Rocket Raccoon in Avengers: Infinity War

A Talking Raccoon Is Taken More Seriously Than Women by Male MCU Fans

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I don’t think that men realize just how much it sucks being a female fan of superheroes. I’m not saying they don’t understand being “mocked,” because they’re nerds. They do, but even that nerddom is more universally accepted than a girl who likes the MCU.

So, imagine my shock, as I listened, on a radio show, while a man praised Marvel for pushing boundaries and being innovative by having a star like Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. While it was being used to mock DC’s lack of faith in a female-led movie, the comment also put into focus the fact that many male fans don’t seemingly see a problem with Marvel’s lack of female representation. A talking raccoon? That’s genius and innovative and shows how Marvel was willing to do anything in 2014! … Anything except have a female-led film. Or LGBTQ+ characters. Or, really, anything that would be outside the status quo in a truly meaningful way.

To this day, I can count the number of female-led action films without needing to pull up IMdB. I know all of them because there aren’t that many out there in the world, so the idea that Marvel should be praised for a talking raccoon when they still didn’t have a female-led film is laughable. That was in 2014. Marvel wouldn’t release Captain Marvel until 2019. So … a talking raccoon, let’s praise that, but women can continue to take a back seat. Right?

I’m sorry, maybe I’m being oversensitive but then again, female comic nerds have the right to be. We’re consistently questioned about our knowledge. Even Gail Simone, who is literally a comic book writer, is constantly questioned about her knowledge by male fans.

This isn’t to say that all male fans are this way. I learned about comics through my older brother, and I thank him constantly for my knowledge, mainly because I love talking about superheroes, but also whenever a man feels the need to question me, I can school him, which, honestly, shouldn’t be how we function. I shouldn’t have to have a bunch of knowledge about something just so when a man feels like he knows more, I can defend myself.

Was the comment about Rocket Raccoon harmless? Yes, but it showed that many fans (particularly men) don’t care about the lack of female representation in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DCEU. So, I guess we just have to fight for our own rights over a talking raccoon, right? (And this hurts me to write, because Rocket Raccoon is one of my favorite characters. I hate that men have made me do this!)

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.