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The Subtle Sexism in the New ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ Posters Is Disappointing

That's a big yikes from me, dawg.

Mantis, Peter, and Nebula walk down a hallway in a spaceship.

Listen, I can already hear you groaning after reading the title and saying, “What are you talking about? Why are you looking so deeply at some movie posters?” And to all that grumbling I say: shhhh, let me walk you through this seemingly “harmless” group of movie posters.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 takes place after the absolute madness/shit-show that was Avengers: Endgame and Thor: Love and Thunder. The team is still together and (barely) saving communities from danger. Gamora 2.0 still doesn’t fully remember everyone and is off doing her own thing for a bit. It’s a little messy to start with, but the plot seems to be centered about Rocket Racoon and his mysterious past that’s come back to haunt the team.

In a newly released batch of movie posters, we can see Peter Quill, Rocket, Groot, and Drax standing tall while holding super cool weapons with different galaxies printed on them. As for Gamora, Mantis, and Nebula, well, they’re there. Sitting. Awkwardly.

I’m not one to cry foul every time I feel like something is a bit off when it comes to movie and TV marketing. I’m well aware that a lot of thought and hard work goes into these posters and trailers, and everything is double-checked by teams of people. So, when I saw these posters, I couldn’t help but think, “Who approved this?” The only three women in the franchise are sitting on the ground. Why? For what reason? All the guys, plus the TREE and RACCOON, are standing and looking badass with their weapons. So why did the Guardians marketing team decide to leave their women characters literally on the ground?

It’s not uncommon for women to be seen as subservient to men when it comes to their role in advertising. In a study published in the Journal of International Women’s Studies, authors Sangeeta Sharma and Arpan Bumb highlighted the fact that women are “often portrayed as lying down on the ground or on a bed, making women passive, and in some cases is a clear indication of social hierarchy,” and that can make women seem “less intelligent and [having a need for a] man’s protection.”

The Guardians posters are just another spoke in a sexist wheel that women have been dealing with for centuries and it’s incredibly disappointing to see from a franchise with such strong, capable women. I can only hope James Gunn didn’t allow the sexist views in the marketing campaign to leak into his film.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5, 2023.

(featured image: Marvel)

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Kayla Harrington (she/her) is a freelance writer who has been working in digital media since 2017, starting at Mashable before moving to BuzzFeed and now here at The Mary Sue. She specializes in Marvel (Wanda Maximoff did nothing wrong!), pop culture, and politics. When she's not writing or lurking on TikTok, you can find Kayla reading the many unread books on her shelves or forcing her friends to watch some random video she found. She's also a world class chef (according to her wife) and loves to try any recipe she can find.