This week's throwback Thursday: Playboy comes to Black Widow's defense.
Some of you might remember that I was less than thrilled with the superhero film offerings this year. Fantastic Four was a trainwreck, Ant-Man was fun but not particularly exciting, and Age of Ultron seemed like it was stuck in the middle of a tug of war between the studio and the director. Some fans were pretty unhappy with the story line Black Widow had in AoU, and Playboy was her unlikely advocate. After two of her co-stars called Scarlett Johannson's character a slut, the magazine called out Hollywood for their bare minimum representation for women (Via).
"It may seem odd to say that Black Widow’s gender is unusual; she’s a cis, heterosexual woman, with a Hollywood-standard glamorous feminine appearance. But look around the first Avengers film, and you will see that women, no matter how conventionally Hollywood, are in awfully short supply."
"And as the lone superheroine, she becomes, narratively, inevitably, sexualized and available. Fans can write barrels of bytes of fanfic in which Tony Stark and Captain America have torrid sex and more torrid sex with each other, but in the canon, homosexuality is rarely considered a real option. And that leaves Black Widow as the one object of desire for — well, for everyone."
We talked a bit about the Smurfette Principle this summer (often our media will have a cast made up entirely of men with one token woman, implying that men lead multifaceted lives while women rarely get the same opportunity). Because in terms of the story, female characters often don't get characterization, they're too busy being prizes or plot devices.
So way to be Playboy.
Sure, their business is based on selling the sexualization of women. But even they seem to know that's not the only thing women have to offer. Which is why they're getting my Throwback Thursday kudos!