I’ve noticed in so many situations female fans will be really pleased with the representation of a female character in a film/tv show/whatever, and then male fans will come along and trash it and go on about how sexist it is.
This really first came to hugely obvious light to me with Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) in last year’s film, The Avengers (although I know it’s happened MANY times before that). Most female fans I’ve seen were really, really pleased with her portrayal. She wasn’t sexualized, she was hella competent, and she had more screentime than some of the headliners. While the Avengers has problems with regards to race and gender representation, Natasha herself is a great feminist character.
But don’t tell that to many male fans. Their concerntrolling consists of going on about how ‘insignificant’ and ‘replaceable’ she is and how she was ‘merely a sex object in the film’. This even extended to actual reviews for the film by men!
It’s gross and untrue, and really it only reflects badly on male fans and their shitty and narrow view of what a female character should be. Did you ever think that you view Natasha that way because that’s what you went into the movie wanting and expecting? You were never willing to view her any other way, because to you women in films like this are ‘sexy’ and ‘replaceable’. Anything else is too much. Anything else is a threat. So you’ll continue to ignore the voices of women who disagree and try to present your misogynist opinions as ‘feminism’.
I also wanted to go on about the male reaction to Brave here, but that turned into another post entirely. Suffice to say, it sucked.
So now I go to the Mako Mori tag and there is more of the same. Mako Mori has the addition of being a woman of color, which makes these male fans even more out of touch than they were with Natasha because they refuse to at all figure that into their oh so intellectual view on her character. That means that in Mako’s case we have both misogyny and racism masquerading as concerntrolling from the dudebro population. Wow, double gross.
Are there female fans who do the above things as well? Hell yes there are. But I can tell you that they aren’t even a small percentage as common. That while you have the occasional fan that behaves terribly toward Natasha because of internalized misogyny or ship reasons, most female fans ended up really liking her. That although there are a few white women here and there whining about Mako, the Pacific Rim fandom on the whole adores her, and I see more love for her on my dash than any other character in the film.
But then we have these white male fans coming in and saying that we’re wrong, that these aren’t great female characters and we (despite being, y’know, women) are the ones that don’t know what we’re talking about. After all, they’re the ones that rule the industry, who are most often marketed to, the ones whose opinions matter in their eyes.
And that’s bullshit, because to be frank your opinions are terrible. And honestly? They should be pretty much irrelevant.