Is Marvel’s Portrayal of Women WRONG!?

This past April, Marvel brought phase three to a close with End Game (2019). This is the end of an era. However, Marvel did not hesitate to close this chapter of the Marvel cinematic franchise with culturally groundbreaking movies such as Black Panther (2018) and Captain Marvel (2019). With phase three coming to an end, we look back at the past twenty-two films that Marvel has created from the years 2008 to 2019 that have shaped our culture significantly. As we look back on a decade of cinematography, it is interesting to examine the evolution that occurs in Marvel’s portrayal of women.

Why Marvel? There is something significant about the nature of a superhero movie. Candice Brusuelas writes, “Superhero movies are an interesting study in feminism because these films (and comics as well) are riddled with tired tropes, themes of power, and ultimately a great litmus test for pop culture and society.” It is no doubt that Marvel movies are one of the biggest forces; both shaping and reflecting what is going on in our society today. Marvel movies reach nearly everyone and this is proven by Endgame (2019), which made upwards of $2 billion dollars worldwide in just twelve days. One of the most appealing aspects of superhero movies is the ability to put one’s self in the position of the protagonist and experience the world with no limits. For the past ten years of Marvel cinematic history, that protagonist position has always been filled by a white man. The reason that Wonder Woman (2017), Black Panther (2018), and Captain Marvel (2019) have been such important movies is because for the first time ever, women and African-Americans are seeing themselves on the big screen; not as the sidekick or minor character, but as the full-blown hero. Although people of color and women have played lead roles in other non-Marvel movies, there is a significant sense of empowerment that accompanies the narrative of a superhero.

Why is representation important? “Whether we choose to admit it or not, the characters that inhabit our screens have a great impact on our lives; they help to shape who we are, the way we view the world around us, and who we aspire to be. That’s why representation in the media truly matters.” Representation informs the men and women of society how women should be viewed and what they can and cannot do. “Representations of strong, female characters in films can serve society by creating positive role models for young women, but when these female characters are diminished through romantic relationships with other leading male characters, it serves to confirm preexisting notions that women primarily exist to be mothers, loyal friends, or objects of romantic interest.”

By Amanda Marie Walker

Read the Original Article From Amanda: