Yes, I put the @ and # into the title on purpose, because when this gets posted on Twitter, I want people to see it. Discuss, troll, don’t care. Oh, and SPOILERS.
I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy on opening day. The trailers looked amazing, hilarious, and well done, so I wanted to see the film as soon as I could. Most of it I loved. What I didn’t love was a sliver….but that sliver is poisonous, it’s been getting bigger, and I’m furious that such a pernicious poison found its way into what should be simply a big, fun, movie.
It started with Peter Quill admitting he forgot not only the name, but the existence, of the lady-alien in his spaceship while he was off adventuring. Charming, handsome, Indiana-Jones-like hero…who takes after Indy in conquests too. I watched through my 3-D glasses, sighed inwardly, thought “Really?”, and decided to let it pass.
And then, near the end, Drax calls his new friend Gamora whore.
Drax is one of the heroes. We’re meant to like him. He’s been desperately, furiously missing his wife and daughter the whole story. This woman Gamora, his now friend, has proven capable of caving his head in. But when begrudgingly admitting his affection for her, the best he can come up with is the fallback sexual epithet.
In a movie for which 50% of the audience is women, and which Marvel intends for kids to see. Nice job.
So. Am I woman who’s taking this out of context, or just can’t take a joke?
When I was in junior high – 12 to 14 years old – I was a major target for abuse by the boys in my classes. Their favourite things to call me were “slut” and “whore”. It was clear that they had no clue what these words meant – only that they were nasty things one said specifically to girls. I, however, READ BOOKS, so I DID know what those words meant. And knowing that I WAS NOT what they were calling me, but also knowing that telling my teachers never stopped the names, I was forced to put up with it until I finished school.
During Guardians, once that word was said, its sliver was implanted. I did enjoy the rest of the movie…but I kept asking, “why that? why THAT?” And I’m still asking…of the screenwriters, the producers, “why did you let that happen?”
That word – and the fact that charming, funny, amazing Star-Lord is also (still) the kind of hero who’s blasé about at least seeing off home the girl he picked up for a good time… tells me that this movie was ultimately made by guys who simply don’t think what a girl would think about these things.
So: Marvel. I paid to see The Avengers in the cinema, twice. Same for Thor: The Dark World. I also own both of them. I won’t go see Guardians of the Galaxy again, and I won’t buy it. I’m going to remember the brilliant parts, and edit out THAT WORD, and THAT ATTITUDE, in my head.