2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

"Simply Another Pretty Face": The Portrayal of Women in Marvel's The Avengers
Jennifer M. Bradshaw
Dr. Mark Smith, Faculty Mentor

Developed as a response to the dominance of patriarchal culture, feminist criticism seeks to better understand how texts reinforce or undermine the oppression of women. The 2012 superhero text The Avengers offers a patriarchal subtext by featuring few women of power. A close reading reveals the way in which The Avengers has painted a negative portrayal of women through its promotion of the "good girl" versus "bad girl" dichotomy between Black Widow and Pepper Potts, the objectification of Black Widow via the male gaze, and the negative connotation associated with female pronouns, among other elements. While The Avengers appears to support the equality of women by featuring a female superhero, in reality the film perpetuates the patriarchal stereotypes that have permeated the media for decades.

Keywords: The Avengers, Feminism , Male Gaze, Patriarchy, Stereotypes, Black Widow, Objectification

Topic(s):Communication

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 402-3
Location: VH 1010
Time: 3:00

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