex kitten type of female characters.
I am happy to report the Avengers broke the mold with this movie.
Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is the one lone female Avenger. Though this is never brought up one-way or the other. The other Avengers never hit on her or make any snide remarks about her gender. Yes, her jump suit is a bit on the tight side, but it doesn’t come across as out of place (umm, like Wonder Woman saving the planet in her bathing suite and thigh high boots). Best of all Black Widow is constantly in the thick of the action every time never missing a beat. It’s a great thing to be able to take my daughter to see a superhero movie that has at least one respectable female superhero in it that I would totally allow her to be for Halloween.
The Avengers bring a special message to our kids. You do not have to be perfect to be a Superhero and that we all bring something special into the world with us. We are all different, yet each and every one of us is as important to the cause as the next.
In this movie we see each of the characters weak and saved by one another and each one strong and rescuing the others. Though my kids may not realize this subtle lesson now, I know the seed is buried in there. Some times in life we rise to the occasion, other times we need a little help from our friends and that’s ok. It’s just the way life is.
Thanks to the well-written character Black Widow, that message applied to the girls as well as the boys.
I know the gender gap is still huge. But it’s the small stepping-stones like this that bring me hope.
Some may say, but it’s just a movie. Or it’s just a comic book. But it’s so much more than that. It’s an idea that is planted in the head of every girl who sees the commercial or the Happy Meal toys or sees the movie.
It’s the simple idea that she can be the one saving the day and fighting the bad guys just as well as the boys. No question about it.
So to Marvel, I say, not a bad start. Not bad at all.