Wanting to Have Sex with Scarlett Johansson Does Not Make You A Bad Feminist

Scarlett Johansson, BAFTA Award winner and Golden Globe nominated actress best known for films like Ghost World, Lost in Translation, and more recently, Iron Man 2 and The Avengers, published an article Thursday on The Huffington Post to discuss all the tabloid magazines that have claimed that she used dangerous fad diets to shed the weight she needed to in order to fit into her Black Widow catsuit. In the excellent article, she discusses extensively how bad and dangerous it is for these rags to lie to their readerships and lead people to believe that there is some magical cure all out there that will fix their personally weight issues. It is an important article, as most of the fad diets described in these articles are simply dangerous, especially for the younger generation.

A small handful of people who read the article responded by condemning Johansson, essentially for being sexy. They strongly imply that by virtue of her appearing in a catsuit, she is somehow damaging women and encouraging objectification. It is implied by these commenters that two things are inherently anti-feminist: finding a woman’s body attractive, and a woman showing off a body that she is proud of. It is easy to sympathize with women who feel like they are thought only in terms of what they look like, but I think it does all men (and women) a disservice to imply that by being attracted to someone because of their looks, we are some how bad feminists and bad people.

Biologically speaking, just about every person is genetically wired to what to have sex with anyone who looks remotely healthy. Without this genetic need to procreate, we would go extinct. Although human intellect allows us to hold back our internal animalistic urges significantly, if we were ever able to completely control our sexual urges, the population would plummet rather significantly over the course of a few generations. Would you fault your pet cat for wanting to mate with a female companion that he just met? If you accept that humans are animals, then to call into question whether or not they should want to have sex is absurd.

Basically, if you want to have sex with Scarlett Johansson, it means that you have pulse, not that you are anti-woman. If you, like me, read this article and suddenly found yourself even more attracted to her because not only is she absolutely gorgeous, but she is also highly intelligent and snarky as hell, then it proves that you are more than simply objectifying her. If she was just an object, would it matter how smart she was? It boils down to this: objectifying women (or men) in terms of your sexual desire is perfectly normal; humans are perfectly capable of balancing this with their intellectual desires. If you think that is okay for women to be paid less for the same work, or that they shouldn’t be able to vote, or that they shouldn’t have control of their own bodies, or if you simply think that you are smarter than a woman because of your gender, THAT makes you a bad feminist. Having sexual desire for them does not.


Improbable Avengers Astonishes Almost Everyone

The idea of making a strong super hero “team” film like The Avengers seemed just about impossible. By the very nature of a comic book team like the Avengers, it is a rather daunting task to fit all the characters into ANY medium without making it seem cluttered or just like it has too much going on. Films like the much-maligned Spiderman 3 are criticized for having too many villains (at a whopping three), and Avengers is suppose to have seven heroes (if you count leader Nick Fury)? Even in the television version of Justice League, DC Comics’ super hero all-star team equivalent, the storylines tend to have two or three primary heroes and spotlight someone else the next time out. It is just a more logical way to get good storytelling and character development.

Somehow, Joss Whedon managed to give every single character on the team a very fair amount of screen time. You would probably have a hard time finding any Marvel fan who felt that their favorite character was slighted. Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man may have gotten slightly more than anyone else, but it wasn’t a dramatic difference, and it made perfect sense considering the success of the Iron Man films and his general star power. Whedon at this point has essentially put his name in the running for the most important nerd writer for his era. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is arguably the best urban fantasy series ever. Firefly is a cult classic and held by many in high esteem among all science fiction shows. Serenity, the film version of Firefly, is often placed very high on lists of the greatest science fiction films of all time, and Whedon’s comic book runs on Astonishing X-Men and the continuation of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have been absolutely thrilling critics since they began. Now he has managed to write and direct what is arguably the best superhero movie of all time— the only real competition for it being Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

Saying anything bad at all about the film seems like grasping at straws. Some have criticized that it appeals too much to comic book fans and doesn’t have a lot for non-comic book readers, but the general fan reaction has pretty much put the kibosh on that. Maybe there should have been some memory refreshing in terms of the Tesseract and how it came into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s possession, but eh. Is it really that important? There was some worry about the casting change of Mark Ruffalo taking over for Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, but Ruffalo is actually superior to Norton in the role. Loki didn’t sound like he would the most excellent villain for the film, but he was sinister and pretty brilliant. Does anyone have anything bad to say about The Avengers?