The popcorn is popped. The room is dark. You settle into your couch with your family to watch the new Marvel movie that came out over the fall. You would have paid to see it in the theater, but who has the time these days? You smugly inform your partner that this movie has a female lead. That’s right, you picked a movie that’s got a girl, with boobs and everything. You feel proud of yourself for instilling such valuable morals in your child. “Women are important, both in our universe and in this one,” you say as you select “RENT” on the $3.99 action film. Your kids think this was pretty cringe-worthy, but let you take this one.
After a few commercials for upsetting reboots and surprisingly intriguing animations, I enter the screen, and one thing is clear. I’m so hot. Truly, I’m the hottest hero ever on screen. You saw Chris Pratt, and you were like “Wow, that’s an attractive man!” That’s true, but you never even considered that I, a birth machine, could also fight crime. Now that I’m here, you’re amazed and aghast. No matter what the movie is like, you will tell everyone at work that it was “actually pretty good” which you think is a compliment, but just confirms that you had low expectations for me, a Female Superhero Who Might Also End Misogyny in a Two Hour Film.
I work a normal job that is also creative. All women work in either advertising or journalism, there is no other option for us. Occasionally we might be waitresses, but this isn’t the '90s, and sexism would never allow me to work a low wage job. If I’m going to end poor media representation of half the population, I’m going to do so in a power suit and respectable heels. In this scene, you’ll also meet a sexist coworker. He will die by the third act, but the one female writer on the movie’s production staff still has to see some version of this guy every day.
My backstory is abuse, the type doesn’t matter. Bullies, a family member, a boyfriend who is so overwhelmingly not in my league that you have to look up if we’re dating in real life. Don’t worry, I’m married to an accomplished chef in Upper Manhattan, of course. On-screen though, my quests are for the validation of my worth and other girly things. When this abuser eventually dies, I will show some sort of sadness. Maybe I’ll glance out of a window forlornly. “Who was that?” My love interest asks. “Oh, an old friend,” I sigh. Sighs are very fun for me.
Later, during a battle, I will exhibit a level of cleverness and bravery and swordsmanship and wit you never thought possible. I’m such a package deal! My protection is covering me, but it’s form-fitting and outlines my breasts. My hair is never in a ponytail, why would it be? Hair in my face is how I retain my power, or some other reason a male writer came up with at the last minute. At some point, someone will make a reference to my female gender, and I will respond with a witty one-liner and ultimately, their death. You will smirk. Not very ladylike!
Despite hunting, hiding, running, sweating, and sprinting, you might also notice that my skin is clear. This is because I managed to sneak in a 20-minute half-beat makeup routine during all the activity. I skipped the highlight and contour to preserve my natural beauty. A commenter on Youtube will later call this look “no makeup” and praise my bravery. His name is probably Sean.
When the movie is over, you will think “Huh! Not too bad! Certainly no Iron Man but I’d watch again!” You’ll open Facebook (40+), Instagram (30-40), or Twitter (children), to express your positive review of the movie. Someone responds to you with an article from the New York Times about how this film actually ENHANCED sexism. Your television automatically returns to regular programming. Samantha Bee comes on the set, so you turn it off. You wish she was another man named Jimmy, but you keep that opinion to yourself.