We Are Super, We Are Women.
Just a few hours ago, CBS finally let us sink our teeth into an all access first look at its much anticipated new drama from the world of DC Comics. Yet even after this spectacular unveiling— as well numerous other occurrences in the past couple of weeks– our dearly beloved Marvel Studios apparently still doesn’t believe in female superheroes. Surprised? Sadly, not really.
Earlier last week, a leaked email exchange between Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter and Sony Executive Michael Lynton highlighted on–once again– the fact that Marvel’s had a troubled history in terms of being able to properly (and rightfully) represent women in films and in pop culture.
Cases of gender-inequality have been built against the company for years now and recent events (in light of the bombshell Avengers movie opening a couple weeks ago) have not helped seethe away the anger of many comic book fans, not to mention a whole lot of women. In fact, they’ve only added to the already hundreds of critiques mounting against Marvel such as: the lack of estrogen in ensemble casts (female characters are always relegated to the sidelines) or a total lack of female merchandising (star Mark Ruffalo even tweeted directly to the studio urging for more Black Widow merchandise).
Scarlett Johansson recently used Saturday Night Live! as a catalyst to poke fun at Marvel for not capitalizing on her character’s popularity with a fake trailer titled “Age of Me.” Even director Joss Whedon has attributed the utter lack of super heroine movies to “inextricable sexism” and “old-fashioned, quiet misogyny.” The recent comments of Avengers co-stars Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans about Black Widow being a “slut” and a “trick” obviously haven’t helped much either.
Hollywood’s tight embrace on catering to the wants, needs, and feelings of men is no breaking news. For decades now, our little town of so-called Angels has been keeping women out– whether if it’s from the big screen, the director’s chair, the writing room, or from major festivals. Let’s not even begin to discuss the gender wage gap and disparity Tinsel Town finds itself knee deep in.
Women lag absurdly far behind men in basically every single gig in the industry. Jennifer Lawrence knows first hand about this, so does Charlize Theron— both have recently taken great strides to fight this. Patricia Arquette’s made it loud and clear that things gender-wise need to change drastically, as have others like Meryl Streep, Annette Benning, Cate Blanchett, Anna Kenrick, Diablo Cody, Kristin Stewart, and Ava DuVernay. Just earlier today, Ethan Hawke managed to sneak in a little something about the movie business’ awful “boys’ club.”
So what now? Will we ever see a light at the end of this dark tunnel? Will male-centric Hollywood finally start learning how to turn its stubborn head around? Well here are some current news breakers that might just bring some tiny smiles to our faces. I mean, it’s a (slow) start, right?:
A female comic book movie is (finally) happening; Little girls of all ages will soon have a superhero franchise dedicated exclusively to them; Greg Berlanti’s take on Supergirl, as mentioned, is officially coming to the small screen this November, while Wonder Woman is making its way towards the big one in 2017; Bruce Banner a.k.a The Hulk himself, as well as head honcho Joss Whedon, have come out again and again declaring their full commitment to feminism. As Ruffalo states so matter of factly, “we [just] need more superhuman women.” Oh, and it turns out that movies about women are actually way more profitable. What’s more is that half of Comic-Con attendees are now female. And let’s not forget that women constitute for 52% of the movie-going audience! There’s more…
So, what do you have to say for yourself now, Marvel? It’s about time to start believin’. We are super, we are women, and we are heroes. All by ourselves. Remember that.