(Avengers AOU spoilers ahoy!)
I have a lot of feelings about the revelation that Natasha is sterile. First thing I’m going to say is that I’m infertile. So this is coming from my perspective, one the vast majority of you cannot imagine. My grief, my loss, my own feeling of being a monster in a mombie world.
Yes, the monster line. Look–Whedon is an asshole in a lot of ways, no doubt. But when that whole speech came out of Natasha’s mouth, I didn’t get outraged. I nearly wept with happiness.
You see, infertile women don’t get representation. Mommies are everywhere in real life and cinema. Barren bitches like me? Not so much. And in real life, women like me are treated like shit. Ha–even by so-called fucking feminists, I’ve been drummed away from “safe” spaces because my medical problems bothered the healthy ladies.
Natasha gave a speech about a lot more than her sterility. She also talked about being an assassin. A murderer for hire. Is that not monstrous? At the time, in the theater, THIS is what I thought she referred to. BUT! Yes, she could have called herself a monster for being infertile. I’ve talked openly about my feelings of being a Frankenstein monster…during IVF, after it failed. Failed Experiment could be my middle name. When the biggest assholes I know get pregnant, I think…I’m a broken piece of shit. And Natasha isn’t even a spy for them anymore! She had her fertility stolen for the sake of…nothing.
I’m allowed to call myself anything I want to in the scope of my grief. Although, mostly, I think the line was clumsily written. Yes, I’m giving the benefit of the doubt because I don’t get characters like me, and I cherish them.
Much has been made of the “out of nowhere” romance with Bruce. Everyone on the Avengers team has had a love at one point or another but for Natasha and Bruce. I didn’t think it odd at all that she might see in him one man who can actually accept all her past horrors AND her infertility. Just this week, on an infertility board I frequent, a woman posted that her husband left her when he discovered she was barren. We all like to think that love is love, but walk a mile in a barren bitch’s shoes, and you’ll find that love is children and DNA to most people. How alone is Natasha? Pretty fucking alone.
So is Bruce. And the fact that he might not want the kids and the picket fence…did you see the look on her face? Because I did. And my heart glowed. I’m lucky–my hubs and I are sticking together through the thick and the monster. Not everyone gets that.
I don’t know who is responsible for Natasha’s sterile storyline. Might not be Whedon. But I’m so fucking grateful. You moms get nearly every over 30 woman on TV with the bump. You get First Ladies, princesses, duchesses, actresses to represent you in glowing washes of sunshine because you bring life. By my count…I get Black Widow.
Black Widow is MINE. And yes, with what she’s been though, even with all the feminist thought in the world, she still might feel like a broken monster, and choose to say so to one of the few who might fucking get it. To one of the few who doesn’t give a shit if she can’t be his brood mare. Do you have any idea what that means to me?
This will probably get shit on to infinity, but you don’t know what I know. You don’t know. You can’t know, and for that, I’m glad.