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As much as I hate that I’m probably becoming known as a “DC Defense blog”* , I have to put this out there.
You know what’s probably most problematic with people’s claims that WW is sexualize while BW isn’t? The fact they believe it’s not feminist for Diana to wear something that’s revealing, something that shows skin EVEN THOUGH FEMINISM =/= regulating women’s clothes. And that Diana’s comics outfit which is less armored than this is and is designed to be a strapless one piece bathing suit has been what she’s known for for YEARS, DECADES EVEN and not once has that made her any less feminist of a character. Never once had that been deemed as negative because despite what she wore she was an amazon and a hero. That everyone looked up to her even though it could have been assumed she was going to be a Sports Illustrated cover model but NONE OF THAT MAKES HER NOT FEMINIST.
This is an iconic character fitted in a poster designed to make her look like a warrior and then you have BW whom is also iconic but looks like she’s on a photoshoot with this big fans and she’s having fun with it, she looks more like a doll designed to look cute for the male gaze. People need to remember that skin doesn’t mean sexualization, but everything that makes WW and BW different in these two photos SHOW that BW has been sexualized.
Fandom shows selective misogyny and it sickens me because only DC can do wrong, right??
Some things to also remember:
1) Black Widow also made her film debut as a supporting role in a male hero’s movie.
This is the promo shot they used to promote her appearance in said movie:
That is way, way more sexualized than the WW promo shot OR even the Black Widow promo from Cap 2.
And, in fact, it’s generally agreed on (not by everybody, but on the whole most of the fans I’ve seen seem to feel this way) that Natasha was both more sexualized and less well-written in Iron Man 2 than in her subsequent appearances in The Avengers and Cap 2. Marvel’s take on her didn’t start out perfect. That’s okay. It got better.
2) Yes, there’s no Wonder Woman movie confirmed yet. Guess what? There’s no Black Widow movie confirmed, either. Or any female-led superheroine movie from Marvel.
This is especially interesting when you consider that DC is, in many ways, still catching up to Marvel in terms of movies. Black Widow has been part of the MCU since 2010. The MCU has been going strong since 2008, and Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor have all built up successful franchises with multiple movies in that time. Iron Man has already had two sequels! But still no movie with a female heroine as the lead.
By contrast, DC is just starting to build up a shared cinematic universe like Marvel has. Man of Steel was the first movie that’s going to be part of the shared “DC Cinematic Universe” (or whatever you want to call it). That was just one year ago. Dawn of Justice is only going to be the second. If DC manages to get a Wonder Woman solo movie off the ground in the next five years, they’ll still have added a female-led movie to their line-up faster than Marvel did.
In certain ways, actually, DC already looks like they might be doing better than Marvel in terms of representation. The Avengers had one PoC main character - Nick Fury, who isn’t part of the official team. If the latest Dawn of Justice casting rumor about Aquaman is to be believed, the live-action Justice League will have at least two on the actual team (Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Gal Gadot, as an Israeli-born Ashkenazi Jew, does not necessarily qualify as a PoC, though you could debate that.)
I mean, look. Am I nervous as heck about how Dawn of Justice/DC’s cinematic universe in general is gonna turn out? Absolutely. The title “Batman v. Superman” alone makes me nervous. So does the fact that they’re introducing so many new characters in what was originally supposed to be a Superman movie - I’d rather have quality over quantity. And I don’t really trust David Goyer to write Wonder Woman properly.
But we haven’t even seen the movie yet, and DC’s cinematic universe is still in its infancy. Marvel didn’t start out perfect, and in fact Marvel is still far from perfect. So let’s wait and see what DC can bring to the table, alright? We might be pleasantly surprised.
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