The problem with slut jokes

by , under #WomensLives, celebrities, entertainment, Geek, sexism

problem with slut jokes You might have seen that Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner during a press junket responded to a question about Black Widow’s romantic interests in Age of Ultron (not saying who, SPOILERS, but it was brought up to them because in prior films it seemed like her interests were aimed at Captain America and Hawkeye) and both men joked that she’s a slut, a whore, and she has a fake leg (which painted people with prosthetics as being something unattractive).

And people on the internet immediately said that wasn’t cool.

So why do people care? Black Widow’s just a fictional character, right?

Because men (and women) say this to women all the time. Women are sluts or whores for having had previous sexual relationships, while men neatly avoid name calling. And women get labeled sluts and whores especially when we’ve passed a guy over for someone else. (And any other number of names).

It matters because this is the narrative of OUR lives, and when someone in a very public sphere makes a comment like that – it reinforces to people out there, that demeaning women for making decisions about who they sleep with is something that’s okay. And it’s not.

It’s also a big deal because right now the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the biggest deals out there in movies, and the Avengers are the top tier of the MCU. No matter how you feel about celebrity status – these actors are people who are looked up to by children and adults alike. So it’s a brutal reminder that the 24 hour cycle has killed any idea that movie stars are anything but normal people.

So what happened? Chris Evans apologized, Jeremy Renner just seemed annoyed that people were upset and wanted them to go away. No, really. From EW:

“Yesterday we were asked about the rumors that Black Widow wanted to be in a relationship with both Hawkeye and Captain America,” Evans said in a statement provided to EW. “We answered in a very juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize.”

“I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone,” Renner also said in a statement provided to EW. “It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour.”

At least Chris gives us hope that there are real people out there, who aren’t afraid to listen when someone calls them out on something, and re-evaluate what they did.

  • Eli

    I’m surprised this was all you had to say on this ….

  • There’s a lot more I could say, but it was a busy day with work and kids- so I went for succinct.

  • Tigger

    I am really surprised that they would make these jokes. They seem like awesome guys and then they do this crap and they lose a little of their sheen and…it makes me sad. Because this doesn’t strike me as part of their personalities, I guess. I know, we only see what they show us, and they show us the pretty sides…which means there’s an ugly side too. Jeremy Renner is one of my favorite people to watch and now I’m like…ugh.