Joss Whedon doesn’t hate women. Hell, he reacted to criticism by shutting down his Twitter account and running to his room in a tizzy. There’s nothing more feminine than that.
We are a country hurtling toward political extremes. On the right, the Tea Party would like you to believe that if you don’t get erect at the thought of the Constitution as you battle any semblance of government and pray at the altar of completely unregulated capitalism, you might as well be sucking Lenin’s mummified cock as Hanoi Jane fucks you with a strap-on. On the left, well, we have what happened to Joss Whedon this week, as a handful of spiteful girls chased him off the Internet for being, in their opinion, a misogynist who directed a sexist portrayal of the Black Widow in last week’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Let’s get this out of the way: If ever there were a man who isn’t a misogynist, it’s Joss Whedon. In fact, I can vividly picture the the dude engaging in a daily ritual of donning a dress, squeezing the empty cups where breasts would be if he were a woman and screaming at the heavens, “Why, God? Why not me?” This is a man that reveres women to a degree that, frankly, I find creepy, but whatever floats his boat. His breakout show was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which featured the titular character in about as rah-rah girl power a role as conceivable. His next work, Serenity, featured a female character who was an unstoppable combat machine, by far the show’s toughest figure. His show after that, Dollhouse, starred a female who was also a master of all forms of physical combat. I think you’re seeing a pattern emerge here.
So what claims were made against adorable little Joss? That the Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) should have instead been portrayed by a woman of gypsy heritage because that’s the character’s background according to the comics. Oh, and that she was simply a femme fatale in this movie, a damsel in distress to be rescued rather than an active fighter. I’ll address both accusations separately.
First, no one on the extreme left gives two shits if an Irish actor plays a German character or if a black man from South Africa plays a black man from Ghana. Why? Because they haven’t been taught to be offended by it, and most original thinkers don’t squander that gift figuring out what they should be offended by. They instead contribute to society in some way, shape or form. I’m Greek. Do you think I enjoyed Hitler Youth Brad Pitt playing Achilles in Troy? It was fucking ridiculous. But I understood the producer of the film wanted make a couple bucks, not show a bunch of swarthy, fur-covered no-names swinging swords at each other. The closest I’ll ever come to seeing a movie with an all-Greek cast is Planet of the Apes, and I’ve made my peace with that.
Second, not to stroke my proverbial nerd shaft into your face, but Black Widow, from what I remember, is a broad in a jumpsuit that knows karate. That’s it. You know who else is in the Avengers? Thor, an immortal thunder god, Hulk, who can survive a nuke being dropped directly on him and Iron Man, a genius who constructed what’s essentially a tank he walks around in. Do you know how annoyed they must be not only having to combat evil but make sure Little Miss Zero-Powers doesn’t get killed on any given mission? It has to be distracting as hell! Joss Whedon is a bigger feminist icon than Gloria Steinem for not limiting Black Widow’s role to jotting down the boys’ order from Sheetz at the beginning of the movie and making sure the correct food was waiting on the table for them after they got done saving the world.
People, whatever your beliefs, keep things in perspective. Anyone calling Joss Whedon a misogynist comes off like a Nazi whispering to one of his colleagues, “I guess Hitler hates the Jews, but he doesn’t hate hate them.” It’s a ridiculous assertion made by people completely out of touch with reality looking to garner attention by loudly screaming absurdities. And hey, if you think Joss Whedon really is a sexist, go out there and create art that depicts the world as you want to see it. Speaking of which, if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to the script I’m writing. It’s tentatively titled “The Out-Of-Shape Blogger That Women Couldn’t Resist And Whose Post Went Viral.”