This week saw the continued onslaught of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” media coverage, and with it, a little bit of controversy.
The offenders, Chris Evans (Captain America) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), used some unfortunate words, during a press junket, to describe Scarlett Johansson’s character, Black Widow.
Needless to say, many took offense to this strong female character being referred to as a “slut” and “complete whore.”
Before we go any further, it is important to note that neither Evans nor Renner appeared to be trying to be blatantly sexist. They were asked a random, somewhat sexist question during a long day of interviews. It’s an understandable slip up, and the fact that they both apologized speaks volumes.
With that out of the way, this still provides a wonderful opportunity to discuss why they apologized. Plenty will argue that they were talking about a fictional character, what does it matter?
It matters because labels have a way of sticking. By using labels such as “slut” or “whore” you’re taking a strong, powerful woman and sticking her into a box where she is only defined by her sexuality.
The answer, is incredibly simple, but amazingly hard for so many to grasp.
Writing off an insult as “unimportant,” for whatever reason, gives leeway to those who would intentionally like to keep women in their stereotype-defined boxes. So, yes Natasha Romanova (aka Black Widow) may not be an actual person, but what she represents is as real as any woman. She is strong, independent, and complex, and can’t be defined by one aspect of her humanity.
More on the Story: Washington Post
…just for fun: