My Least Favorite Trope (and this post will include spoilers for The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Matrix, Western Civilization, and—cod help me—Bulletproof Monk*.) is the thing where there’s an awesome, smart, wonderful, powerful female character who by all rights ought to be the Chosen One and the hero of the movie, who is tasked with taking care of some generally ineffectual male character who is, for reasons of wish fulfillment, actually the person the film focuses on. She mentors him, she teaches him, and she inevitably becomes his girlfriend… and he gets the job she wanted: he gets to be the Chosen One even though she’s obviously far more qualified. And all he has to do to get it and deserve it is Man Up and Take Responsibility.

And that’s it. Every god-damned time. The mere fact of naming the films above and naming the trope gives away the entire plot and character arc of every single movie.

—  Elizabeth Bear - My Least Favorite Trope

Congratulations, you have an argument against a Black Widow movie. Now let me tell you why that argument doesn’t really work.

Okay, but she wasn’t really well known to the general public before the movies, so it’s probably best to keep her in a supporting role. It’s just too risky otherwise. 

*points to Guardians of the Galaxy*

*also points to Antman, which absolutely no one was clamoring for*

Okay, but she’s too well known now. She’s been in several movies and is very important in the team movies. That’s enough, isn’t it? Give other characters a chance.

*points to three Iron Man movies, soon-to-be three Captain America movies, soon-to-be three Thor movies, and two unsuccessful Hulk movies*

*also points to the fact that in one of those movies an important, character developing scene for her got cut because it “slowed things down” and that will always be considered an acceptable loss until there’s a movie about her and her development specifically*

Okay, but now you’re getting a Captain Marvel movie and a Wonder Woman movie.

*points to twenty million superhero movies starring dudes*

*also points out that lady characters are not interchangeable and that a Black Widow movie would not be the same kind of movie as a Captain Marvel one*

Okay, but she doesn’t have any powers, and that’s not very interesting for a superhero movie.

*points to Batman and his gazillion movies*

*also points to James Bond, Bourne movies, and other popular spy thriller franchises*

Okay, but they follow a strict timeline, so it wouldn’t make sense to do another origin movie for an established character.

*points to her current successful comic run that has nothing to do with her origins but still somehow manages to find interesting stories to tell about her, like, how do they even do it*

Every single Marvel Studios movie has centered around a presumably straight, white, male protagonist, even if white women (mostly love interests) and men of color (support roles) have played roles in the film. The franchise is a box office juggernaut and has a ton of movies on this list, but we’ve gotten two to three movies about each of the men on the Avengers and there’s yet to be a film about Black Widow. Both of Marvel’s ensemble films—The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy—trimmed down the superhero teams for their film adaptations, and the women characters, save for one, were the first to be cut. Most moviegoers will never know that women of color and LGBTQ characters were cut from Guardians of the Galaxy, but audiences will get to relate to the talking raccoon and the talking tree.
Hollywood, It’s Time to Retire the ‘Loveable Misogynist’ Movie Hero
Thanks Max Rockatansky for showing us there can be another way.

I love Mad Max.  The character, that is, and yes I mean the version as portrayed by too-pure-for-this-world precious cinnamon roll Tom Hardy.  This version of Max Rockatansky was a game- changer, a turning point, and it’s not so much because of what he does do in the film (tortured gun-toting loners like Max are common) but what he doesn’t do. And the most important thing Max doesn’t do in Mad Max: Fury Road is be a dick to women.

This is remarkable because Max spends almost his entire movie surrounded by women.  While there is some debate as to who is the protagonist of the piece, Max is the main character as the audience views the story through his lens, the Nick Carraway to Furiosa’s Jay Gatsby.  So in a movie with a male lead, it’s an extreme rarity to see a supporting cast that’s even half female, let alone mostly female.  And the most revolutionary element in Fury Road isn’t necessarily the quantity of female characters (though that is certainly extremely noteworthy, considering the relative paucity in most other movies that aren’t romantic comedies), but that gender doesn’t inform character interaction.  Max doesn’t alter his language or actions when he’s interacting with any of the women.  He doesn’t need to remark on girls doing non-girl things like shooting or punching, he doesn’t need to second guess anyone’s abilities and his ego isn’t bruised when Furiosa is his better at certain skillsets.  Here’s a male lead who isn’t driven by insecurity about his masculinity.

Why is that so rare?

The release of Jurassic World several weeks later, and the subsequent eye-rolling at the dull, played-out Beavis and Butt-head-level way that Chris Pratt’s character treated his female co-lead was placed into even more stark contrast by how people embraced Hardy’s Max.  Loveable wink-wink, nudge-nudge misogyny in your male lead isn’t a problem unto itself.  The problem is sheer volume.  It seems like with tentpoles and franchise properties that aren’t aimed at children, the lovable misogynist is a handy stock character if you want your protagonist to be flawed but relatable.  After all, if the Hollywood bro-club presumes the audience doesn’t respect women, why the hell should your protagonist?

These things seem to come and go in waves, but it’s nothing new.

“Lovable misogyny rarely furthers a narrative or builds interesting characters; it’s just there because it’s normalized.  And, again, this is not an issue of volume, it’s an issue of the pervasiveness for that being the go-to Thing when you want to give your male lead a character arc.  It usually doesn’t add anything (I’m looking at you, Age of Ultron “prima nocta” joke that everyone hated), it’s just set dressing that’s placed there for no reason other than the assumption that the drooling caveman audience will get confused at its absence.  It’s 2015, it’s not weird for women to have jobs and fix cars and punch faces anymore, move on!“

No you know what?? I don’t have any sympathy for guys who feel like they can’t like Ghostbusters because the only male characters were portrayed ‘poorly.’ Because I have sat through and even enjoyed plenty of movies where there were no well-written female characters, or female characters that I loved who were treated badly. 

I loved Guardians of the Galaxy even though Nebula and Gamora were unnecessarily pitted against each other and used more as devices than characters. I enjoyed Fight Club even though the only woman present was someone I would never identify with and who seemingly had very few redeeming qualities. I watched and liked the new Star Trek even when women were objectified and had their officer’s ranks stripped from their uniforms. I liked the Matrix even though I can only even vaguely recall there being a woman in it and I have no idea what role she played besides preparing the main male character for his Important Destiny. I liked the Sandlot even though it was a movie completely made for and about boys, because I found it funny and entertaining. I play dozens of video games written to be stories about men (The original Bioshock, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted) and still loved playing them.

I could go on and on. Women watch and support movies that are male-centered all of the time, because they often don’t have a lot of options and because they find other merits to enjoy about the movies. In fact, note that I explicitly said I LIKED all of these movies, despite their failings when it came to representing women. The difference is apparently that women are able to see men as people with their own stories worth listening to and their own independent merit even if they are a different gender. Clearly, there are a lot of men out there who don’t feel the same about women. The fact that men can’t show up and support a movie where women get to shine because they’re not represented the way they want to be is sexist, childish, self-centered, and disappointing. And you know what? They can afford to be that way, because they have a million movies to turn to that are for them, about them, glorifying them. Women don’t. 

When [Gamora] walked into that prison, there should’ve not been her being protected. She should’ve said what Rorschach said in “The Watchmen,” which was, “I am not in here with you; you people are in here with me.” Then fucking killed everyone.


Though there was a weird line, because [Drax] is super literal, and there’s a laugh line where he calls her a whore, where you’re like, ‘Wait she didn’t turn tricks at all previously in this film.’ So why does he think she might be a whore?


Jackie Kashian, on “Doug Loves Movie” about her only beefs with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

She’s one of us, Tumblr.

Guardians of the Galaxy fanart from today. Felt like drawing Peter listening to some tunes. On another note, man it took me forever to get Chris Pratt’s hair right……Loved this movie! Prob gonna do some more sketches later of my fave moments (hopefully non-spoilery) Enjoy!

GotG belongs to Marvel 

fanart belongs to



During his interview with Empire Magazine, Benedict Cumberbatch explained how hard it was aligning the schedules of all the actors in the MCU for the next Avengers movie. “To get us all together will be quite something. That’s why [my] character is being introduced, to open up the next chapter. So watch this space to see how that unfolds”!