Those Marvelous Marvel Women

When The Avengers: Age of Ultron came out, we ran a post called “A Romance Reader’s Guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” In that post, we talked about why we adore the men of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Now that Ant-Man is almost here, with Evangeline Lilly punching Paul Rudd in the face, let’s talk about the women of the MCU!

Although the MCU has yet to give a female character a solo movie (Captain Marvel doesn’t come out until 2018), the MCU is full of fantastic female characters. Interestingly, I found that they were much harder to put in categories than the guys – they might start in certain categories (Action Chick, Career Woman, Science Geek) but they are too complex to stay in their tidy boxes, and there’s too many of them to talk about them all in detail. So this is a meditation on the women in the MCU in general, with some specific examples as highlights.

There’s a whole other box to unpack, which is full of stuff like how Marvel as a company treats its female characters as opposed to how Marvel writers and directors treat them, and how the women are discussed in the media, but that’s a box full of giant hideous hairy fanged spiders so, no. Short answer – within the movies and shows we’re given, the writers, directors, and actors seem to put a lot of effort into giving women agency and identity beyond being “The Girlfriend.” Within the company and in the media, hey, guess what, sexism is totally still a thing. Any discussion of the MCU women takes place in a context of scarcity – something that was brought into sharp relief by the release of Mad Max Fury Road, which transformed the conversation about female roles simply by having multiple female leads and giving all of them something to do, as opposed to the MCU model of having one major female character per movie and a couple of female supporting roles.

 

Black Widow sprays a dude in the face, because that's how we handle misogyny around here

 

The MCU (which includes movies and television shows) features several female action heroes including Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), Agent Peggy Carter, Lady Sif, Agent Melinda May, Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird), Gamora, and Maria Hill (for starters). Even though they can all be described as “Action Heroes”, they are all very different people. The easy banter of Mockingbird and the military correctness of Maria Hill could never be confused with Natasha’s ferocious survival instinct or Gamora’s somewhat crazed assassin persona. Many have redemption arcs, as do many of the male heroes, but not all of them (I’m secretly hoping to discover that Sharon Carter of Winter Soldier has no angst whatsoever and just likes kicking ass).

 

Sharon says, Do I really need to kick your ass again?

 

Then we have science geek Jane Foster (Thor), science geek Simmons on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and hyper-competent CEO Pepper Potts (Iron Man), as well as an under-used science geek in Ultron, Helen Cho. Sometimes the characters get to move outside of their comfort zones in ways that reveal their complexity. For instance, In Iron Man 3 Pepper got to be a truly terrifying action heroine for about five minutes (after which she said, “Oh, my God. That was violent.”) In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Simmons has a sweet personality and as such people around her constantly forget that she’s also got some serious experience as an undercover agent and can lie her head off if she has to. Pair that with a recent ruthless streak and she’s completely unpredictable even before something extremely startling happened to her in the Season Two Finale.

The only woman to date to have her own TV show is the wonderful Peggy Carter, star of Agent Carter. Peggy first appeared in Captain America, where she could easily have just been Steve’s love interest. However, Peggy was a clearly defined character in her own right, someone who had goals and dreams beyond her relationship with Steve. She ended up with her own TV show, Agent Carter, in which she tackled sexism in and out of the workforce while solving a conspiracy. The series had a great supporting cast of women but to tell you much about them would be to spoil the reveals. We at Smart Bitches were crazy about the show and we are ecstatic that it’s getting a second season. You can read our recap and review of the pilot here. We loved Peggy’s well-rounded character, her total lack of fucks to give, her persistence, and her ability to improvise weapons from office supplies. I’ll never look at a stapler in the same way again.

 

 

Of The Avengers, the heavy-hitter is Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow. Natasha was raised in a spy training program in Russia. She has a dark and troubled past. Natasha showed up in Iron Man 2 but she was basically kick-ass eye candy in that movie. It wasn’t until Joss Whedon included her in The Avengers that she totally stole the show.

Natasha has “a very specific skill set” which includes combat skills and interrogation skills (in the sense that she outwits everyone she talks to, causing them to spill all their secrets without even noticing that they just did so). As someone who is super-trained and super-skilled, but not super-powered, she brings a human and vulnerable element to the group without being regulated to being “the chick.”

Here she is in the opening of The Avengers. Initially it looks like we are seeing a pretty gross, distressing scene of a woman in peril being menaced by men. Watch her flip the entire script at 2:05. It’s not that she flips it in terms of beating everyone up – we expect that. It’s the fact that all along she’s been in a completely different scene than we thought we was in!

 

 

In Age of Ultron, Natasha reveals that as part of her training program, which included brainwashing and various kinds of abuse, she was forcibly sterilized. She refers to herself as a “monster” following becoming a trained assassin. Many people interpret this scene as Natasha saying that she’s a monster because she’s infertile. In my opinion, that’s a huge misinterpretation of the scene. Moreover, the scene as a whole is a searing indictment of the “a woman who is infertile is not a woman and doesn’t deserve love” trope.

The important thing about the scene is that Natasha is not the only Avenger who feels that her choices and ability to have a family have been taken from her – Steve, Thor, and Tony both express a longing for home and family and a sense that they will never be able to have it in this movie or (in Thor’s case) previous films. Natasha only brings up the sterilization because Bruce (The Hulk) claims that he can’t give Natasha a happy life because a) he’s done horrible things and is therefore a monster and b) can’t father children and therefore can’t make a woman happy. Natasha’s response is to point out that a) she can’t have children either and b) both Bruce and Natasha were turned into killers against their will (we can say this about Natasha because her training began when she was a very young child and not capable of adult consent) and choices about their lives were taken from them.

While Bruce’s response is to decide that he therefore can’t and shouldn’t be happy, Natasha’s response is to mourn the loss, take responsibility for her many misdeeds (the “red in her ledger” described in The Avengers) and move the fuck on. Why should her abusers have the last say? Why should Bruce’s? Hell, yes, she thinks she deserves happiness. Additionally, the implication from how the scene is edited is that her monstrousness stems not from her infertility but from the many atrocities she committed in her past, and the forced sterilization highlights her lack of choice and power in accepting the role of assassin.

Natasha is not unique in her mourning her inability to bear children – while Tony doesn’t mention children specifically, he’s desperate to stop Avenging and have a regular life, and Steve and Bruce explicitily address the grief and dislocation they feel because they are unable to have a family life. In Bruce’s case, his inability to have children is just as biological as Natasha’s and it causes him just as much grief (and, again, he’s the one who initiates the conversation with Natasha by citing his own inability to have children as a reason that they shouldn’t be together, to which Natasha basically says, “Fuck that shit.”). Natasha is unique in her determination to build family (Auntie Nat!) and claim happiness on her own terms, while the guys are sunk in angst.

Pepper Potts is a completely different character – she’s a terrible, terrible liar, and she hates violence (because it’s stressful, not because of moral issues), and she has no combat skills whatsoever (a few glorious minutes in Iron Man 3 aside). Her strength as a character comes not from her combat abilities but from her brains, her competence, and her ability to hold her own (more or less) against Tony, who steamrolls right over everyone else around him. I wrote a lot about Pepper in this review of Iron Man 3.

In the video below, she might seem a bit wussy (I love the way her voice scales up when she says, “There’s pus!!!”) but I can honestly say that if my boss asked me to perform open heart surgery on him in the course of my office day I’d panic too. Right after this video cuts out, she tells him, “Don’t ever, ever, ever ask me to do anything like that, ever again,” to which he replies, “I don’t have anyone but you.” Awwwww.

 

 

Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy is an outlier at this point because the GoG isn’t closely tied to the rest of the MCU yet. She’s a rogue assassin with Daddy Issues and a lethal case of sibling rivalry with her sister, Nebula, of whom we didn’t see nearly enough. While Natasha is careful to suppress as much emotion as possible, Gamora is a rage machine who stalks around like a mobile grenade with the pin pulled out. Like Peggy Carter, Gamora has to fight for respect among her own sexist allies, and she resists being seduced by Quill. She gives us the epic line, “I am not some starry-eyed waif here to succumb to your pelvic sourcery!” While Peter Quill is the nominal hero of the movie, Gamora is the one who figures out how to stop the bad guy (see this great article in Slate: “Zoe Saldana is the Real Hero in The Guardians of the Galaxy.”

 

Gamora, looking pissy, under arrest

 

Incidentally, this thing where the alleged hero isn’t really the hero comes up in MCU movies a lot. The guy is the star, the guy gets the big speeches and “saves the day”, but if you pay attention you realize that women are driving the plot and frequently are the ones who actually do the day-saving. Pepper Potts isn’t much of an action girl but strictly speaking, out of three movies, she’s the one who actually kills two of the main bad guys while Tony flies around looking impressive. Agent May plays a completely different role in the forming of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. than Coulson thinks she does, and the cute nurse who lives next door to Steve in Winter Soldier has a much bigger role to play than doing laundry and flirting.

 

Agent May, rolling her eyes like a boss
Agent May, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., queen of the eye-roll.

 

The newcomer to the MCU is Scarlet Witch. The casting of Scarlet Witch was controversial because in the comics she’s half Jewish and half Romany, and actress Elizabeth Olsen is an American blonde. I don’t know enough about either the comics character or the Romany people to comment on this too much, but MCU Scarlet Witch is depicted as an Eastern European brunette.  While whitewashing remains a concern and I don’t wish to under-emphasize it, at least they did keep some idea that she is motivated to do the things she does because of a cultural history of conflict and oppression. This is tied to the idea that Tony Stark is complicit in her suffering, which works thematically with the movie even though it’s a huge divergence from her comic book origin.

Frankly, since she’s retconned out of her comics persona almost beyond recognition (unlike her comic book counterpart, MCU Scarlet Witch is not Magento’s kid, she’s not specifically stated to be Romany or Jewish, and oh yeah – she’s not a mutant) I don’t see why the movies didn’t save themselves a lot of trouble by calling her “Crimson Sorceress” or something. Whatever, she’s awesome and we love her and her wacky rave hand dance powers.

 

Scarlet Witch shooting, I dunno - magic lasers from her hands.

 

Scarlet Witch is the baby of the group and she has a redemption arc as well as a healing from trauma arc.  Her prejudices cause her to make mistakes – she is unable to see that Tony has changed from the arms dealer he once was.  But she’s also perceptive: she can see that in some ways Tony really IS the arms dealer he once was, in the sense that he will do whatever he thinks he has to do and he gets obsessed with projects and ideas.  She’s powerful psychologically and mentally, too. By the end of the movie she can play with people’s minds in ways that leave them catatonic and throw robot drones around like rubber balls.  It will be interesting to see her grow up in subsequent movies.

One of the things the MCU does well is allude to the fact that these women have friendships and alliances with each other.  Even when we don’t see much interaction between the women on screen, there are hints of them having relationships offscreen, like when Maria Hill talks to Pepper on the phone at the beginning of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or when she makes a reference to being friends with Agent May in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  In Iron Man 2, Tony clearly thinks that Pepper and “Natalie” (Natasha’s undercover identity in Iron Man 2) are going to fight over him, but they are actually great working partners who get along just fine.  A major theme in Agent Carter is the importance of friendships between women.   There are tons of relationships between women in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., my personal favorite being Bobbie and Izzy who I ship so hard after Bobbi, in a flashback, tells Izzy, “You know I love your whole thing, right?”   Women in the MCU often try to kill each other or engage in subterfuge for political reasons, but they don’t have the kinds of stereotypical catfights that Hollywood so loves to indulge in.

 

Pepper and Nat being ADORABLE in the office together
PEPPER AND NAT. I SHIP IT TOO.

Another nice touch is that all the women who engage in physical combat have distinct fighting styles that are consistent with their characters and histories. Peggy is Army trained so she’s a brawler, and she almost always grabs something to use as a weapon to give her an advantage against heavier opponents. Natasha is from the Black Widow training program, so she knows fancy martial arts with a lot of kicks and flips, but she’s also all about survival so she’s not above biting a guy during a fight. Mockingbird (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) has a great fight in which she’s teamed up with her ex-husband.  As they fight an onslaught of bad guys, they have a conversation in which their words say one thing (they don’t trust each other and can’t communicate) but their actions say the opposite thing (they work seamlessly as a fighting team and save each other’s lives repeatedly).

 

epic fight from S.H.I.E.L.D.
The couple that kicks ass together stays together.

 

Since I started writing this post, the Internet basically blew up – apparently a lot of people have THOUGHTS. Some people think Ultron is sexist, and it’s undeniable that Natasha’s speech about having been sterilized struck a major nerve in viewers. But I think that some of these arguments ignore the fears that the male characters express about their physical and emotional inability to have children.

A fantastic article by Linda Holmes at NPR points out that no Black Widow storyline can be completely satisfactory, because as the once main female character she has to somehow represent all women.  As Holmes says,

These, for me, are scarcity problems.

To be honest, I can’t think of another Avenger whose story Natasha could have swapped with who wouldn’t, in some way, raise questions of whether the story was influenced by gender stereotypes. If she had Tony’s story, she’d be the one who messed up and wouldn’t listen, who created the need for a rescue. If she had Cap’s story, she’d be the one who tries to keep everyone from being vulgar – the behavior cop. If she had the Hulk’s story, she’d be the one whose superpower is being carried away by her uncontrollable emotions. If she had Thor’s story, she’d be the one who doesn’t have very much to do and is omitted from a large stretch of the movie. If she had Hawkeye’s story, she’d be the one who just wanted to go home and be with the kids.

Some people think Marvel should have more merchandising around their female characters (YES THEY SHOULD).

And as for Jeremy Renner…. Honey, for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE STOP TALKING.

Peggy Carter says, NEVER SPEAK AGAIN

 

With Ant-Man, I fully expect the Internet to explode again. Originally, in the comics, Janet Van Dyne was The Wasp, and she was a founding member of the Avengers. In the movie Ant-Man, Janet Van Dyne does not appear but Evangeline Lilly plays her daughter, Hope, who deliberately takes her mother’s last name (Van Dyne) as opposed to her father’s (Pym) because she is estranged from him. We don’t know a lot about Hope’s role except that she has a significant part in the heist (it’s a superhero/heist movie) and she’s morally ambiguous. Whatever happens, I’m pretty darn sure the Internet will have something to say about it.

Here’s my personal take away: the MCU is deeply flawed in representing women and people of color (and, infuriatingly, LGBTQIA characters don’t seem to exist at all).  However, I feel that with every film things get a little bit better.  I wasn’t crazy about the Natasha/Bruce romance but I found Natasha’s resilience and determination to make choices about her life to be inspiring, not oppressive.  I’m thrilled that the new Avengers line up is two women, one white guy, a purple robot, and two men of color, although frankly the movies are so stuffed that I can’t imagine what the new Avengers will be doing.

I’ve referred several times in this essay to Mad Max: Fury Road, which, to be clear, is NOT part of the MCU. It came out considerably after I had written my first draft of this essay, and it revolutionized what’s possible for women in action film simply by having more than one significant female character in the movie and by giving them all distinct personalities and a lot to do on a non-sexual level. So far, Marvel has been progressive within a conservative model – by which I mean they have stuck to male-led, male-dominated movies, but within that framework they’ve given women significant roles, fully realized personalities, realistic combat abilities (“realistic” given the unrealistic framework of the genre), and friendships with other women. My dream is for Marvel to take the next step – not to erase their male characters, who I adore, but to build a universe in which women are just as much center stage, and in which a variety of narratives are discussed.

Above all, I’m thrilled with the MCU actresses, who always uplift their material.  When Peggy Carter says, “I know my value,” she might as well be speaking for all the MCU women. It would be very easy for the MCU women to fall completely into “the girlfriend” or “the chick” role, particularly in the films. It’s largely the actresses who bring a level of humanity and personality to their characters above and beyond that of a sexy lamp (The Sexy Lamp Test was invented by Kelly Sue DeConnick and says, “If you can take out a female character and replace her with a sexy lamp, YOU’RE A FUCKING HACK.”). You can’t replace any of these characters with any other character. It’s unthinkable. The characters, as brought to life by their actresses, are under-served people, but they are people nonetheless.

Peggy: I know my value. Anyone else's opinion doesn't really matter. Peggy knows her value.  As do we, Peggy.  As do we.

 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Cecilia Tan says:

    I am so far behind on all consumption of MCU properties: this reminds me why I want to catch up!

  2. 2
    Ellen says:

    I know my problem with Natasha calling herself a moster for being infertile, was not that she was infertile, or even that she felt that way, but that she was a monster for something she had no control over.
    The movie makes it pretty clear she tries to avoid her graduation ceremony, to the point where she risks her life by pretending to suck at assassin-ing.
    She had no agency and didn’t choose what made her a “monster”. If she’d chosen it and then regretted it, it would still be iffy because it’s a little close to saying infertility or not wanting a baby made you bad. But it would seem like something that I could understand her misplaced guilt over.

  3. 3
    Tina C. says:

    Many people interpret this scene as Natasha saying that she’s a monster because she’s infertile. In my opinion, that’s a huge misinterpretation of the scene.

    I felt exactly the same way. She mentioned the infertility in response to Bruce’s use of it as an excuse/explanation. She always meant that she was a monster because of what she’d done after she’d been turned into an assassin as a child. I also agree that, in the end, he looked like Giant-Emo-Boy, running away from friends, family and home, while she did what she always does – mourned and then got on with the business of life.

  4. 4
    Lostshadows says:

    Idk, I think Black Widow plays a more major role in IM2. She’s not a main character, but she seems to be up to quite a bit before she starts ass kicking. (Mostly egging Tony on.)

    The MCU seems to be avoiding “mutant” as a label, but it does seem strange that only those two survived the experiment. (They definitly seem to have mutants, so it might be a rights thing.)

  5. 5
    SandyH says:

    Great commentary and thought provoking. I really enjoyed it.

  6. 6
    Crystal says:

    MCU can’t say “mutant” because back when Marvel was the next best thing to bankrupt, they sold the rights to X-Men and the Fantastic Four to Fox. So even though various X-Men have also been Avengers at one point or another (and/or teamed up, and/or fought each other), you won’t be seeing them, because X-Men is a huge cash cow for Fox and they are NOT giving it up anytime soon. Which is too bad, because some of the X-Men are amazing females (Jean Grey, Rogue, Mystique, Emma Frost, Kitty Pryde, Storm).

    I like many of the points made in this article. I had the same read of Natasha’s “I’m a monster” speech. And in a way, I don’t mind having her feel guilty about something she couldn’t control. That’s a highly common feeling, and very prevalent in people that have survived abuse or assault. It’s pointless to pretend that that isn’t a possible reaction, even in someone with a tendency toward ruthless competence. What’s important is that she isn’t ruled by it, and Bruce is.

    God, I loved Agent Carter. I did a happy dance around the house when it got a second season. I’m also a huge fan of Agents of SHIELD. I love May, although her backstory hurts the hell out of my heart. I also have become fond of Skye (who I understand will be going by Daisy from this point in), which is impressive, because I don’t think they had a good idea of what to do with her at the beginning.

  7. 7
    marjorie says:

    Great piece!

    Don’t forget Daredevil’s women — super-competent, kind and medically badass Claire who chooses not to have a relationship with Matt because he’s fucked up even though he’s hot and they have great chemistry; Karen who becomes an investigator and brave through sheer force of will; and the DELISHUS Vanessa who gradually discovers just how much she enjoys evil. Season #2 brings the asskickery of Elektra (and I love that they cast an Asian-French actress as a Greek character, the opposite of the usual whitewashing).

    I love watching Agent Carter with my daughters. GOOD ROLE MODEL and good “in” for discussing sexism in the past and today.

    I had major issues with the “I’m a monster” speech, but since you and other commenters have summed them up, I won’t go there now.

  8. 8
    c says:

    a GREAT essay! Thank you! 🙂

  9. 9
    Lauren says:

    Great article! But I think that you can’t have a complete discussion of superhero-y women in film and TV without also including Orphan Black (and the amazing Tatiana Maslany) in the conversation. This is especially the case when discussing Black Widow, since OB’s Helena has a similar background but the show takes her in a different (and very interesting) direction than Marvel moves Black Widow. If you haven’t watched it, you should binge watch the first three seasons immediately.

  10. 10
    Carrie S says:

    Lauren, we gave Orphan Black it’s very own post. Here you go! http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/reviews/raving-orphan-black-fan/

  11. 11
    jw says:

    I really like a lot of the points this piece brings up, but my problem with the Marvel women has always been that they are whiter than an SLP runway show and it’s always disheartening that it’s rarely talked about.

    Agents of Shield is the outlier here but it’s television and Chloe Bennet has said that part of the reason the show is diverse is because the producers are diverse. (I’m not going to count Zoe Saldana as Gamora simply because she is an alien in that movie.) Very few minority women are cast into leading romantic roles in popular cinema and often roles for minority women (Helloooo 21) are white washed. It’s a problem because big action movies do inform our culture and how we see people. (It’s why there is a “black is beautiful” movement right now because our culture only teaches us that white is beautiful and the rest is your weird exotic fetish.)

  12. 12
    Lauren says:

    Oooh – thanks! So much more fun than being productive at work. 🙂

  13. 13
    marjorie says:

    jw, I’m telling you, DAREDEVIL! Both first and next season feature central female characters/badasses/prospective love interests for Matt (who really can’t have a relationship what with his nighttime ass-kicking and incessant bleeding) who are white in the comics played by women of color on TV (Rosario Dawson in S1, Elodie Yung in S2, respectively. I joked on the Twitter that I was excited for the white-boy outcry about REALISM and BEING FAITHFUL TO THE COMICS in response to the casting of an Asian-French actress as a Greek-American character: Yeah, in the comics she also gets resurrected by a mystical ninja sect, so why aren’t you whining THEY SHOULD HAVE CAST A ZOMBIE?

    (Bonus: In smaller DD roles, character of crusading journalist is white in the comics, Black in the show. White beat cop in the comics who helps Murdock and Foggy is played by Black actor in show — tho they kept his character’s name Mahoney. First season also had elderly Chinese lady bad guy and elderly Latina good guy, And fwiw the baddie’s art-dealer girlfriend was played by an Israeli actress — and daughter of a Holocaust survivor — who didn’t even attempt an American accent.)

  14. 14
    LovelloftheWolves says:

    Even outside of the MCU they’re making tiny steps forward. Ms. Marvel (though a bit on the nose at times) is very good, Squirrel Girl is kicking butt in comic sales, Spidergwen’s vol 1 is sold out all over my city (augh I waited for the volume for it to sell out in a day???) (Plus I still cant find volume one of Captain Marvel, its so popular).

    But as JW points out, despite having interesting women characters, there’s very little in terms of women of color and other representations outside of Straight White Female.

    However, I’m still a optimistic. I think things are going somewhere, however slowly.

  15. 15
    Sel says:

    Yes, Marvel has issues. They’re making small changes which should have been made twenty years ago, and they should now be making much larger, significant ones (will probably take another decade) – such as having more movies about characters who don’t present as white heternormative guys.

    On the other hand, they are giving quite a bit of wiggle room to those who want to see more than just damsels who flail and kickass chicks who don’t feel nothing.

    They’re not up to Mad Max level yet, and they’ve got a long way to go (and a few actors to duct-tape quiet – *cough*RennerFFS*cough*) but so long as they don’t stop at the baby steps, at least they’re moving.

    Hell, it’s more than Michael Bay managed.

  16. 16
    marjorie says:

    Ahahaha, Sel!

    This profile of Paul Rudd talks about his knack for “inclusive tomfoolery” — his nice rapport with the crew and how menschy he is with them. “Twenty feet away, a different Avenger hammily belted show tunes into a personal fan while some crew members pretended to laugh. Noninclusive.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/magazine/how-does-paul-rudd-work.html

    You KNOW the other Avenger is Renner.

  17. 17
    Tash says:

    Thank you for writing this article! You make a fair assessment of the positive and negative points in the Marvel universe. It also doesn’t help that the source material is very white and male. I went to a panel with Stan Lee, who created some of these characters, and they were developed in a different time. He is working hard, through his own company, to create new POC characters. He knew even back then how big of a deal with it was to make Black Panther. However, dealing with women, they could put in that extra effort.

    And about Natasha– this is how I interpreted the scene and it makes me upset that people didn’t get that. As someone who is dealing with infertility and adopting my first child, this touched a cord with me. Even though you have no control, there are so many emotions that come with it. I feel that people weren’t sensitive to that and were angry that she was reduced to wanting a family. Like you said, she wasn’t the only character and she was relating to Bruce’s situation. I finally shook my head, too, knowing that people won’t be happy with Natasha since she is our only female hero on the screen. There is so much pressure on that, and it sucks. I love her character, and admire her. That scene brought me to tears because I related so much to it. I wish I could tell Joss Whedon, that despite all the hate, that he did something good.

    Keep up the smart writing!

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