Hi everyone. This will be a very different kind of post than I usually do. First, it’s not written by me. This is a compilation of tweets done by Clarkisha Kent in relation to her thoughts on Black Widow’s role in Avengers Endgame. I got permission from her to compile them in one post as it was a very long thread and having it all in one post makes it easier to read. Any comments you have about it should be made on the original twitter thread linked here. Secondly, this post has absolutely nothing to do with books. I do love the MCU and will most likely talk about it myself at some point, but that day is not today.
So, if you have not seen Endgame and do not want to be spoiled, please leave now. The post copied from the thread found here will start now.
Alright. It’s time we talk about my longtime, but respected nemesis…Black Widow.
You should probably duck out now if you haven’t seen Avengers Endgame. This is gonna be another long thread, mainly because I have a lot of beef with her Endgame storyline. And I am firmly on Team It-Should’ve-Been-Hawkeye. But I can’t discuss this without discussing how the MCU as a whole lead us to that extremely disrespectful moment.
Natasha in an OG Avenger. One of the original six. The only female one, in fact, before we got Wanda. She has always suffered somewhat from Smurfette syndrome/The Athena Complex (I will post articles to this at the end of this thread)
because as I said before, many male writers cannot write women [or POC] to save their fucking lives.
That said, homegirl still managed to have some pretty wicked arcs for a minute, & the writers—at the time—seemed to somewhat understand that part of what makes Natasha dangerous is her ability to wield her femininity and brains as a weapon because she knows the men around her, even those in power, all lose their common sense and assume an upper-hand they don’t have when they see a nice pair of tiddies or a juicy bum.
Case in point: one of my favorite moments of her doing this is turning a painfully misogynist moment in The Avengers between her and Loki (i.e meuling quim) into a dub. Loki sees her “emotional display” at losing Clint, thinks he’s won, and totally spills his master plan to trigger the Hulk. So it was pretty satisfying to see her stop, straighten her back, and go “Gotcha bitch!” My point so far?
Natasha is a stone cold, calculated killer and strategist with Uncuffed Fenty Stunna Lip Paint to match! This is somewhat amended when she joins S.H.I.E.L.D. and becomes friends with Yeehaw Barton. She’s still wickedly efficient but now she’s using it for good. Or so she thought…which she doesn’t find out in until Winter Soldier. And there she learns all of the “good” she did was still being used and abused from the evil, neo-Nazi organization known as Hydra. AKA she was still a part of everything she fought to escape and wipe her ledger clean of. By the end of WS, that’s still what she’s after, but she wants to be able to do this good without compromising what makes the infamous Black Widow great. But she knows she has to do something radical to do it. So she gives up the comfort of her shadow & her privacy to give way to radical transparency against the wishes of several [American] government entities. Because it is the right thing to to do. And then tells them to kiss her lily White ass because she KNOWS they’re gonna call her up next week to save their ass again. This—the combination of Avengers Natasha and Winter Soldier Natasha—is Ms. Romanoff at her finest. Calculating, but empathetic. Steadfast, but not uncompromising. Strategic AND conscientious. Always willing to get her hands dirty for the right cause. Always thinking ahead. Always ten steps ahead of you. Stronger than she looks, but with just enough vulnerability to remind you that she is a living, breathing human being. You underestimate her, this tiny woman, at your own risk. A fantastic character right??? Right…until Age of Ultron took a big fat shit on her 😬
I have…many feelings about AoU but most of it can be summed up in the fact that J*ss Wh*don was really feeling himself & was doing this…odd self-insertion between his self and Bruce Banner. And unfortunately, Black Widow—of all characters—ended up being mischaracterized the most as a gross consequence (Thor too but lol). AoU does Black Widow dirty in a lot of ways (I’m having war flashbacks just thinking about it) but perhaps the biggest way is when, she, from her own mouth (gotta love these writers) implies that she is a monster and an incomplete human in a conversation with Bruce because she cannot bear children. Because that part of her was removed by the Russian spy entity that made her in order to make her an effective killer and spy. Mind you, Natasha has always been self-reflective. And it would have been IN CHARACTER for her to call herself a monster for the THINGS SHE HAS DONE. She’s practical like that. And even then, she has a general “it is what it is” attitude about these things and merely seeks to do better 🤷🏾♀️ But no, her self-value is reduced to her inability to become pregnant, even though this has never been a desire/want she has expressed and even though we know Natasha has better things to do than become someone’s doting housewife. She is THE super spy for crying out loud (after Fury). WS Black Widow would laugh at this cheap, Dollar General AoU Black Widow. And on top of that, she’s always been the “cool aunt” type (as evidenced by her great relationship with Yeehaw’s kids) and finds her true family in the other Avengers, but AoU sees that and seeks to make it “tragic” in a very cruel way. And by doing this…it sealed her Endgame fate. To be clear, as soon as it was mentioned BW couldn’t have kids in AoU and therefore had no “traditional” or “biological” family, I always knew her ass was on the chopping block. It just didn’t happen as quick as I thought it would (I had her dying in AoU tbh). Because as a woman, being childless made her expendable. Because childless women are expendable & undervalued in our society for a host of misogynistic & patriarchal reasons I’m not getting into because I’m tired. Which is exactly why writers McFeely and Markus found it appropriate to have her “sacrifice” herself at Vomir for the Soul Stone…and for Yeehaw Barton 🙄. Mind you, all signs pointed to Mr. Yeehaw dying. He had went on his killer racist boy band tour in Mexico to kill a bunch of “bad Mexicans” and then went to The East to kill a bunch “bad Asians” (not a White supremacist in SIGHT tho). He was mostly unrepentant too. All because he lost his family…like many of the other remaining 3.5 billion people on the planet did. Making him not all that special. HOWEVER. Clint is aware of how ridiculous and disgusting he’s been when the big decision™️ comes up and thus KNOWS it should be him that gets yeeted off the cliff. Because not only would it be a succinct ending to his arc but it would be an appropriate and redemptive one too and in the very least, TeeTee Natasha would have actually been telling the truth when she told his family later that he died doing the right thing. That’s not what we get, however.
What we get is two characters we’ve grown to dislike over the course of 28494949393 movies fight for the right to die. And in this case, Natasha, our *childless*, bio-family-less super spy fights even *harder* to die and the writers of Endgame try to spin this into some “feminist” moment where Natasha is merely choosing her own destiny & choosing to die for the greater good when in reality, it’s just a bunch of misogynistic hogwash & woman-hating, malarkey-esque bullshit. Because they never saw any value in her character to begin with. Especially after that AoU reveal. This was bad enough, but to me, the aftermath was even worse. When Clint takes his old Yeehaw ass back to 2020-whatever, he tells the other remaining Avengers that she went SPLAT off that cliff and in damn near the SAME exact pose Gamora ate it in years prior. And you know what they do?
They spend the next, what, 5-10 minutes whining about it. And…they don’t bury her. Or even memorialize her. Indeed. These five grown ass men, men that she has known for over TEN years now don’t so much as eulogize her. I mean, sure, Steve sheds like one man tear and comes to the GENIUS (🙄) conclusion that they are her only family after Tony asks. And sure, Professor Hulk throws…a bench…at the lake because he’s sad. And I guess Clint and Thor yell at each other over the facts of her death but….dassit. Nobody does shit else. Nobody lights no candles. Nobody puts her face on a shirt with some ghetto clouds. And nobody so much as pours out a 40 in her memory. And the whole thing is insultingly blamed on her being a cypher/spy, which is more bullshit since they all went public with that shit in 2014 and even more bullshit considering the fact that Natasha showed up to Peggy’s dusty ass funeral (😬 more on that later) to support Steve and because she was holding new S.H.I.E.L.D down these last five years when no one else really wanted to. It….was an ending she didn’t deserve. Truly. No matter how you feel about that character or that actress, it was just. so. cruel. And it shouldn’t have been. It SHOULD have been Hawkeye. With his racist ass 😩!!! But what the fuck do I know???? I’m a woman, herp-a-derp-derp!
On The Smurfette Syndrome: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheSmurfettePrinciple
On the Athena complex: