Avengers: Age of Ultron- Sexist or in Need of an Editor?

ReelTalker: Welcome to ReelTalk’s first discussion post! My group of friends and I are pretty big fans of the Marvel films, and this has led to many a conversation about the characters, movies and overall quality of the series. After Age of Ultron garnered a little bit of view (and after my friend Jon finally got around to seeing it!) my friends Jon, Riley, Zac and I had the following discussion about a certain scene in the film.

*Spoilers ahead for anyone unfamiliar with the film*

Jon: I laughed so many damn times. I loved this movie. So. Much.

Riley: It was so good.

Jon: The Catholic rabbit line killed me so much.

Zac: I also enjoyed it, although I feel some of the stuff they tried was just too much to handle.

ReelTalker: There were ups and downs to this one’s dialogue, but overall I had only one major complaint, so I’m happy!

Jon: And that was?

Riley: What was it?

Zac: That complaint is Hulk/Widow, isn’t it?

Riley: I hope not, that was adorable.

ReelTalker: No, just Widow.

Jon: What about her?

ReelTalker: The line about her being a monster because she can’t have children. That was so unbelievably sexist. I think she’s so awesome they’re losing track of what to do with her.

Jon: That wasn’t really it.

Riley: Not really what she was referring to.

Jon: You completely missed it.

ReelTalker: I did not!

Jon: The lack of childbearing was not what she was referring to.

ReelTalker: That might not have been the intention of that line, but that’s how it came across. And it’s not just me- I’ve had discussions about this in classes.

Riley: The line was not the best written.

Jon: I definitely didn’t take it that way.

Zac: Yeah that wasn’t what I got from it, I thought they were saying she couldn’t have children because she’s a monster. I agree with Riley though, that scene was weird.

Jon: That thought never even occurred to me… To be fair, they were just mind fucked. Almost literally.

Riley: It was really supposed to say she’s a monster because she kills people for a living.

Jon: More of the training process and what it culminated into.

ReelTalker: She was explaining they made it so she couldn’t have children, and immediately follows it up with “Think you’re the only monster on the team?”

Riley: Definitely nowhere near as specific as it could have been…

Jon: She proceeded the child thing with training.

ReelTalker: I don’t think the mind fuck brought it on per say- I think it made her more likely to talk about it, but I think it’s always been there.

Zac: I honestly don’t remember this much detail.

ReelTalker: Yeah they said that making her childless was the ultimate way to make her what she is (apparently in her mind that’s a monster) because if she couldn’t have kids then nothing would ever mean more to her than a mission. So she’s basically saying that her inability to have kids makes her even more of a monster because nothing would mean more to her than her missions.

Jon: She was reliving it via Scarlet Witch.

Zac: Well yeah.

Jon: You have the placement of monster in the wrong place, but yeah.

ReelTalker: I know that she was force-fed this sort of thought process in training, but it gives rise to this notion that if you don’t/can’t have kids, you’re less of a person.

Zac: Caring more for a mission than other people, is that not a monstrous thing? It means she has no out, and nothing can fix that. Fertility doesn’t make her not a monster, it was her way out, and now it’s gone so nothing can slow her down.

ReelTalker: Exactly so her non-fertility makes her more of a monster, that’s the point.

Zac: No, it prevents her from not ever being one, not makes her more of one.

Jon: Her non-fertility prevents her escape from being one.

ReelTalker: Therefore making her MORE of one.

Jon: No.

ReelTalker: That is the implication they were making.

Zac: Not what I thought.

Jon: Me either.

Riley: Not intentionally, and I never thought that until you mentioned it. I understand though, it’s a really bad line.

Jon: I’m still not thinking it!

ReelTalker: This is what my class was discussing, I’m not saying it ruins the movie and I’m sure it’s not intentional, but for a progressional, feminist director like Joss Whedon, it’s a bit of a stupid move/oversight.

Zac: I’m with Riley, I don’t think that’s what they were intending but I see how you could think that. That entire scene was off to me though- I’m going to go with “the line was bad”.

ReelTalker: I mean I wasn’t a huge fan of Hulk/Widow anyway because it seemed forced, that scene was just the pivotal moment for me.

Jon: I literally thought non of this until this conversation.

Zac: Other opinions open our eyes to what we don’t see.

Jon: I still don’t agree with it.

Zac: Yes, we know.

Jon: Because that’s not what she intended.

Riley: Neither do I, but an argument can be made.

ReelTalker: See this is what I want to do: open a dialogue about things people don’t get. Maybe you don’t agree, but if the argument can be made and people can see it, then the movie has done its job. It tells a story that makes us continue thinking about it long after we walk out of that theatre.

Riley: And hey, it makes people discuss more and care about the characters more. What if that is what she meant? What if the training she received made her think that? Arguments can be made and that could be seen as both good and bad. It makes the characters even deeper, intended or not!

Zac: And I think we all can unite under the banner of “Killing off Quicksilver was Garbage!”

ReelTalker: AGREED.

Riley: Boo! He was great!

*End of Discussion*

Blogger’s Note: The intent of these discussions is not for any one person to be right, but to open up a dialogue about the films we love. You may not agree with my stance on the matter, but I hope by seeing these discussions you think about the topic and form your own opinion on it! these discussions you think about the topic and form your own opinion on it!


3 thoughts on “Avengers: Age of Ultron- Sexist or in Need of an Editor?

  1. This is really interesting! I agree that the line was frustrating and confusing, although I definitely think that many, although certainly not all, women would feel incomplete or ‘monstrous’ if they lost the ability to have children, especially as they are still working through the emotions after that change.
    I thought Hulk and Widow seemed REALLY forced. She did not need a romantic storyline. I wanted it to just stay an awesome bromance/best friendship. (Also I ship her and Hawkeye, but that’s another story).


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