Disney Plus’s She Hulk Can’t Achieve Her Feminist Ideals Yet

She-Hulk: Lawyer makes his thesis statement about 13 minutes into his first episode: When Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) tells his cousin – newly Hulked, thanks to an accident – ​​Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany) that the triggers are anger and fear, she mocks. “These are like the baseline of any righteous woman existing.” It’s a point she’ll hit harder later in the episode, after weeks of training to be dexterous and zen so she doesn’t accidentally Hulk. As he reminds her that the most important thing in the world is for her not to be scared or, more importantly, angry, she hits him with the manifesto, sort of, to She-Hulk:

“Here’s the thing, Bruce: I’m good at controlling my anger. I do it all the time,” says Jen. “When I’m caught on the street, when incompetent men explain my own area of ​​expertise to me – I do that almost every day because if I don’t, I’ll be called ’emotional’ or ” difficult” or I might just literally get murdered. So I’m an expert at controlling my anger because I do that infinitely more than you do.

To demonstrate how much control she has, she briefly transforms into She-Hulk. Eventually, we’ll see her prove herself right, return to the normal world, and endure the sarcastic comments of her misogynist colleague with aplomb. This is a great victory for feminism.

The question is: how far — boxShe-Hulk go with this limited brand of feminism?

Hulk and She-Hulk bowing to each other with their hands in prayer position

Picture: Marvel Studios

There are already plenty of Feminism 101 shows around the world – your Bold characters Where super girl. According to the four episodes provided to critics for review, She-Hulk integrates into these programs without too much difficulty; feminism and the people it covers are not uniform, and rather these shows are a foundation to inspire young people who are just beginning to find the kind of feminist action they want (or need) in their life. In its first episodes, She-Hulk isn’t groundbreaking, and for a certain group of viewers, that’s OK. The fact that the series is able to address the undercurrent of anger that accompanies feminism is a step towards acknowledging rage as just a valid response to a largely inhuman world, in ways big and small, for women of every day.

It’s a double-edged sword that the creators behind She-Hulk know too well. The show centers Jen’s discomfort with heroism as part of her discomfort with how people treat her new look. As She-Hulk, she’s respected, defended, applauded – even just seen After.

“As far as the CGI criticized, I think it has to do with our culture’s belief in their ownership of women’s bodies. I think a lot of the criticism comes from the feeling that they are capable of tearing CGI women, She-Hulk said director Kat Coiro during the Television Critics Association panel on the show. “We talk a lot about his morphology. And we based it a lot on Olympian athletes, not bodybuilders, but I think if we had done the opposite, we would have faced the same criticism. I think it’s very hard to win when you’re making women’s bodies.

she-hulk walking towards a crowd of fans, wearing a sparkling dress

Picture: Marvel Studios

Even in the first episode, She-Hulk feels clear about how this transition is superimposed by Jen being female. But still, it’s frustrating to see a movement seeping through Marvel Studios, whose overall ethos is as if King Midas disinfected everything he touched. There is no way that the (modern) MCU wants to get as thorny and provocative as feminism makes it is in the real world; feminism is a political ideology (no matter what slogan t-shirts tell you!), which means certain topics will be inherently taboo, thorny and disruptive. You won’t get things like that in a Marvel Studios project, by design. And so much of the feminism of She-Hulk feels a little too pat-de Classes the sexist co-worker’s slights are things like “no more smiles,” and the bad bros she meets are a little too clear about how much her femininity is what annoys them.

‘Cause here’s the thing about She-Hulk: There are all kinds of Olympians. They are bodybuilders, swimmers, runners, rowers, skiers, gymnasts and more. They are bulky as often as they are thin. And so, when Cairo told Polygon that the body type they settled on looked like Misty Copeland, someone who is “strong and powerful, but […] can go to a restaurant and have a date, can work in a regular office and sit in a regular office chair”, it looks like a little more Marvel shine, where the edges are sanded down to create a common denominator . She-Hulk’s Muscles Looked Different Across several decades of comicsand that is to say that She-HulkIterations of align with a more conventionally attractive body type. For everyone She-Hulk pretends to be a “feminist television”, it is always linked to a specific conception of femininity and empowerment. The show can only conceive of its heroine as a female answer to the Hulk, so it can’t fully imagine what it would mean to be free from comparison.

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