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Is it ok to talk about Captain Marvel spoilers now? If not, mute this thread.

It's bugging me that the most constant criticism (but one I've literally only heard from men) is that Danvers has no arc. She's super powerful at the start and the end. No personal journey
You'd be surprised how much flew over heads. A male reporter asked Brie Larson if the "smile" scene was added because of complaints about her appearing stiff and how fans were photoshopping smiles onto her.

"That's just a depiction of the female experience", she had to say
People miss the point in a similar way when it comes to her personal journey. They seem to think you need to come from nothing and become ultra powerful to grow as a person. That's what the fans are used to seeing in these films
Male heroes often don't have powers, then get powers, then change as people. With great power comes great responsibility etc. Power fantasy and the emotional challenges that come with having these powers
Danvers' arc is coming to realise and then address that institutions & shit men around her won't LET her grow. That's the fucking point
At the start of the film she has powers. She's told by a powerful man in her life that she only has the powers because they gave them to her. With his own blood no less. And he tries to stop her realising how powerful she is. Also always telling her to calm down, not be emotional
In reality it's the literal opposite. They're actually limiting her power. The device on her neck that they tell her is needed to control her power is literally just there to stop her from reaching her true potential. The institution won't let her grow
What some people have missed is that legions of women and other minorities are sitting in the cinema nodding their heads. "You're too emotional". "You're this good because of us". Despite coming from an alien dude, these are familiar phrases
Men, women and non-binary people all share challenges in life. If you want to have that top job for example you'll need the skills, the experience etc. But women and minorities can have unique barriers that unfairly hold them back even when they ARE good enough
Danvers doesn't become a powerful woman. She IS a powerful woman! But some dick is telling her she's not. Some institution has policies in place to hold her back. Her emotional arc doesn't come from gaining power but realising they're working to limit her potential
A lot of the people who claim she has no arc also complained that the final showdown is anti-climatic because she "cheats" and omfg they are so not getting any of this at all. For the whole film this wankpuffin has been holding her back, making her think she's lesser than him
But as soon as she says fuck that and realises they've held her back, he wants to make it about a fist fight (bring her down to his level). Make it about physical strength. To PROVE that she's taken on board his patronising lessons from earlier when lying to her
Previous lessons:
You'll never be special unless you can PROVE IT by beating me in a fist fight with no powers
You're too emotional
You're only this good because we made you to be
Without us you're nothing
So when she doesn't have an epic fist fight but just uses her amazing power on him and says she has nothing to prove that's the fucking arc. They owned her. They made her think she was weaker and at his level. He would belittle her saying she still had to prove herself to him
Her arc has personal growth because she stops trying to please this spunktrumpet and the shitty, lying people who basically kidnapped her and told her she was lesser. She goes from trying to prove her value to this dude & team, to knowing they have NOTHING to do with her worth
She finds self worth. How is that not a fucking arc of personal growth!? She knows that her worth doesn't come from proving herself to Jude the Dude. She's better than him and is so powerful she can even work to fix the wrongs that they've done to others. A proper hero
I felt so much for every time @PNemiroff had to listen to people who didn't get that the film is addressing very real experiences and how she does have an arc

If you can't see the arc in this film, you don't listen to women about their experiences

Also some guys saying the film is an attack on men. The best relationship in the film is Danvers and Fury. Two people working together to do the right thing. He treats her as an equal. Well, he knows her abilities are beyond him but that doesn't threaten Fury
He doesn't have to bring her down to boost his own ego. In fact, he helps her. He raises her up and helps her be where she needs to be. He becomes a friend. It's called respect. Of course people are saying the film emasculated Fury
Because to appear lesser than a woman is the worst thing that can happen to a man apparently
I don't often write about films but when I do it's because people don't get them because they're ignorant of the experiences of others. E.g. The Matrix as a trans allegory link.medium.com/T8D3wcTNvV
Of course I'll write more if you give me money though
When it's out to watch at home here are some things I'd recommend paying more attention to if you want to get more from the film:

1. How the supreme intelligence appears as a friend while holding you back
2. How the "learn to be a hero now that I have powers" arc can't apply because she already is a hero. It's the other way round. She gets her powers because of a heroic act of self-sacrifice. The "being a hero" part comes naturally to her
3. Note how Danvers reacts to finding out the horrors she's been a part of: she doesn't get defensive and deny. She's a hero. She's going to make amends and do what's right. That's one message I wish could sink in to more people
Like white people being personally offended and getting defensive instead of trying to make things better when racism by white people is pointed out
4. Note that the arc went over people's heads here supposedly because it's not about going from powerless to powerful... but it's not unique and people followed Black Panther fine despite it being an internal struggle too. Can he be king and a good person? Sins of our fathers etc
There can be more to these characters than just what power they have. T'Challa changes how things have been done, proves we can be better than those that come before us, and that we're stronger together. That's what made him interesting, not the bulletproof cat suit and a flower
It must be an ignorance of experiences women share that throws people off but there's no excuse. There's no shortage of vocal women demonstrating that we still have institutions designed to hold us back. Maybe Captain Marvel is the thing that makes some boys more aware growing up
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