[Image description: Two inbox messages from the same user.
The first reads: “In response to your last post about Natasha’s hair, I believe you’re overlooking a few things. The first is that in training to fight at that level you learn to use more than just your sight to fight, so the twirling of hair would not affect her ability to fight so much as you might think. Furthermore, it provides a distraction to the opponent, twirling red hair will pull on their senses and could distract them for the second too long, martial artists often tied red strings to their swords…”
The second reads: “(in continuing that first ask) You also neglect the fact that fighting with her body was not the only, nor even the primary, weapon she utilized in her job. Sensuality is often a more effective weapon than fists could ever be, and she does, in fact, use it as a weapon several times in the avengers movie. These are just some counterpoints to consider..”]
(In reference to this post). You know, I was waiting for one of these. Tumblr never disappoints. Allow me to dissect your points in the order in which you present them.
Natasha is such a super-badass spy with so much training that even if her hair gets in her face it doesn’t matter, because she relies on senses other than sight to do her work.
Well, you’re half right. It’s likely that when her vision is obscured, Natasha Romanoff is 100% able to rely on other senses and fight just as well as if her vision was unobscured. However, if you’ve ever tried to do anything physical with long hair flying all around you and in your face, then you know it is incredibly distracting and a huge pain in the ass. Black Widow is a super-spy. There is absolutely no reason for her not to have a friggin’ hair tie to pull her hair back before she starts doing flips and shit. It is a practical thing to do. You can do it while in motion. It takes all of half a second.
I didn’t say it would affect her ability to fight. I said that having long hair flying around is an impractical, distracting thing to do. And further, what kind of idiot would allow themselves a handicap they can avoid when going into a fight? That is some STUPID shit. Natasha Romanoff is not stupid. If she were stupid, she would be dead.
Even if it’s a distraction to her, it’s a bigger distraction to other people, because martial artists used to tie red strings to their swords!
String tied to a sword isn’t constantly in your eyes and getting in the way of your movements. String tied to a sword won’t hurt or distract you if it gets caught in something. Comparing “string tied to a sword” with “masses of curly red hair getting in your eyes” is such a bad analogy it’s a little ridiculous you chose it as basis for your argument. They’re not the same thing.
As we’ve established, Natasha is not a stupid person. As a super-spy and a superhero who is very, very good at her job, she is incredibly practical. She did not need to distract her opponent in this scenario. Why in hell would she therefore use a technique that’s dubious at best, as it handicaps her (even slightly) and isn’t necessary?
Natasha isn’t really a badass in the way that, like, James Bond is a badass. She uses her sexuality to fight. Didn’t you even SEE The Avengers?
YAWN. I’m typing “YAWN” because you as a reader cannot see me actually yawn with boredom over this tired, tired fucking way of writing off stupid costuming decisions about female superheroes to make them sexy instead of powerful. THIS ARGUMENT IS SO OLD. IT IS SO BORING. IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. It is SO. FUCKING. RIDICULOUS. And it is a way to justify a desire to see a woman doing something sexy while also kicking ass, because if she’s not sexy, who cares what else she’s doing, right? Badass women are only there to be my own personal fighting fucktoys! Duh!
You realize that by trying to make this argument you are inevitably going to contradict yourself, right? Because if you take the obvious facts — that things like push-up bras, heeled boots, long hair, cleavage on display, etc are not comfortable, practical, or acceptable gear for superheroes or super-spies as they inhibit bodily motion, provide distractions, and possibly provide weaknesses (your boobs are on your chest, after all, and if they’re not covered someone CAN shoot you there; long hair can be pulled and wrapped around an attackers hands and wrists, hence why one of the first things done in the military is chopping off everyone’s hair; your center of balance is off in heels and they HURT YOUR FEET) — there is no way to say “This character is an intelligent badass and therefore she would totally have her hair down, to use as, you know, a distraction or something.” That doesn’t work! The potential consequences FAR outweigh the very slight benefit of a possible distraction, and they create handicaps. Even a slight handicap can mean the difference between life and death when you’re a SUPERHERO/SUPERSPY fighting AN INTERGALACTIC ARMY.
Did you watch the same movie I did? Because I saw it five times, and every time I saw Natasha Romanoff intentionally using gender stereotypes that other people (men!) project onto her in order to get what she wanted, which is a SIGHT different from using her sexuality to get what she wants. It’s not often done, and it’s not what you’re used to seeing, so I’m not surprised you read it as something it wasn’t. She knows how men will react to her and treat her because men in that universe act the same about women that men in this universe do - they assume they’re weak, they’re sentimental and emotional and that their sentimentality will get the better of them, and that what they care about most is being pretty. Natasha cares about doing her job well. She wants to wipe the red out of her ledger. Period.
I took the liberty of checking out your profile and I see that you are a guy with short hair, and as such, you have literally no idea what you’re talking about. Have you ever worn your hair long and tried to do something physical with it down? Because I get the distinct sense you haven’t. You wouldn’t be asking this asinine question otherwise. No woman would EVER wear her long, curly hair down and in her face while doing something that physical and difficult (and badass). Ever. No woman would kick ass in a push-up bra unless she had to (I do not doubt that most women could). This is because push-up bras and heeled boots (don’t even get me started on Agent Hill’s ridiculous wedge boots) and long hair are not practical, they’re not comfortable, and they inhibit the job that superheroes do.
If you actually think that Black Widow uses her sexuality more than she uses her incredible bodily skill in physical combat, not to mention her clearly above-average intelligence, then you are simply not paying attention to what you’re watching. And worse, you’re being demeaning while doing so.