superhero male

I feel like one of the most ironically sexist things that happened to women heroes for so long was that they had universal storytelling taken away from them. So, male superheroes could have Lois Lane. They can have love, they can have vulnerability, they can have complexity. But women superheroes or strong women characters had to be, ‘I don’t need anyone, I’m the toughest person in the world.’ That’s not fair to anybody. No human being is an island like that.
—  Patty Jenkins, on including Steve Trevor in a Wonder Woman film

So I watched Power Rangers last night.
And yeah, it was good and nerdy and full of little references and nods, but you know what I really loved?
I got to see an autistic superhero.
Not just a character I could headcanon as autistic, no, I got a superhero who looks people dead in the eyes and says “I’m on the spectrum”.
I got a superhero who info dumps, stims, and has special interests.
I got to see a superhero ask someone to stop touching them, not laugh at that epic joke.
I got to see a little bit of myself.
And true, it could have been better.
We could have gotten better writing, better representation but I got to see an autistic superhero. I got to see a black, male, autistic superhero, and that’s something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.
I don’t know if other people will realize how important this is, but his autism wasn’t the butt of a joke.
It wasn’t some feel-good moment about overcoming his “disability”. He wasn’t there to be comic relief or anything else.
He is a superhero. With autism.
I just sat and stared at a screen the size of my house, with hundreds of other people, and got to see myself, my community displayed in a positive way in mainstream, really epic media.
A superhero. With autism.

My favorite thing about Chris Pine is that he’s so unabashedly THRILLED about everything with Wonder Woman. Female lead? Nice. Female director?? Awesome. Girl power and switching the typical male superhero narrative of acting out of revenge to a motive of compassion and love? LOVE IT. I get to play the non-powered boyfriend of the main girl superhero? LET’S GOOO. Like, he’s so thrilled to be a part of this and he recognizes the importance of it and I LOVE IT

Dude on Facebook: Electra and Catwomen say “whats up”

Me: Do they? Green Lantern, Fantastic Four (ALL OF THEM), Batman vs Superman, Suicide Squad, Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, Daredevil, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: The Last Stand, most of the various Spider-Man films, Superman 3, Superman 4, Captain America (1990), X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine, Jonah Hex, Hulk, The Green Hornet, GI Joe, GI Joe 2, GI Joe refuses to fucking go away, The Shadow, Blade Trinity, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Spawn, The Phantom, RIPD, Judge Dredd, every goddamn Transformers film light them on fire, Iron Man 3, The Spirit, fucking Watchmen I apologize for reminding people that pile of garbage exists, Man of Steel, and more that I’m probably forgetting completely drown them out in a symphony of shit.

Also, it’s Elektra.

Mediocrity is the true metric of equality.


I recently came across a discussion on Tony Stark as a queer-coded character in the comics (which I’m not going to link to because many of the threads were already deleted, ergo I’m assuming that the participants didn’t want the conversation to be spread), and I found it very interesting. For years I have read Tony Stark as subtextually bisexual in the comics, which hasn’t really translated to the films – at least not to the extent that the character of Captain America has been coded as bisexual in them. There has always been a borderline homoerotic relationship between Tony and his armor especially. But adjacent to this conversation, there was also an interesting thread in which Tony Stark as the most female-coded superhero was discussed that I found fascinating.

Someone commented on the concept stating that while it may be true for the comics, movie-verse Tony Stark is certainly not female-coded.

But isn’t he, though?

We’ve discussed before how hypermasculinity sometimes seems to go so over-the-top that it does a full 360, coming out the other side seeming rather feminized, the hypermasculine male presented as a sexual object with assets on display (slim waist, thick thighs, full chest) for the consumption of the male gaze. But that’s not the case with Tony Stark; it isn’t his hypermasculinity that makes him seem female-coded, it’s the question of agency.

Tony does seem to possess many traits that we consider culturally feminine, female cliches, such as talking a lot and talking fast, using a rich vocabulary, a short and petite stature as compared to other superheroes, the narrative passing jugement on his promiscuity, the narrative passing judgement on his desire for junk-food, his passive demeanor, his self-consciousness about his body and having to wear underarmor in public to manage his chest, his avoidance of interpersonal conflict, looking for daddy’s love and approval, the way in which he conceals much of his intelligence because he knows that if people saw him for how he really is, they would be off-put by it ie. giving the appearance of being smart-but-not-too-smart, the eroticizing of his appearance in the narrative, the focus on what he’s wearing, his obsessive-compulsive behavior, meticulous grooming habits, delicate features, dressing to impress professionally, carrying conversations, his weakness being his heart, the fact that he has to dress into a suit that conceals his identity, his true self, to interact with the world, a hard outer shell that conceals his soft inside. There are aspects to Tony Stark in the films that are female-coded.

I think that some people might find these aspects difficult to see because there are three distinct personas to the character: there’s the Tony Stark that he projects to the outside world to hide who he really is that is his true armor, there’s Iron Man that is a prosthetic, an armor that shields him and allows him the protection of being who he really is, and then there’s Tony Stark, the person he is in his heart of hearts that we see only when’s alone with the artificial intelligences he created for himself, as his friends, the only friends that really, truly get to see him, because he knows that they won’t judge him (outside of him being alone, we see glimpses of the ‘real’ Tony Stark in Afganistan, in his interactions with Natasha and in two scenes with Steve: while they’re cutting wood and Tony asking Steve whether he knew).

These are the three sides to Tony Stark, and I see a lot of fans confuse his Tony Stark armor, his protective persona, with who he is because that is, by design, the loudest, most visible side to him.

There are many sides to him that are female-coded, but it’s the limited agency that he is given in the narrative that is the most telling. Most of his stories seem to revolve around the stripping of his agency and his struggle to regain it. This character – a genius, billionaire, playboy, philantropist – who ought to be the ultimate male power fantasy has all of his stories constructed around his lack of agency and his need of a prosthetic to claim agency for himself. It’s easy to assume that an able-bodied, rich, good-looking, well-educated, white CEO of the American upper crust has all the power and control in the world, but the narrative begins disabusing the viewer of this notion right off the bat. The narrative deconstructs his agency.

What I appreciated about the Iron Man films was how they subverted the role of the damsel in distress in Pepper Potts. Especially the end of the first film in which Pepper marched through broken glass in her stiletto shoes to save Tony Stark was something that made me stop and think for days afterwards. The third film basically recreated this subversion of the trope louder for those in the back that hadn’t caught it the first time. It was Pepper Potts that was the knight in shining armor, not the title character.

And it is Tony that we see as the damsel in distress, particularly again in the first and the third films. The first film contains the iconic scene of Obadiah Stane literally removing Tony’s agency in a scene that is filmed like a sexual violation, a none-too-subtle air of erotic violence in the air as he uses his date rape technology to incapacitate Tony. This is a turning point in the film. The third film contains a scene in which Tony Stark is zip-tied to a bed frame with the villain taunting him. It is implied that Tony is similarly submissive in bed. The main villain in the scene acts like a spurned lover, a definite air of seduction to his conduct toward the tied-up hero.

That is two cases of villains making eroticized advances toward a physically incapacitated Tony Stark. And it isn’t the violence or the incapacitation that makes the scenes female-coded, it is the eroticization of it. It is female characters that are subject to eroticized violence, generally speaking. The second film does not follow the pattern, but it could be interepreted as an obsessive, spurned man making unwanted advances toward our hero.

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I wrote about the interaction between Natasha and Tony previously, on how she allows us to see a side of him that we usually don’t get to see. Some people have described Tony’s hiring of her as sexist, undoubtedly influenced by Pepper’s interpretation of his behaviour as he tried to figure her out (“And she is potentially a very expensive sexual harassment lawsuit if you keep ogling her like that.”), but his interest in her was never that kind of interest. His eyes don’t track her sexual assets. Tony saw something of himself in her, especially in the way she was playing a role, but even more than that, I think Tony saw in Natasha Romanoff something that he wanted desperately to be. In control.  

Natasha Romanoff gives the air of being in control even when she gives up control, and in this she is the opposite of Tony Stark.

With this in mind, and I don’t remember whether I wrote about this before, I was quite disturbed by the way the climax of Civil War was shot not unlike a pornographic sex scene, Tony Stark being double-teamed by the super soldiers. The ending of the scene especially, with Steve straddling Tony, pounding on him, grunting, finishing it off with breathing heavily as he falls off Tony having penetrated his arc reactor with his shield, having incapacitated Tony’s prosthetic. Tony spits out blood as the super soldiers walk away from him. It’s rather symbolic, the implications of the scene very uncomfortable.

While Bucky Barnes is another character whose storyline heavily features the stripping down of agency, the female-coding of the strong, stoic silent-type is largely absent. Bucky Barnes and Tony Stark share similarities, and in this he offers a contrast to Tony.

So, yes. I do see Tony Stark of the movie-verse as a female-coded superhero because his story revolves around desperately grasping for agency. Among these hypermasculine heroes, the genius-billionaire-playboy-philantropist is at a disadvantage, so Tony Stark invented, constructed, and put on a suit that hides his true identity in order to have a measure of agency in a hypermasculine world, that allows him to assert himself. And in Civil War he was willing to sign off on his self-created agency because the establishment had managed to convince him that as a person with near unlimited resources, he was a danger to the world that he had risked his life and the lives of his loved ones to protect.

I think one of the most telling aspects of his character vis-à-vis Civil War is that, convinced that it is too dangerous for him to attempt to influence the outside world and other people in it, Tony Stark instead turned within and attempted to modify his own internal world, to (literally) influence his own internal state instead – to accept what he can’t change. This is a classic strategy of the disenfranchised.

Tony Stark is the most female-coded of the male superheroes.

I feel like one of the most ironically sexist things that happened to women heroes for so long was that they had universal storytelling taken away from them. So, male superheroes could have Lois Lane. They can have love, they can have vulnerability, they can have complexity. But women superheroes or strong women characters had to be, ‘I don’t need anyone, I’m the toughest person in the world.’ That’s not fair to anybody. No human being is an island like that.
—  Patty Jenkins in Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of The Film

its interesting watching Wonder Woman reviews on youtube 

every male reviewer I’ve watched has been like “yeah its a solid film. didn’t do anything spectacular.”

whereas every girl has been raving about it. it’s just interesting cause like…one dude was talking about how he didn’t really feel anything during the No Man’s Land scene and it just struck me bc like…obviously he didn’t feel shit because he’s seen something like it done a thousand times with male superheroes. 

like its bizarre cause i was nearly in tears during that scene, watching the soldiers get a burst of courage and follow a powerful, strong WOMAN into battle. she inspired them. that shit has pretty much NEVER been done in film before and as a woman, I thought it was breathtaking and refreshing 2 see.

so yeah. idk if that made any sense i just thought it was interesting.

“TVLine has learned that Lonnie Chavis aka Young Randall on NBC’s freshman hit will guest-star on the CW superhero series as Marcus, a young alien boy who bonds with James (played by Mehcad Brooks) after the rugrat’s mother attacks National City.”

“There’s a lovely moment that I have with Mehcad, about accepting who you are,” shares David Harewood, who plays DEO boss man Hank Henshaw aka “Martian Manhunter” J’onn J’onzz. “James is reluctant to step in and help somebody, and I persuade him, as a hero, that sometimes you have to go against your own instincts and do something that’s right, as opposed to what you think might be right.

A young black boy bonding with an adult black male superhero?

Who, in turn, looks to another respectable black man as a mentor??

Generations of black male role models???

anonymous asked:

Please please share your thoughts on Wonder Woman? Thank you! :)

ANYONE WHO WATCHED WONDER WOMAN (2017) DIR. PATTY JENKINS AND WASN’T COMPLETELY IN LOVE IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED

Some thoughts:

  • So we all knew it was going to be emotional to FINALLY have a female superhero movie, but the movie exceeded those expectations. The fight scenes were incredible and so focused on Diana and what she was capable of – the men basically weren’t even there. The fuckin no man’s land scene SAVED MY LIFE. Superhero movies are known for being heavy handed and this one didn’t escape that for sure (the love speech at the end was….a lot), but that scene was so well done…they didn’t have to stoop to some Éowyn knock off line of “I am no man,” we were allowed to just see her do what real women do - step up and do it. Even though that wasn’t the first time we’ve seen her in full Wonder Woman costume on screen, it felt like it was, like it was the first time I’d EVER seen ANY hero before and it took my breath away. By far the best Superhero Reveal Moment I’ve ever seen. My girl taking out bullets right and left, drawing fire from the entire German army!! Fuck me up!!!
  • You can’t talk about this film without talking about gender role reversals. Chris Pine was So Perfect and I think they really couldn’t have pulled the movie off if they’d cast any other white boy in the role. He was funny but genuine, capable but never arrogant, charming but not entitled about it. He learned quickly what Diana was capable of and respected her for it, always moving to the sideline during the fight scenes (the shield moment with the bell tower comes to mind - who needs a sniper when you can fuckin launch a god at the shooter??), knowing that these were her fights and never trying to mansplain her out of them. He wanted to protect her, but didn’t underestimate her - all the things that a typical female romantic interest does in these kind of movies. It was amazingly well balanced, so much so that I didn’t even mind the romantic sub plot. Plus he was almost entirely naked there, way to play to the audience my dudes!!!!
  • The historical context did the movie such a great service. The outward displays of sexism became so ridiculous when faced with Diana, who genuinely had never had to deal with the patriarchy’s bullshit before. It didn’t just make the men in London look pathetic and mean, it cast a large shadow over the way that women are treated today. 
  • The Dark DC Gradient™ on all the shots isn’t my favorite but it did Chris Pine’s fuckin bright blue eyes a huge favor
  • Gal Gadot was so fuckin good??? Not only was she beautiful, like really really distractingly beautiful, like I kept having to force myself to pay attention to the dialogue cause I, like Steve Trevor, could not stop looking at her (and she’s standing next to Genuine Stud Chris Pine and still?? SHE’S SO BEAUTIFUL). But she was way more then that, her performance was spot on. Diana was naive, commanding, strong, compassionate - while never being reduced down to just a one note version of these things. She felt so real to me, in a genre that spends very little time on character development. Even in the sappiest parts of the script, she sold it. She absolutely sparkled. 
  • Some of the best dialogue was the back and forth between Diana and Steve when she’s asking questions about mankind/London - it was cute and funny without being too overdone or obvious, which it easily could have been
  • The villains weren’t much to write home about, but they didn’t need to be. The movie was so laser focused on Diana and Steve that they really didn’t matter, you could self insert whatever you wanted to there
  • Themyscira is the ideal for I too want to hang out on the beach and never see a man again
  • Also that lesbian line, and how stupid male reviewers blindly did not understand it!!! Fuckin drag em
  • But also the fight scenes on Themyscira were INCREDIBLE. I wish that first section had been a bit longer just because I was enjoying it so much, but it was so refreshing to see all women on screen - women who fought and loved and supported each other. Incredible. 

I haven’t enjoyed, really enjoyed, to the point of not having to think about the message or the structure or how much fuckin time I’ve wasted listening to some male superhero talk about honor or some equally boring garbage, since The Avengers came out in 2012. Even then, Wonder Woman felt like something else entirely. It leaned on many of the same tropes and sequences, but there was enough reinvention in between (particularly the characters, who I felt were much more fleshed out then any superhero movie I’ve seen before) to make it feel fresh and exciting. This so easily could have been a throw away movie, a chance for movie execs to point and say, hey we tried with women that one time!! But Patty Jenkins, and Gal Gadot, and all the other women who worked on this incredible production, knew what was at stake, and weren’t going to let that happen. Every time I see a little girl dressed up as Diana Prince, on her way to the theater, my heart fills more and more. During the film, I found myself on the verge of tears five or six times - sometimes because it was so beautiful, to see a woman who felt so real being strong and vulnerable and saving the damn world, but other times because the plot itself genuinely moved me. Wonder Woman is revolutionary for the industry, sure, but more importantly, it’s just a damn good movie. 

Y'all are literally so fucking annoying. Y'all are so quick to “cancel” a tide-turning movie (BLACK PANTHER, Wonder Woman, Power Rangers, etc) because of ONE thing. Like Trini, A KID, doesn’t confirm her sexuality to people she kinda sorta know in the first movie and suddenly it’s not worth seeing even though the cast is easily one of the most diverse cast in years. Marvel doesn’t include a lesbian relationship in black panther (which YES it is still very important) And y'all are just like “well it’s just not worth seeing anymore!” Y'all got a (valid) problem with Gal and suddenly it’s imperative to you to tell EVERYONE to not go see it because of it.

These movies are literally make it or break it for MANY REASONS: black panther is directed by black people, casted black people, for black people. Wonder Woman is the FIRST woman-led and woman-directed superhero movie. Power Rangers has one of the most diverse casts to date. Suddenly they’re SO BAD but y'all still go see fucking dr strange that WHITEWASHES ASIAN CHARACTERS and cheer on the prosecution of a woman for a white men crackship without batting an eye. Hollywood WANTS these movies to fail, so when they flop they can just be like “well we tried, back to Chris Evans starring in another Cap movie!!!!”

I get y'all are racists and your talk of “feminism and diversity” is all a front for this hellsite but DON’T ruin this for us. I’m tired of superheroes being whitewashed and male-driven and like 95% white. These movies have issues. But we can’t get anywhere without the movie doing good in theaters to begin with.

Real talk for a second. 

Now, I’ve never been an avid Tumblr user until this blog and my God have I never been so invested in a fandom (both with the actual content and its people), however I have been an observer, so let’s just put that out there. But Power Rangers, yes, Power Rangers, has changed that drastically. I’ve found a home in this fandom and I’d go as far as to say I’ve made a little family along the way.

I’ve always had a habit of joining a fandom too late and not feeling brave enough to approach people and to make friends and share content without abandon, but I somehow managed to join this one at just the right time. However, I doubt there even is a wrong time to join this fandom. Everyone is so inclusive and welcoming and understanding and just lovely

And I firmly believe that is down to the Power Rangers film itself and what it represents. Unity. Inclusivity. Individuality. 

“Different colors! Different kids! Different-colored kids!”

This film was more than just a ‘nostalgia flick’ or another run of the mill action film. It had clear cut story-lines, diverse characters and showed their development (both individually and as a team), it had depth, but most of all, it had representation. You know, that thing that the internet is always complaining that films and TV shows never have? Well, the Power Rangers had it. 

Four out of five of the Rangers were POC, they had a canon autistic character and a canon queer character (both POC; Black and Latina respectively). They had a male Asian superhero lead, the first Indian superhero, the first autistic superhero, the first queer superhero to hit mainstream media, and for the latter two to be POC as well? Do you not know how important that is? 

Let me just repeat that: Do you not know how important that is? And do you know what the internet did when they were finally presented with the representation they are always, always asking for?

They slept on it.

I feel like one of the most ironically sexist things that happened to women heroes for so long was that they had universal storytelling taken away from them. So, male superheroes could have Lois Lane. They can have love, they can have vulnerability, they can have complexity. But women superheroes or strong women characters had to be, ‘I don’t need anyone, I’m the toughest person in the world.’ That’s not fair to anybody. No human being is an island like that.
—  Patty Jenkins