April 17, 2014

The Avengers: Scarlett Johansson and female lead characters

HollywoodNews.com: I wasn’t going to write about The Avengers again for awhile (other than box office) both because I didn’t have much more to offer and because I didn’t want this blog to turn into ‘all Avengers all the time’. But I would like to take a moment to single-out a specific element that the film does quite well. There has been much hand-wringing this week about whether or not The Avengers (and specifically its two major female characters) qualifies as ‘feminist’.

Pundits are understandably upset about the lack of more female lead characters, and the fact that the film fails the Bechdel Test. Merely presenting a couple strong female characters doesn’t automatically make your product feminist in nature nor does creating a sausage-fest with a token love interest make your film inherently misogynistic, although the latter does make me roll my eyes a bit more often than not. But the way Joss Whedon and company present their female superheros merits acknowledgment primarily because of what they don’t do. In short, they don’t draw one damn bit of attention to it.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

Photo Courtesy Marvel/Disney

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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One Comment

  • Robin
    May 12, 2012 | Permalink |

    The actress herself might be a feminist, but there’s nothing feminist about casting the beautiful, thin and young. Most women are not all of those things. A feminist film portrays the complex nature of physically ordinary women. You pretty much have to go abroad if that’s what you’re looking for.

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