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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Joss Whedon 2: The Whedoning

So last week, you may have noticed me taking Joss Whedon to task. I admit I was being harsh in my assessments, but there was a purpose behind it. This week, Joss Whedon would seem to have fallen down some stairs or walked into a doorknob, because angry feminists certainly didn't run him off of Twitter. That would just be horseshit. Feminists love Joss Whedon, and would never call him an absolute trash can or misogynist baloney man, threaten to ruin him, or demand that they fight him.
So Age of Ultron came out and, keeping to the barest minimum of spoilers here, some very vocal people got mad. Like real mad. Butt-mad. Pee-pee hearted. 

Joss Whedon is now both racist and misogynist. The racism comes from Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, both of which are of Roma and Jewish heritage in the comics, having been cast as two clearly white actors and now being portrayed as 'nazi sympathizers.' Now, Romani people hailing originally from India, I can kind of see how not casting them with slightly darker complexioned actors might be a valid complaint, except that no one complained about the lily-white kids in Days of Future Past, and they're portrayed as slavic in AoU mostly due to Marvel not having the rights to Magneto. As for the 'nazi sympathizers' thing, Hydra isn't public knowledge in the MCU. I sincerely doubt a couple of mid-20s slavic kids are up to date on WWII military history. 

The misogyny comes from a couple of places: Tony Stark's 'prima nocta' joke, and Black Widow being damseled and mentioning her sterilization. I've gone back and forth with a few people on the sterilization thing, and I'm pretty solidly falling on the side of her meaning that her entire upbringing made her a monster and the sterilization was there to identify with Banner, who mentioned it first. Scarlet Witch's near-breakdown is also being tossed about, but she's pretty unstable to begin with due to her powers and I really don't think I'd fare too much better if my first combat situation was an extinction-level event either. At least give her credit that after Hawkeye's pep talk, she came out swinging and cleared the field.

Widow was damseled, but then she was 1 on 1 with Ultron. Widow is a covert operative, so if you've thrown her and Hawkeye on the field, you're already losing. In my opinion, they shouldn't even be on the field in the first place. Thor and Hulk should be making lots of noise while Widow and Hawkeye are taking out targets without anyone knowing they're even there. So when Widow goes up against a walking extinction-level event, I don't fault her for losing. I'm calling bullshit on her not being able to unlock her cell door, though. She could build a radio transmitter in a cave with a box of scraps, but had to wait for Banner to shoot the lock off? Nah.

So for nearly a week, outrage was directed at Joss Whedon. Vile insults and threats hurled his way. One might even say... harassment. Laced, peppered, scattered, smothered, and chunked with social justice terminology and gender/racial commentary. But it couldn't be harassment, because I've not heard it called that by the news outlets covering it. Strange, is it not,  when in one situation any form of criticism -- from mild and constructive to obscene and overt -- is directed at, say, a pop culture critic, it's harassment and threats, but it's not harassment when another group with even more extreme intensity directs it at a different person. No bad tactics, only bad targets, eh?

Keep pushing, Patton. You'll get there.

Then, something strange happened. The narrative shifted. The headlines went from “did angry feminists run Joss Whedon off of Twitter?” to “Angry feminists did NOT run Joss Whedon off of Twitter.” With all the familiar vocabulary of someone all too familiar with glass ashtrays being hurled at his head and walking on eggshells around a volatile significant other, Whedon made a public statement. No, he says, it's not that at all. I'm totally used to that (which I find even more disturbing). They did nothing wrong, so please don't think badly of them. 

Even his last tweet, thanking everyone for being so kind before closing out his account, reminds me of the last words I spoke to my ex-wife before I moved out, that all I wanted was the best for her. Said mostly so that things didn't turn ugly as I was walking out the door. I hope someone appreciates him falling on his sword for the cause.

Still, it feels like some self-awareness may be dawning here, especially inthis section
“Every breed of feminism is attacking every other breed, and every sub-section of liberalism is always busy attacking another sub-section of liberalism, because god forbid they should all band together and actually fight for the cause.”
Even seems some other people that have recently been complicit in holding up dodgy narratives have buckled under the strain. I also find it interesting that he says “literally the second person” to call and make sure he was okay was saintly Anita Sarkeesian, especially considering her writer and producer Jonathan McIntosh had no hesitation in shitting on Age of Ultron's 'hyper-masculinity' from a great height.
Pictured: Jonathon McIntosh shitting upon AoU from a great height.
Anyway. We all know the reason Joss quit Twitter was because I railed on him last week. Correlation, causation, and all that. I'm taking full responsibility for it. I am all-powerful! I will crush the lesser races, conquer the galaxy! Unimaginable power! UNLIMITED RICE PUDDING!

Now maybe I can get on with my next waifu-shitting fit that I've been delaying for like six months. Here's a hint, in proper Whedonesque style. It's two words:  Doctor...

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