Talked up and left out: How Marvel mistreats its female characters

In its decade-spanning history Marvel has transferred some of its most beloved heroines to the big screen. Those female characters have cultivated a big fan following – countless Black Widows and Scarlett Witches populate comic con, the love for Peggy Carter gave her her own TV show and endless fanarts of Shuri, Nakia and the Dora Milaje circulate the internet. But still female characters inhabit a very weird space in the MCU. This essay looks specifically at the paradoxical way women are placed, used and portrayed in the Marvel movies of the last ten years.

Picture by deannamb on tumblr

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Always save the girl

“Always save the girl” gives a name to the tendency of heroes to prioritise the well-being of their love interest over anyone else, who was put in harm’s way. It goes hand in hand with many other tropes that reduce the agency of female characters and reduce them to functions in the hero’s story, rather then giving them their due.

Now, we are not in the business of creating stories but criticizing those that exist. Still, we mean it when we say that we will always save the girl: save her from creators and a media that devalues her potential.

Still, we do not want to only talk about women in the media. This blog aims to deal with all sorts of issues, serious, but also fun, that have come to our attention as avid fans and media consumers. It’s always going to be feminist. It’s often going to be queer. It’s not always going to be women-centric. We’re excited to have you here and invite you to join us when we set out to #alwayssavethegirl.