You know, I’ve been seeing superhero posts saying things such as, “so-and-so defending girls against street harassment, so-and-so defending women’s rights," and while they are fun, accurate and uplifting posts that I ultimately hope we end up seeing that and much more on-screen, people tend to overlook a certain superhero in a certain superhero movie that has actually done some of those things, well a lot of them.
Man of Steel’s treatment of women is really quite phenomenal, and given the fact it has received so many mixed reviews, so many people overlooked what has been some of the most beautiful portrayals of women of every kind. In fact, one of the very first things I noticed while watching the movie for the first time in the theater was, “Wow, there’s a lot of women on screen." Clark Kent himself has excellent respect for women in this film. At no point is he derogatory or condescending towards any of the women around him.
- He shows no surprise at Faora being Zod’s right hand, no one does.
- He does not demand that Lois stay behind for some sort of archaic sense of her safety, he respects her choice to come, in fact no one goes “NO SHE’S A WOMAN TAKE ME A MAN INSTEAD,” the only objection to her going on the ship is that she is human.
- Lois takes an integral part in bringing down the Kryptonians, trusted by both Jor and Clark to do so
- During the fight with Faora, at no point did Clark pull his punches with her, he immediately recognizes her as a warrior and his is superior in combat, but he does not stop fighting.
- Martha Kent doesn’t back down even for a second when threatened, she stares the scariest bad guy in their current universe in the eye and tells him to go to hell
- Lois figures out Clark’s secret almost immediately in the film and is actually treated like the Pulitzer-prize winning reporter she is (seriously Lois has been treated pretty shitty in the past, used mostly as decoration for Superman, and it was AWESOME to see her so well portrayed)
- In fact, Lois basically saves Clark as much as he saves her, with her ingenuity and her integrity and her resolve
- CLARK DEFENDS A WOMAN, A FELLOW COWORKER, AGAINST HARASSMENT AND UNWANTED PHYSICAL TOUCH FROM A GIANT MISOGYNISTIC TOOLBAG, AND THEN WALKS AWAY WITH HER PROMPTING, RESPECTING HER DECISION TO COOL THE SITUATION DOWN, THEN FUCKS UP THAT SHITHEADS TRUCK BECAUSE HIS BEHAVIOR IS NOT COOL UNDER CLARK’S WATCH
- Lara-El, is seen giving birth on screen, giving up her son, losing her husband all within HOURS of each other, and still gives a big ‘ol FUCK YOU to Zod, then faces death like a queen, all wearing a pretty dress. You can be a badass and still be feminine.
- Women on the Kryptonian council, women soldiers, women in the background doing their fucking jobs, not being used as jokes or as short-skirts, or as weaklings, but as equals and as *gasp* HUMAN.
- At no point does Faora fall into the horrible “strong female character” trope, never once does she mock Clark or the humans with inherently feminine traits as the punchline
- NOT A SINGLE DAMN PERSON EVER SAYS “BUT SHE’S A GIRL,” OR ANY VARIATION
- The only time anything seemingly problematic happens is when Colonel Hardy is less than pleased to see Lois Lane in the arctic, but she immediately SLAMS him back into his place, reminding him that she is going to do her job and there’s nothing he can do about it
Seriously, if you didn’t like the movie, fine. I’m not going to force you, but no matter what other flaws this movie may have, this movie kicked ass by throttling female tropes and stereotypes. You wanna watch a movie that makes you feel like you are equal, not using its female cast to uplift its male hero by making them less important? Watch Man of Steel.
The only reason I couldn’t outright dislike this movie despite all the problems I’ve had with it was because of its ladies. Jon Kent wasn’t done well imo but Martha was great. Even the part with Colonel Hardy gave off the vibe that he’s not fond of journalists in general, not women per se, and Lois was after all trying to get the info on his operations. I mean later on, he was definitely with her and supported her when she was helping to take down the Kryptonian invasion.
And the guy who helped Lois down from the helicopter made it a point to mention how impressed he was with her work, even if he’s not a big Daily Planet fan.
Though it would’ve been cool to have a holographic Lara as well aside from Jor.