Toeing the Line

I’m not normally the biggest Spider-Man fan, but there were some feminist things that I appreciated about this last film.

I don’t want to give any spoilers for the new movie, but I will for the previous one. It came out in 2012 and if you wanted to see it, I’m pretty sure you would have by now. I will go into some things that were foreshadowed from the first film, which is the strange dynamic that happens after Peter makes his promise. He promises Gwen Stacy’s dying father that he will stay away from her in order to protect her from his lifestyle as Spider-Man. It’s a sweet promise that we all should know he’ll have trouble keeping from the last few scenes of that movie. They were minors then and while a living father would have had a say in who she dated, that wouldn’t have lasted into the second movie anyway. As the characters move into adulthood, nothing that any parent or guardian could say would have any real standing in their relationship. Okay, there would still have been guilt and pressure, but they wouldn’t have been able to legally force a separation.

This would have allowed Gwen Stacy to be in the exact same predicament that we find her in. Now, while I love the character of Gwen Stacy and Emma Stone’s portrayal, this is about Peter Parker. The movie makers chose to show a struggle that seems often forgotten by media. This is the struggle between a strong and independent woman’s wishes and the “man box” that certain promises and desires for protection on the part of Peter. He wants to keep his promise, but he cannot ignore the entire other person that is in that relationship over the wishes of her father. Or can he?

The point here is that no matter what he chose, it was great to see them recognize this struggle in today’s man. In a world where women get to freely choose the level of security they want to live in and who they want to live in it with, things like promises to parents shouldn’t even be made. The relationship isn’t about them. The relationship is solely about the two people that are in it. It was great to see the film pay homage to the internal struggle of a man who loves a strong woman that he probably won’t always be able to protect and the way that he deals with that. They did a great job of toeing that line.

 

Note: It’s always a good idea to listen to your parents on relationships. I’ve found that they are usually right and then we who don’t listen are then heartbroken or worse. They aren’t always right, but often enough that you should at least hear them out.

 

Join me next Friday for to see why I want chivalry to die and allow men to come down off those white horses!

Follow me on Twitter at @createparity and Pinterest for more about gender issues!

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