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Captain Marvel – Why is Marvel’s First Female SuperHERo Movie being Boycotted?

If you're anything like me, then you might be a bit of a Marvel geek (I mean, have you SEEN Chris Evans?) 

All jokes aside, Marvel has provided the perfect escape route to thousands around the world from the chaos of our day-to-day lives. Despite my undying love for the franchise, I've always found it difficult to accept the assumed male audience of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are thousands of scenes that place Scarlett Johansson's booty in the main frame, and countless references to females being weak and emotional (the all powerful Scarlet Witch suddenly becomes defenseless when the love of her life dies), as well as scenes that objectify women (it is no coincidence that Mark Ruffalo fell on Johansson's breasts in Age of Ultron). In fact, within the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, only 10% of screen time was dedicated to women.

However, during the beginning of this month, Brie Larson's Captain Marvel debuted, and it was AMAZING. The character Captain Marvel is the first leading female superhero to appear in the Marvel franchise (and perhaps one of the biggest female superhero's of all time, alongside DC's Wonder Woman). As a HUGE Marvel fan, I was so excited for this film - but why was nobody else? 

From the very moment Captain Marvel was revealed to fans, Marvel has been under attack by angry white men. On every single promotion or trailer, thousands of people (mainly men) commented that they would refuse to watch a film that directly attacked white men and ridiculed every aspect of the female-leading production.

But why are all of these men angry? The simple answer is because a quote from Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) was taken out of context by these white male groups. Larson claimed that, "About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies. I noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male." Thousands of comic book and film websites have since taken Larson's passion for equality and turned it into a violent and hateful threat to white men. This quote was actually taken from a bigger context - a call for more opportunities for people of colour, people with disabilities and women: 

 

"About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male. So, I spoke to Dr. Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that. Moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive. After speaking with you, the film critic Valerie Complex and a few other women of color, it sounded like across the board they weren’t getting the same opportunities as others. When I talked to the facilities that weren’t providing it, they all had different excuses.”

 

However, publications run (and read) by white men emphasised the words 'white' and 'men', instead of 'inclusive', fuelling the rage of men's rights activists who argued that Larson's call for more opportunities in an area dominated by white men was a threat, an insult.  

Larson has also been known for refusing to clap for the accused sexual harasser, Casey Affleck, onstage at the Oscars. It is no surprise that men have also used this as an excuse to target Larson.

After Larson's out of-context quote was picked up, a whirlwind of videos titled 'How Brie Larson Cost Marvel One Hundred Million Dollars' (20 minutes long at over 1.6 million views) and 'Brie Larson is Ruining Marvel!' (11 minutes long and almost 1 million views) have been circulating around the internet. One journalist even argued that upon muting a clip of Larson, one can still see her intense hatred towards white men by her 'little head jerk'. Another angry male conspiracist, Jack Posobiec, also launched the #AlitaChallenge on twitter, calling all audiences to watch Fox's Alita over Marvel's Captain Marvel as a way of boycotting Larson's launch into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Posobiec claims that male audiences around the world should 'stop giving money to people who hate us'. This has invited even further hate towards Larson and her fellow crew and cast members. One man even posted a screenshot of himself cancelling his ticket order for Captain Marvel, claiming that Larson can "kiss my white male ass". 

Rotten Tomatoes was even forced to change its rating policy so that the pre-screening ratings for Captain Marvel wouldn't be boycotted by this group of white men (who have clearly lost their minds at the thought of a leading female actor in a franchise dominated by men). Despite this, there have also been many positive comments by other white men outside of this group, who clearly appreciate Marvel for its characters, plots and cinematography. Despite this, the rating for Captain Marvel on Rotten Tomatoes dropped to around 32% after its release date.

If you are still unsure as to whether you'd like to see Captain Marvel, here are some reasons why this particular movie is iconic and inspiring for women around the world (and not just white, upper-class women at that):

  1.  Maria (played by Lashana Lynch) is Captain Marvel's best friend and a single black mum. Since this movie is set in the early 1990's, Maria is constantly in battle with the stereotypes of being a black woman AND a single mother (as such, she addresses the stereotypes surrounding black and single mothers that remain today). Yet Maria works hard to demonstrate that being a black single mum should not be surrounded with negative connotations;  She kicks ass in the military as a pilot (and even fights some aliens!...), all whilst looking after her daughter. We love a multi-tasking woman who knows where it's at!  
  2. Captain Marvel and Maria are both independent women, whose stories are not centred around a love life (or more importantly, not centred around any man). Captain Marvel, although initially oppressed by Yon-Rogg (played by Jude Law), breaks free from her oppression, not by killing Jude Law (as would Loki, Thor, Iron man would do etc.) … but you will have to watch the movie to find out!!  
  3. Anette Bening plays a female scientist who invents and crafts something that no other man could! Sorry, but who said that 'females don’t belong in STEM' subjects?!

Not only does Captain Marvel provide a leading role for women (of any colour and age) in the Cinematic world, it also provides a comical, heart warming story, based on friendship, independence and strength. It’s a must see! And remember girls, we are all superHERos xoxox

Images obtained from:

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