Wow, OK, I had kind of conceptualized that Joss Whedon post along the lines of “here are some random thoughts that I’m gonna store behind a cut in case a few people are interested,” not expecting so many people to reblog it. But since there was so much interest, I ended up…
I don’t disagree with the general critique, but just wanted to note that for the parts comparing Natasha’s portrayal in Avengers vs Captain America 2: they are different movies at their core. The former is an action / battle adventure and the latter is a spy / espionage thriller. The core alters what we see characters do and played a large factor in Natasha’s jeans and hoodie attire, but once on the job, her uniform is no different with butt-level camera angles.
As for shaking in the presence of the Hulk. It is unfortunate that she is the only human we see interact with him in dangerous situations and in order to introduce the new Hulk to an audience that hasn’t seen him in awhile you need even the Black Widow scared out of her mind to get how dangerous he is. I can see how it can read as the threat of sexual violence with many factors contributing to that, but it honestly saw it as the threat of being torn limb from limb.
There is plenty in Joss Whedon’s original tv series work to pull examples from that highlight these flaws, but at the very least we are fortunate that his female characters still have more layers to them than others and perhaps it’ll take another generation for the next writer to come along that pushes it further.
So cheers to the progress, but these are also heightened realities. Characters needs flaws to have movie-sized stories.