Media neglects feminism unless men spark dialogue



Last night, “Avengers” actor Mark Ruffalo made headlines when he tweeted about the depressing lack of Black Widow merchandise for the upcoming “Age of Ultron” movie.

“@Marvel we need more #BlackWidow merchandise for my daughters and nieces,” Ruffalo tweeted. “Pretty please.”

This is not a new issue. Feminists in the entertainment and news industries have started pointing out the dearth of female representation with Marvel’s merchandise every time the studios put out a new movie in the last few years.

However, Ruffalo made headlines and continues to merit news articles by major publications for his apparently ground-breaking support of the female moviegoer’s agenda.

The feminist movement needs male members, obviously. We need all of the help we can get. But it is also counter-productive when male celebrities like Ruffalo, as well as several of the men who contributed to the “He for She” campaign earlier this year, are the only ones who can convince the general public to listen to what we’ve been saying.

When a woman calls attention to a feminist issue, she’s rarely given accolades for it. When a male — especially a famous one — deigns to advocate gender equality, he receives all the props for it.

For the last time — gender equality is not just for women. Gender equality benefits everyone.

Ruffalo’s tweet is important and helpful. If one person saw it and began to care more about female representation in geek culture, it was certainly worth it.

But the issue it concerns was not ground-breaking. It wasn’t revolutionary. It’s not new.

And for the news cycle to act as though it is something new diminishes the work of feminist writers, outlets and celebrities who have spent years trying to change the way movie studios fail women.