My latest feature for We Got This Covered:
This feature works through every Marvel Cinematic Universe film released so far – from 2008’s Iron Man to 2015’s Ant Man – and discusses the various ways in which each of them erases women (particularly women of colour), and centres men (usually white ones). The result: the highest grossing film franchise of all time, built on misogyny.
Those that benefit from having men at the centre of all things (hint: it’s not women), tend to spout standard responses such as, “It’s not the right time,” or, “It’s a complicated issue.” On the contrary, it’s really very simple, and all boils down to whether or not players are willing to make room on the field. When a studio and its flagship film franchise operates at the level of Marvel, there are two options available. Either it can prop up the status quo, or it can present a new, more realistically representative way of looking at the world. In other words, it can support white-centric patriarchy, or it can challenge it at every turn. Enjoyable though the films may be, with each one of its MCU releases to date, Marvel has chosen the former option, every time. While the reasons for that are unlikely to be any more complex than the unconscious bias of privileged men, the result remains the same – women are erased.