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The Token Woman

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In a world with an incredible amount of superhero movies and action movies there are many badass, heroic men. More impressively there are exactly 25% as many token women. The Token Woman trope is an extensive, and consistent one. Who knows where it started? We don’t know but we do know that the trope is bullshit so of course I have opinions about it.

This wildly, deeply sexist “token woman” trope is often referred to as the Smurfette effect, or Smurfette syndrome. Having a solo woman on a team is problematic for many reasons, the first being that it gives the writers far too many opportunities to oversexualize her. The second being that the woman is always given less care in her writing, we see this plainly in how Marvel wrote Black Widow for 10 entire years. Not only was she oversexualized but her dialogue always sounded like it was written by someone who’s never talked to a woman before.

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