Lady Parts Episode 27: Avengers Infinity War & Deadpool 2.....aka women are for fridging

Fridging is such a strange narrative trope. Using the five stages of grief as character motivation and development can be a strong exploration, but the consistent fridging of female and queer characters is, well, oh so very tired.

So it was very exciting to see a positive queer representation that doesn't end in a fridging in Deadpool 2. Ellie (Negasonic Teenage Warhead) and Yukio are a breath of fresh air in an awfully straight universe, and the 'use' of their relationship in the narrative was likewise surprising. That they are queer teens was not their central story arc, and neither died, so win for ladies and queerness! Add the beautiful specimen that is Domino - seriously, give that woman all of the screentime - and the blossoming bromance between Wade and Colossus, and we're well on the way to fantastic female characters, female stories and down with toxic masculinity!

Of course, the fridging of not one, but three, female characters in Deadpool 2 - and the lack of understanding about why this is a problem from the creative team - kinda dampens the effort.

For all the gas about franchises being overrun by the SJW and leftist agenda there's still a long ways to go in how Marvel treats their female characters - hell, based on the viewing of Solo the other week, I'd extend that to Disney as a whole.

There's been a lot of focus on representation and diversity in SF, and it's this focus that has drawn a lot of criticism from both sides. What's particularly interesting is that in focusing on representation and diversity, by drawing attention to the issue, we're highlighting the traps and failings of storytelling as a whole. So focused are we on making sure there are women, people of colour, characters with disabilities, that their function within the story is almost secondary. Can we show different kinds of heroes and villains and characters, and be commercial. Well, yes. But it's not enough to ask if, but how. Are we producing fully formed characters? Are they contributing to the narrative? Are we subverting stereotype? Are we innovating or marinating?

Spoiler alert
Having storywriters and directors who understand the tropes of the genre and of storytelling is vitally important. Knowing the genre, the fandom or cinematic history, doesn't hinder the creative process, but can enhance and, hell, can challenge you to be innovative or explore a trope in an interesting way. But it requires understanding the genre and all the trope-y, bloody commentary around it first.

Catch us talking Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 on the latest episode of Lady Parts Podcast.


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