We’ve all noticed the increase in “strong female characters” gracing our silver screens, and while that’s a huge step, it can’t always be called “feminist.” In interviews, Natalie Portman has expressed that although female characters are now more able to be as fast and strong as male action heroes, they often end up being “just a fantasy of a male writer.” I have to admit I see her point; I was super stoked to see Black Widow in The Avengers, only to realize that poor Scarlett Johansson’s brief screen time is mostly spent being physically impressive. I mean, Agent Coulson has more of an emotional arc than the female superhero does.
Portman tells Sky News, “I don’t think that’s necessarily feminist to see women like we see men in movies.” Sadly, they way we gage the power of a character in film is defined largely by male standards, and therefore a writer might create a really badass woman who lacks depth. For most of us, that just doesn’t cut it. We want to see women with emotional range, wants and needs, fears and joys. Portman explains, "Just having a range of different ways women can be - whether it's weak and strong, just being human and being real, and not just being some fantasy of a male writer - is more feminist than 'she knows how to do kung fu'."
Let’s keep the agile, crime-fighting women, but let’s give her some real motivations and complexity, a la Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman. For Portman, her character in Thor: The Dark World is just that: "You get to see a real woman - all the different sides in different situations," she explains.
What do you think of Hollywood’s portrayal of women? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks to The Independent
Image via Flow TV