Contributing writer for The Artifice.
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In what ways do Marvel's depictions of females affect society and real women?
When considering how women are viewed in film, I like to think of the Bechdel test. This test (and I am paraphrasing here) says that if a movie does not have two female characters in it that talk about something other than a man, then it fails. Unfortunately, not all of Marvel’s movies pass. How do these depictions of women (ie, their lack of roles that include interactions with other women, the way that only men are discussed when interactions do occur, etc) affect real live ladies? How does it affect society? How does it support the systematic oppression of women and perpetrate the patriarchy?
I think that it is interesting and important to investigate the evil stepmother trope that prevails in most fairytales a little more closely. In relation to the death of the mother (one subtle way of the reader/viewer to be told that only the main character is the only female that matters), it insists that nothing would be better if you can’t have the original. However, that original is stripped from the story, leaving us feeling as lost as the main character. I believe that this is one way to limit the amount of female characters displayed in stories. It also takes away any chance of depicting a healthy mother-daughter relationship.
The importance of dystopian novels are definitely to help readers wake up and open their eyes to situations around them. The effect that they can have on a society is rather incredible–especially when a book or movie becomes popular. However, I do not think that this is a new genre. Books and movies discussing topics such as these have been around since at least the 1920s.
I think that the CEO’s comment at the end of this video really rubs me the wrong way. Wojcicki seems to be implying that Paul’s videos–possibly including the one bring discussed–might not be tasteless to everyone. The amount of disrespect that video displayed was atrocious and I don’t believe that I have heard anyone have a good argument defending it. To imply that it was merely “tasteless” is both infuriating and vexing.