Good news! We’ve just gotten confirmation that Tessa Thompson, (from Creed, Selma, And Dear White People), will be Thor’s new love interest in the next sequel. She will play a superhero of some kind. Her character isn’t named yet, so we don’t know who she’ll be. Jane Foster (who is the new Thor in the comic books) played by Natalie Portman in the movies, has left the franchise. Jaime Alexander is still present, and you’d think they’d pair Thor with Lady Sif (who I really like, btw) but the MCU has decided to put their first black woman superhero in the Thor franchise. She will also cameo in some other superhero movies, I guess, in the same manner that Black Widow keeps showing up in everything. Hopefully they’ll do right by this character.
Up to this point, I’ve been pretty indifferent to the Thor movies. They’re not awful, just not especially interesting to me. I did watch both of them, but can barely remember the plot of the first film, beyond Chris Hemsowrth’s abs. I think I fell asleep during the second movie when it came on TV. (I ignored it at the theater.) If this is “for reals” , though, then I am right there, opening day, to support the Hell out of this movie. It’s about time that comic book movies got their ass in gear and put some WoC up in these beechez! Seriously!
Of course there is the inevitable backlash everytime anyone who isn’t white, is not seen picking cotton in a movie, and some people had to set some fans straight about some shit on Tumblr (Tumblr always has the best fights. Even better than Twitter!)
(In particular, scroll down to abbiyholllowdays last comment, which is an analogy anyone can understand.)
How this discussion relates to Agent Carter’s fandom is directly related to how this story is understood. If you are the only person at the table receiving food (albeit very tiny portions of food), but you look up and tell everyone else at the table to just wait for theirs , and that they’ll get theirs when you’re done with yours, this is the same thing that the Agent Carter fandom was engaging in.
Another layer to that story, is if the waiter brings someone else’s order and decides, for whatever reason, that they’re going to give it to you, instead of the person who ordered it, and you eat it anyway, knowing that you didn’t order it. This is a whitewashing equivalent. When people say ScarJo accepting such a role, is as complicit in whitewashing as the people who chose her, this is the analogy for that.
An Open Letter:
I had a discussion about this at work with a friend of mine, explaining to her that tropes and stereotypes for black and white women, are often the complete opposite of each other. One of the ways patriarchy demeans all women is by associating their worth with how much men love them, and since white women are more often shown as highly desirable, that means they have great worth, although that is not the message that white women receive. The message white women receive is that they are helpless without a man, which sets the foundation for a wealth of stereotypes.
For black women, this is the exact opposite. We are automatically undesirable, and hence, not worth anything. Not worth saving, cherishing, or searching for in a crisis. We’re shown as these super-strong, black women, who don’t need no man, but that is not the message we receive from that sort of self reliance. The message we get from that stereotype is that we are unlovable. Hollywood (run by old white men) can’t conceive of the idea that any man would find us beautiful or want to save us. For such minds, it is simply unbelievable that we could be loved or cherished by anyone. In the game of Fuck, Marry, or Kill, guess who WoC always get to be.
This is why women like Michonne, Abbie Mills, and Broomhilda, (from Django Unchained) are groundbreaking for black women. They are shown as loved and lovable. Someone that a man believes is worth saving, and risks danger to go back for. (This is something white women get all the time and they seem to be getting quite tired of this trope, often wishing that they could be shown saving themselves.)
So when white women get cast as love interests in a movie or show, they don’t want to see that tired trope. Where we run into a problem, is when white women want to apply what they want to what WoC want, as if we all have the exact same concerns in the media. White women often don’t take into account, or seem to understand, that what is an offensive trope for them, (because of how patriarchy creates these competing stereotypes to accomplish the same goals), is something that is desirable for WoC.
Anyway, I’m happy to see Tessa get this role. I am there to support her and hope non-black women are there for it, too (because intersectionality is a win for everybody.)
As for this whole discussion, this is me: