I came across this HuffPo tweet today. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/07/mark-ruffalo-joss-whedon-feminism_n_7231636.html?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067 I have to admit that I have not seen Age of Ultron yet, so I can’t comment on the actual depiction of the Black Widow character in particular. It’s really beside the point of this post, anyway.
After reading the article, I began to wonder how many women actually create and direct female roles. My hunch was that maybe if more female characters were created by females there’d be fewer complaints about how female characters are depicted. I’m not a screen writer, or a director. I’m just a character-driven fiction writer who, at times wrestles with trying to figure out how a character of the opposite sex would react in a given situation.
Feminists, don’t hate me, but here’s the reality. Men and women are different because of our biology and our shared culture. Being different from men doesn’t make women inferior, though. In fact, it can be empowering. This scares some men, which is part of the problem. I think it’s this fear that drives men and women to do terrible things. Men that I know don’t call me a bitch anymore because I am a bitch. I embrace it and am free to exercise my bitch potential anytime I see fit. What are you gonna do about it? Is calling me a name all you have? How about stop being afraid and hear me? I don’t think you’re an asshole, yet. Women ought not be so quick with their epithets, either.
Men, when you appreciate feminism, it means you’re getting it, or at least trying to. My hat’s off to you with all due respect! Thank you, but your understanding is limited because you’re men. Now wait. Don’t hate me, fellas. I love you guys, and I appreciate your struggles as you do mine. I try to empathize, and even sympathize with you. I think I do a decent job of it, but I don’t know what it’s like to be you any more than you know what it’s like to be me, but I love the challenge of it, don’t you?
My hunch proved to be correct. There aren’t enough women involved in the creative process in the film industry. http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/01/13/study-93-percent-of-top-films-in-2014-lacked-a-female-director
We need more women writing, directing, and taking on other leadership roles. To me, this is the only authentic way to bring realistic female perspectives to the table. Men who are courageous enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with women and women who are equally courageous to stand with men should be commended (and rewarded equally) no matter what kind of work they do. Let’s not vilify each other for our attempts at understanding, even if they aren’t up to snuff. Everyone flops once in a while, no matter their gender.
How about we all get over ourselves, muster some courage, stop the nonsense, celebrate and explore our differences, and make them work for us to create awesome stories? Sounds pretty cool to me. I know it’s possible. I do it every day that I work with Thad David on The Zombie Company Crusade Series. It’s not difficult. It starts with respect…from both genders.