[AGE OF ULTRON SPOILERS] I think we REALLY should talk about the whole “I was sterilized so I’m a monster” moment in Age of Ultron.
And the whole “I’ve been sterilized = I’m a monster” thing was REALLY REALLY gross.
Because, yeah, ok, if you really look at the full context, as an assassin, she was forced into a horrifically invasive procedure against her will because her ability to kill was prioritized over any possibility of her having a future, and that could reasonably make her feel like she was a monster without any problematic aspects. Natasha was treated as a tool, a weapon, and her ability to KILL was placed above anything else- any desire she might have for a life outside of killing. And YES, all of that IS monstrous.
BUT to represent that as “I can’t have kids therefor I’m a monster” has a lot of really…icky feelings attached to if that I’m having a hard time even working through. THE AbILITY TO HAvE CHiLDrEN NOR THE DESIRE TO IS NOT A MEASURE OF YOUR HUMANITY.
A woman’s ability to have children has culturally been linked to her WORTH for centuries. If a woman is rendered infertile- through illness, through injury, through genetic chance, through CHOICE, society sees her as having LOST her value to society. That is DEEPLY sexist and horrible, and to see that view ECHOED here, whatever context surrounds it, is unsettling.
There are other ways to establish that Natasha feels like her past with the KJB has made her a “monster”, that her actions as an assassin, the “Red in her ledger”, as still not redeemed, or indeed, not redeemable.
I dunno. It was a really uncomfortable moment for me in the movie. I really disliked it. On top of the other issues surrounding Natasha’s character in the film (That her entire character arc was romantic in nature, and that she was the member of the team who was kidnapped and needed to be rescued), it just…. :/ Not good.
Did I still enjoy the movie OVERALL? Yes. But this moment was troubling.