The MCU fandom gains self-awareness by questioning the franchise’s sexist criticisms

A collection of Marvel female characters
Image via Marvel Comics

The MCU, known to few as the ‘M-She-U,’ has broadened its horizons in recent years to give a platform and voice to female superheroes, specifically POC. Unfortunately, some middle-aged, misogynistic, and/or racist bad apples have spoiled the bunch, resulting in every opinionated white man being (undeservingly) labeled as a whiny incel. The argument against the M-She-U originated from a handful of neckbeards who are outraged to see Marvel retconning characters to be more inclusive of race, gender and sexuality. Essentially, a portion of the internet is mad because certain MCU characters are being genderbent and racebent to accommodate under-represented minorities. There’s particular chatter around Disney Plus’ She-Hulk series, whose main character — according to certain arguments — ‘replaced’ the male Hulk… even though She-Hulk is an entirely separate and established comic-book character.

Besides that, Marvel has been doubling down on producing female-led movies and shows, starting with Captain Marvel in 2019 and expanding to WandaVision, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Black Widow, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and many more. Gone are the days when the only female lead in any Marvel project was Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones. Apparently, that inclusivity for marginalized communities — be it female, POC, LGBTQ+ or otherwise — doesn’t sit well with the stereotypical assertive and dogmatic male. Now, this isn’t to say that every male Marvel fan behaves this way — there’s a vast majority that does not — but those numbers are started to exponentially grow as Marvel Studios continues pushing boundaries.

When the debate was taken to Reddit, the aforementioned majority spoke out to defend themselves, assuring any skeptics that their values lie in respecting women, POC, LGBTQ+ persons and other minorities and that they’re in full support of Marvel’s initiative to be more inclusive. In fact, some would even go as far as to say they prefer female-led projects over male ones. Other associated parties believe that it’s human nature to enjoy some things and not others, but making an obnoxious stand against said thing isn’t mature or necessary.

There’s an internet subculture built on male grievance; a gathering of individuals who constantly think negatively about projects that veer from the norm of a white, straight male lead. If we word it thusly: there’s a lot to be concerned about in today’s world, but Marvel Studios including more female, POC and LGBTQ+ characters in their shared universe is absolutely not one of them.