James Cameron: Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman ‘amazing’, but ‘not mothers’

Image: Warner Bros. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty, Warner Bros.

It seems like every single day, there’s a new public figure who manages to make the phrase “women’s empowerment” sound more confusing. And thanks to James Cameron, Director Avatar: Water Way, Wednesday December 14th was no different. In an interview with diverseSeries Directors Directors, Cameron told director Robert Rodriguez of his decision to include a pregnant female warrior in the series water waybattle scenes. And while it’s hard to spoil comments praising the easel’s strength and power, he manages to do just that.

“Everyone always talks about female empowerment,” Cameron said, at which point I had to take a deep breath. But what is this big part of a woman’s life that we don’t experience as men? And I thought, “Well, if you’re really going to go down the rabbit hole of female empowerment, let’s talk about a six-month-old pregnant warrior in battle.” For example, a woman, instead of His own stream of consciousness about the “big bits” of a woman’s life might have received a slightly different answer. But alas!

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“It hasn’t happened in our society — it probably hasn’t in hundreds of years — but I guarantee you, in the past, women had to fight to survive and protect their children, and it didn’t matter if they were pregnant,” Cameron continued, with reason. “And pregnant women are far more capable of being athletic than we as a culture recognize.”

Regardless of the intolerable gender essentialism of his comments, I can respect Cameron’s view of pregnant women’s true grit. But something about his noticing that “at noon,” pregnant In fact It had to
“Fight for survival” sounds very difficult. Modern medicine and workplace safety guidelines have measurably improved the lives of pregnant women, but the conditions pregnant women still face are not entirely comfortable. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among rich countries, sir.

In any case, since female heroines and characters in general (but not their male counterparts!) should always be compared to each other, Cameron added, “Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel – all these other Wonder Women who show up, but they’re not mothers and they’re not pregnant while fighting evil.” “. do you hear thatAnd Diana Themyscira and Carol Danvers?? You are on amazing, but… you are a childless woman who is not pregnant. Sad thing. embarrassment! This isn’t “female empowerment” for you, ladies.

To state the obvious, there are no random measures of male superheroes promoting “male empowerment,” and certainly no expectation of them having children. The first Avenger, Black Widow, the first woman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, did not have the option of having biological children because she underwent a compulsory hysterectomy as part of her training. I would have loved to have conveyed Mr Cameron’s message to her, if she had not died saving the world Avengers: Endgame– though not a fictional character.

Cameron’s controversial comments about “female empowerment” aren’t the first time he’s spoken out about female characters and given women audiences. In 2017, Cameron went back and forth with Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins after he made comments sexualizing the titular Wonder Woman film, eliciting that women in Hollywood only know how to make “dramatic” films, not action. It seems a pleasure to work with him.

Cameron eventually concluded his last remarks on a more gender-neutral note, referring to the heroes of the Marvel and DC universes. “They have relationships, but they really aren’t. They never shut down their spurs because of their kids. The things that really ground us and give us strength and love and purpose?” he said. “Those characters don’t experience it, and I think that’s not how movies are made.”

Again, I get what he’s trying to say – it’s a common criticism that Marvel heroes don’t have a life outside of work, nor any deeper loyalty to one another after completing missions. But there is something very dated and instinctively masculine about the expectation that having children is the only way to experience fulfillment.

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