I love Joss Whedon, but…

Yes, I love Joss Whedon.  True, I never quite got the whole Browncoat thing; and while I have nothing against her personally, I have no idea why he casts Amy Acker in everything; and apparently I liked Dollhouse better than anyone else, but still.  It’s Joss Whedon, the guy who responded to the question “Why do you write strong female characters?” with “Because you keep asking me that question.”

So I want to make it clear that I really, really liked The Avengers, a righteous kick-ass movie where everyone involved was firing on all cylinders.  But watching it raised the question — considering Whedon’s record with female characters, why didn’t this movie pass the Bechdel test?  At least two of the other Marvel movies passed — Thor and Iron Man II.  But not The Avengers.

If you’re unfamiliar with this test, it basically rates a movie by whether or not it meets these simple critera: 1. there are two female characters with names; 2. these two female characters appear in a scene together; and 3. these two female characters share a line of dialogue that is not about the male characters.  That would seem to be a pretty low bar.

After all, Conan the Barbarian with Jason Momoa passed the test.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Conan-the-friggin-Barbarian passed the Bechdel test.  Honestly.  Because, somewhere toward the beginning of the third reel, Tamara (Rachel Nichols) and Marique (Rose McGowan) have a scene together where, for a line or two, they discuss a dress.  And that’s enough.

But The Avengers didn’t pass.  I still love Joss Whedon, but I have to admit, in modern internet parlance, I haz a sad :(


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