For a movie about a foul mouthed, anti-hero man in a red suit, Deadpool is actually pretty feminist. Not only does the film feature two women with pretty badass mutant powers — Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Angel Dust — it also has a relatively strong female love interest in Vanessa. But hey, as far as feminism in superhero movies go, the bar is set pretty low. Fans are still waiting on a Black Widow movie from Marvel, and very few female characters in the on-screen superhero world have escaped the traditional "girlfriend" role of becoming the damsel in distress. Unfortunately, Deadpool does fall into some of the old girlfriend tropes with Vanessa, but for the most part, the female characters aren't boxed into typical gender roles. There are plenty of feminist moments from Deadpool that prove that women can kick ass, too.
Deadpool might be relatively feminist, but if you're looking for a movie that will truly break the mold, this isn't it. Even co-writer Rhett Reese admitted in an interview with CBR that the best the writers could hope for was that audiences would "feel there's a slightly feminist vibe." That said, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Vanessa, the two most prominent female characters in the film, are fully formed people the likes of which are rarely seen in movies. Not only do they give Deadpool a run for his money on the battlefield, but they also challenge him mentally. A superhero movie with two female characters ready and willing to best Deadpool in a battle of whits and strength? Sounds pretty feminist to me. But, just in case you don't believe me, take a look at these feminist moments in Deadpool .
1) Negasonic Teenage Warhead's Entire Existence
Negasonic Teenage Warhead was far and away the most feminist thing about Deadpool — if not the single best thing about the movie. A badass teenage mutant whose powers are crucial in battle and who doesn't put up with Deadpool's shenanigans, the only downside to Negasonic Teenage Warhead is that her name is nearly impossible to remember.
2) Vanessa Refusing To Be Shamed For Her Job
Vanessa might be a girlfriend character, but she's far more than just Wade Wilson/Deadpool's love interest. Probably one of the most non-stereotypical thing about her is that she's a sex worker, and she's not ashamed by it. When she first meets Wade, he makes a joke about how her childhood must have been awful for her to end up in her profession, and she gives as good as she gets. She's not ashamed of her job, and Wade doesn't shame her either.
3) Negasonic Having No Time For Deadpool's BS
I seriously loved Negasonic. But, I loved her the most when she refused to put up with Deadpool's nonsense, like when she told him to wait for her while she finished something on her phone. She's not at his constant beck and call.
3) Negasonic Showing Serious Powers In Battle
Negasonic also has the best powers. Sure, Deadpool is indestructible and Colossus is made of metal, but she can channel the power of a bomb. In the final battle, her power is proven to be the most effective and crucial to defeating the villain, Ajax.
5) Vanessa Fighting Back
Vanessa does end up becoming a damsel in distress, but not before she at least attempts to fight back against Ajax and Angel Dust. Even though she doesn't succeed in beating the two mutants, her brave attempts should count for something.
6) Angel Dust Making A Cameo
Angel Dust, played by the badass Gina Carano, was a character of few words. She also seemed to be a puppet controlled by Ajax. But she was also undeniably awesome in battle, particularly when she took down Colossus with just one punch.
7) Vanessa Taking What She Wants In Bed
If there's one thing Deadpool should be praised for, it's being the most sex-positive superhero movie ever. Nowhere is this more evident than during the sex montage between Wade and Vanessa, where Vanessa takes control more than a few times.
8) Ryan Reynolds' Taking On Nudity
Speaking of the Deadpool sex montage, the amount of male nudity in the film was particularly refreshing in a world where on-screen nudity is usually reserved for women only.
9) Blind Al Having A Role
This one might be debatable, but Blind Al is a pretty feminist character if only because she really doesn't care about Deadpool. She doesn't mind his mean jokes, his violent tendencies or his hot body. She just DGAF.
How feminist is Deadpool? It's up for debate. But, I do know for sure that the movie does have a handful of feminist elements in it, and as a superhero fan, I'll take what I can get. Here's hoping for even more feminist moments in Deadpool 2.
Images: 20th Century Fox; Giphy (9)