Avengers: Equal Opportunity Objectification?

I’ve seen Avengers twice now (second time in 3D…totally worth it!) and the second viewing left me feeling a bit better about the film as a whole…I think.

Not that I didn’t enjoy the movie. I wouldn’t have gone twice if I hadn’t. It’s action packed, full of quick, snippy humor (as one would expect of Joss Whedon), that gives each member of a large ensemble cast at least one true moment to shine (see again re: Joss Whedon).

But I did leave the theater the first time a bit grumbly about the treatment of Scarlett Johansen’s Black Widow…a) a few too many close-ups on her ass and b) the fact that her character was always in heels…even when wearing “civies” her boots had ridiculously high wedge heels. What soldier/fighter is going to do well tottering around in heels? But she’s a girl super-hero, so sexism must abound.

The concept isn’t a new one. In fact, even though I’m not that into comics as a whole, as I have a (female) friend who works in comics, the concept isn’t all that new to me. (If you want a good rundown/starting point on the issue, here you go). So when I saw Kevin Bolk’s hilarious take on if the male Avengers posed like Black Widow, I both snickered and sighed at the truth of it.

And then I watched the movie again. And yep, there’s Scarlett Johansen’s ass, and she’s in the stupid heels, and so I Colbie Smulders’ Agent Hill and…wait, there’s Chris Evans’ ass…and again…and again…and…hmmmmm.

So…is objectification OK if it’s equal opportunity?

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