The Black Widow Controversy

There’s a great piece up at i09 on the controversy surrounding the representation of Black Widow in Age of Ultron — I’m leaving out anything with spoilers (which means I’m leaving out most of the interesting substance), but if you’ve already seen the film, the whole piece is worth reading:

But instead of sitting down at the table of the Internet and discussing these issues like calm, collected folk, the Internet responded as only the Internet knows how: with pile-ons and death threats.

The people who criticized Whedon publicly — which may or may not have spurred Whedon leaving the Internet — are, themselves, getting death threats. It’s a snake eating its own tail.

People have been writing about the many ways that the treatment of Black Widow has sucked, but that’s all going to get lost now. Instead, everyone’s going to talk about the abuse. And about Whedon, personally, instead of the work. But that’s just playing into the Internet’s many ongoing culture wars, and it’s going to ruin everything.

So, it’s time to sit down like big boys and girls at the adult table — and talk about this, without flipping the goddamn thing over.

5 thoughts on “The Black Widow Controversy

  1. It’s a good article in all sorts of ways, but the main complaint, which is a complaint about BW’s backstory, rests on an incomplete account of that backstory. I don’t know how to do this without spoilers… But here goes: The event in the backstory mentioned and criticised is not the only event in the backstory. Indeed it didn’t strike me as at all plausible to take it to be the event in virtue of which BW has ‘red in her ledger’. Another event in the backstory not mentioned in the article, is a far more plausible/obvious candidate. (Granted said event is only depicted and not spoken about afterwards by BW, but isn’t that just because it is not so directly relevant to the convo she was having with the scientist fella/angry green baby?)

  2. Nobody really — I didn’t take the article to be actually saying that the red in her ledger in account of the event criticized — but that the actual red in her ledger would have been a better part of her back story to explore (the red in her ledger actually can’t just be the one event depicted in Age of Ultron, because in the first Avengers movie Loki gives a whole list of contributing factors from her back story that aren’t depicted at all in Age of Ultron–I think the complaint is something more like, why didn’t we learn what we did, rather than more about any of that?).

  3. Aha – rereading it just now and you’re quite right! Don’t know how I misunderstood. Apologies!

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