Analysis Of Gender Stereotypes In The Movie Deadpool

Superhero films are extremely popular these days, so I wanted to analyze the movie Deadpool. I first saw this movie when it first came out. I did not pay much attention to the gender and sexuality issues within the movie itself. So when I decided to watch it over I noticed there were many male gender stereotypes as well as female stereotypes, and I got the impression that males are superior to females. Those are the three issues I paid attention to throughout the film.

The movie is about a man named Wade Wilson who underwent an experiment to help cure his cancer. In doing so the experiment went wrong and he gained accelerating healing powers that messed his face up. However, he received his name from a scene early in the movie when he was in the bar. The movie went back in forth as far as memories but Wade Wilson named himself Deadpool based on how he looked and the condition he was in. He gains new abilities and is on a search for the person that nearly killed him during the experiment. The movie is a reintegration of the comic books by Marvel of this alter ego killer, not your typical friendly superhero. Deadpool is one of my favorite movies because of the level of action/violence, the sound effects/special effect and the good acting in the movie.

We all know the typical male stereotypes, and this film went right along with those assumptions. One of the main stereotypes that were seen all through the movie was that men are to be very strong and violent. The main character, Wade Wilson is also known as Deadpool, has a job as a type of hitman and scares people through violence. His character is constantly in fights and starting brawls among others. Another character in the movie, Colossus, is extremely strong and masculine. No surprise there though because that is how men are supposed to be, right? At least that is what society teaches us. Lastly, Wade undergoes extreme torture in the movie in order to receive his superpower, and he never complains once. That is the stereotype that men are supposed to be tough and not let others know when they are in pain. Society agrees with these stereotypes and it is what we learn at a very young age.

Now that we have covered male stereotypes, it is time to look into female clichés. A very typical thought is that women are not strong and that they should be gentle. The character, Angel Dust, is a female who has extreme strength. Wade Wilson says to her, “Aren’t you a little strong for a lady?” That quote supports the idea that women are not meant to be strong especially stronger than their male counterparts. A big cliché in society is that teenage girls are moody and do not want anything to do with anything. The character, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who is very introverted, demonstrates that. Wade even makes a point to mock her about that in one of the opening scenes. Lastly, an assumption is that women cannot defend themselves, and constantly need men to save them. Deadpool’s girlfriend, Vanessa, is kidnapped towards the end of the film, and of course, he must come to her rescue and defend her. In society, it is thought that women cannot handle themselves. They need a man to take care of them and be there when something goes wrong. Believe it or not, most women are pretty self-sufficient.

I think this film implies that males are somewhat superior to females. The main character of this movie is male. How many superhero movies are about a female? I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure there are zero superhero movies in which a female in the leading role. There honestly is not very many female superheroes period. This is most likely due to the fact that comic books and superheroes were gender-typed as a male interest. There are a few female superheroes in the film, but they are constantly mocked throughout it. Neither Angel Dust nor Negasonic Teenage Warhead is taken seriously. I think this correlates well with what we have just learned about gender in the workplace. Even though the females have the same qualifications, they are not respected or seen as important as males. Lastly, Wade makes a comment about Negasonic Warrior saying, “I do pity the dude who pressures her into prom sex.” To me, that is a very demeaning quote. The girl is talked about like a sex object, and this holds true for many people’s views of women, unfortunately. They are not noticed for their talents. That is just another way to imply that women are considered a lower standard than men.

The main points here are that there are still gender and sexuality stereotypes for both males and females and that men are often seen as superior. The movie is teaching the audience the same things that society holds true about gender and sexuality. Men are strong, masculine, and oftentimes violent. Women are supposed to be weak, moody, and a damsel in distress. I think this film really relates to everything we have learned in class so far but greatly to the gender and workplace lesson. Being a superhero is the characters’ “job,” and like in the real world women are not taken seriously or held to the same standard as men even when they are equally qualified. This film goes right along with gender and sexuality stereotypes we are taught at a young age and reiterated throughout our whole lives. 

16 December 2021
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