Okay, this is probably a silly post, but I honestly have to say this is something that’s been troubling me. In the last few months, there’s been some major buzz around the new release of the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, and the first new Wonder Woman film in forever. My Twitter feed is blowing up with the excitement over all of it. And I’m…well, I’m significantly — unimpressed.
Maybe it’s just an autism thing, but these are two realms of fandom that I may never be able to relate to. My true, heartfelt, unedited feelings towards Guardians of the Galaxy (yes, I saw the first movie) were: “But this is a group of criminals, fugitives from various transgressions against a variety of civilizations, including a talking tree and a talking racoon that just don’t do justice to either of those concepts…the green alien lady is seen as a traitor to her own people, and some random human kidnapped with only the greatest hits of the 70s in his Walkman becomes their leader? HUH? Why does the ruling class with all the power and the technology see them as a threat? And why would I see them as anything I’d want rescuing me?”
And then when I saw the trailers for Wonder Woman, my immediate reaction was: “Oh, don’t tell me they’re bringing back that nonsense, not when the feminist movement has come so far.”
(Man, am I going to get some flack for this.)
And in a way I feel bad, because so many people (in a lot of instances, people I know) are really happy that there was another Guardians of the Galaxy, and were really excited for Wonder Woman. And part of me also wonders why I can’t see beyond my initial views to grasp what they appreciate about these concepts.
But I’m struggling. I just can’t find a talking tree that only says the same thing over and over again amusing. I simply don’t see true feminist values in an Amazonian’s costume that shows off much more skin than is necessary to go fight bad guys.
And I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings — I am a big subscriber to the “live and let live” view of surviving this existence. If you are totally in love with either/both of these fandoms, then go you. I’m glad it works for you, honestly. But I may have to just resign myself to not being part of it.
When I think of flawed superheroes, I think of Iron Man, and am satisfied with it. When I think of kick-butt women who personify using their feminine wiles to their advantage, I think of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, and I’m satisfied. Again, these are just my opinions. But they come from ideas that I hold dear and true to my core.
While I’m all for people who make mistakes being given second chances, I’m not for them getting broken out of prison — where they’re supposed to be facing the consequences for their bad choices — and suddenly saving the city (even when most of the citizens hated them?!), and then soaring away on their probably-stolen spaceship, all based on who the random human’s father supposedly is (and introduced way too late in the movie for me to buy it, sorry, folks).
While I’m all for women not “needing” men, and all for women superheroes, I just don’t (and probably never will) condone their “proving” it by running around in little more than a bathing suit. It’s extremely objectifying, it’s extremely sexist, and extremely impractical.
As a female on the autism spectrum, I am a rare breed. Most of the high-functioning ASD-ers do happen to be male, for whatever reason, and until recently, many girls who are Asperger’s or closer to PDD (that’d be me) were misdiagnosed as ADHD or anxiety/depression. And still, there aren’t that many of us. Take a room of 20 people on the spectrum, you’ll most likely count 15 boys and 5 girls. I have no answers for this variance, just the facts.
But what concretely puts us on the spectrum is certain neurological patterning, such as rigid thinking and a very low tolerance for “changing rules” morality. What I mean by this is: Why is it, in one movie, a man who robs a bank has to go to jail to atone for his sins, while, in another movie, another criminal is allowed to rob the banks of 14 planets and get away just because he has what that galaxy considers an awesome soundtrack?
I may never be able to suspend my natural disbelief of such a notion to enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy. I may never comprehend why women have to fight to vote, to run for office, to go to school, to marry whom they choose, but also apparently have no problem with letting their clevage do more talking than their sword.
And yet, I wish I could be part of the enthusiasm surrounding these fandoms. Both these films — from a production-quality view — seem well-made and should be fun to watch. However…
Like I said, I keep coming back to these sticking points, and they are major for me.
I feel like I’m being invited to the party but I may never join in. And that feels like far too much of the rest of my life. I constantly avoid social gatherings, meeting people, going to new places because my sensory perception doesn’t like lots of noise and crowds and spaces that might not be warm/cool/big enough. And while I stand behind my right to avoid for the sake of my health (I will get panic attacks, migraines, etc.), I also don’t like the idea of never trying at all.
Sometimes I think about the idea of meeting in person someone I know well online. I believe I could do it — as long as I picked the place, the time of day, the environment, the, well, everything. And honestly, it’s not being “picky” or even “neurotic” — it’s protecting my physical health. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand that yet. Aren’t there superheroes that defend autistic values?
Maybe one day there will be?