In Defense of Iron Man 3 (unlocked post)
It has come to my attention that Iron Man 3 is taking a lot of heat for being racist and ablest among other things. I don't agree fully with all the opinions and this is why.
~ this post is now unlocked so feel free to link. lots of meta floating about so yeah, made mine available too.
1: Pepper spends too much time in distress. I find this realistic. Her house gets attacked while she is in it and she ends up in the suit kicking ass but kind of failtastically. This is accurate as she has no idea how to work said suit. She is then the person to find the information about Tony and safely get away from the mansion. She takes charge and tries to help. She is betrayed. It isn't like she goes running off into danger. She tries to hide. She doesn't strike me as a damsel in distress until she is in fact, kidnapped and that is by super-charged thugs that tie her up and drug her. I don't see what people expect to have happened. The thing is, Tony doesn't even rescue her. She isn't a damsel in that regard. Tony fails to save her and she saves herself by getting out of the fire and then proceeds to save him. Ok, she gets distracted by an old admirer but I think anyone would given the change and she's till in charge of Stark Industries being a bamf. She doesn't allow herself to be wood into anything, holds her ground, and does the right thing for the company. I think her performance is realistic for her character.
2: The racism in the Mandarin plot. The film is taking a lot of heat over this aspect of it but playing on a nation's fears and therefore making it look in entirely the wrong place is correct and realistic given that it happens all the time. Is the fact that the US sees the Mandarin and assumes he is in the Middle East racist? Yes, but it is also very accurate and what the governments do every day, especially the USA with its assumption that it has every right to march into nations without permission and tell them how to run their lives because they know better. Then they get attacked from within. Which is exactly what happens even though in this case it is a white man that turns out to be the threat. If you want to stay hidden, stay in your own back yard and blame it on someone far away. It works, sadly. I think they handled it well and people need to see this stuff. They need to be made to think because too often the default answer is to blow up some random place when it turns out the threat was home grown and a result of the way society treats people.
3. That takes me on nicely to the ablest side of things. If people honestly think that people have the mindset that all disabled people are evil then the problem certainly isn't Iron Man and what the movies do isn't going to change it. Disabled characters hardly ever appear in movies so while the depiction isn't perfect I consider it a victory that they appear at all. Movies don't create people's mindsets on disabled people because they hardly appear. But then I don't think it would anyway just like I don't think video games make people mass murderers. Sometimes society just needs to sit up and take responsibility for its own damn stupidity and how vile it can be.
The other side of this is the people that say that no one would ever become that desperate, that it makes disabilities out to be this horrible thing that people can't live with. Newsflash, sometimes disabilities are these horrible things that people can't face living with and they can't face living with them because of how society treats them. The way society treats people is what pushes the 'bad guys' into doing what they do. Imagine being a war vet from Iraq who went in there believing it was the right thing, Bin Laden was there, the weapons were there only to find he wasn't, they don't exist, you went in illegally, the war can't be won, everything was a lie and now you're missing a limb, are not supported by your government, get called a baby killer on a regular basis and get treated like shit for doing your 'duty' the rest of it. It is frankly, naive, to think that won't make a person desperate and willing to do just about anything to get their normality back. They had been soldiers; had the world at their finger tips, ruled those countries they invaded and then suddenly they can't get dressed by themselves? It does strange things to a mindset. Plus, war unhinges people.
People already do anything. Diabetes is a disability that can be a lot harder to deal with than some of the disabilities shown in the movie and there are diabetics willing to take a pancreas transplant that will only last 5 years before the organ dies and they die with it because they don't get another. They are desperate enough to take 5 years diabetes free than 30 or 40 with this disability, this disease and everything that comes with it. And I think the accusations thrown at the film also miss another huge point, people in desperate situations will always convince themselves that the negative side effects won't happen to them and many are willing to watch others suffer as long as they are ok in the long run. These are realistic day to day things. What do you think happens to the lab rats in the labs every days with new treatments with illnesses? They are willing to deal with horrific side effects and risk it all to improve their lives. They will then defend those that helped them to the death no matter what it is later revealed that medical professional did.
I just think 'making the disabled people the bad guys is wrong, that plot-line is ablest, no one would risk that' is a very black and white point of view. If anything I hope it will help open eyes and make people realise that treating disabled people like crap has big side effects and one day it might come back to bite you in the ass.