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Thursday, May 07, 2015 

Feminists might've spoiled Black Widow, but Reaxxion is too

A writer for Reaxxion lamented how feminists are ruining Black Widow. Unfortunately, he's also made a serious error - the kind I consider severely damaging to many fictional franchises nowadays - by failing to base his criticism unambiguously on how past writers have portrayed Natasha Romanoff. His article says:
But there was one big thing I disliked about the movie: Black Widow. And sadly, my growing dislike for the character has nothing to do with the writing, Scarlett Johansson’s performance, or anything about the movie itself. It has to do with the fact that nearly every time I see or hear about Black Widow these days, it involves some kind of feminist hissy fit.
Good grief, letting feminist propaganda get the better of his feelings won't solve anything. But, it gets worse, more mind-boggling with the following slapdash commentary:
In a recent interview, Avengers stars Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner called Black Widow a slut. They were then forced to apologize. One line in Renner’s apology really stuck out at me.

I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone.

I wonder if he purposely worded it that way to point out how ridiculous the outrage was. But setting aside the silliness of white knighting for a fictional character, the fact remains that they were right. The character Black Widow, at least in the comics, is indeed a slut. Hell, I doubt the character herself would argue with that fact. I’m reminded of a time when one of her (many) super hero ex-lovers Daredevil called her over for assistance with something only to have her assume he called her over for sex since his girlfriend had just left him. This was her response.

How dare Evans and Renner besmirch the honor of this little flower! Seriously though, two men called a fictional character a slut and feminists raced to defend her. A fictional character, and one who, if she were real, probably wouldn’t have taken offense to the comment anyway. If that isn’t the definition of a first world problem, I don’t know what is.
Sure, the joke by Evans and Renner was incredibly dumb. But while insulting a fictional character isn't as noxious as insulting innocent people in real life, what they and the writer of this tommyrot said is still just as ill-advised, and distorts the whole history of Black Widow, making it sound like fait accompli that she was a prostitute ever since her Silver Age beginnings in 1964. Which brings me to ask: when was Natasha ever seen charging Matt money for her services? In any of the BW tales I read, I don't remember seeing that. And even if Natasha were depicted in the past as a hooker, why would that be her fault? Shouldn't the dummy who penned that foolish screed be criticizing past writers from Stan Lee to modern times for how Natasha was portrayed? I just can't believe how people supposedly wanting to be seen as intelligent lower themselves to the same level as David Goyer, who vulgarly described She-Hulk as a slut a year back. The picture the Reaxxion writer posted must've been from a late 90s or mid 2000s Marvel book, so it's pretty new, and the new does not always prove things rather than the old. Natasha may have been depicted sleeping with other men as part of her job as a spy for SHIELD in past stories, but that does not make her a prostitute per se, and certainly not if she didn't charge any money for sex. In the above picture, it looks more like Natasha is trying to cheer Matt up after another girlfriend dumped him. How does that make her a "slut"? Besides, they'd been something of a couple during the 70s and 80s.

Furthermore, there's people out there who've defended fictional characters like Superman when they think the character's coherency is being desecrated, and something tells me the Reaxxion writer wouldn't be troubled by folks defending a major flagship character like the Man of Steel if he'd been done wrong. So why should he be bothered if presumed Black Widow fans come to the defense of the star of their favorite literature? Protesting bad steps with a corporate owned literary character isn't a bad thing in itself. It's just a question of whether it's a sincere liking for cast members of a famous fictional universe that motivates the protestors.

Oh, and again, if Natasha were a "slut" in the literal sense, wouldn't Tony Stark be a "john" by the same token of logic after all the different girlfriends he had in better days? That's the problem with this shoddy article; it falls into the trap of denouncing a woman for her non-committal lifestyle while letting a man off the hook for the same. And here I thought Reaxxion was a site with potential. Guess I was half wrong. There are some interesting articles there. But others, as I've noticed, are pretty sloppy, at least where comic books are concerned. Speaking of which, those who were defending Black Widow seem to only care about the movie version, not the comics version, so their outrage doesn't seem particularly altruistic. Otherwise, they'd care about what Marvel's done to a lot of their products over the past years.

Since we're on the subject, Joss Whedon's denying that rabid feminists drove him away from Twitter. But that doesn't mean he wasn't affected by all the insanity. He did reveal, however, that he clashed with the Avengers producers over some of the subplots, proving all's not that well backstage. After Whedon's past left-wing tirades, if he quits directing these films, it won't be too disappointing, because he doesn't really deserve the gig so long as he insults the audiences.

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Today's comics are nothing more than bad copies of their boring and bland movie counterparts. Try going back to the 1980 to early 2000 editions if you miss them that much.

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