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Internet babies want Lady Captain Marvel arrested for stealing a motorcycle

By David Futrelle

Captain Marvel has been in theaters for two and a half months now, but the baby men of the internet are still finding excuses to throw tantrums over it.

The latest? An extended scene, posted online, featuring the titular character stealing a motorcycle from a random creep after he patronizingly asks her to smile; instead of punching him or throwing him through a window, like a normal action movie star, she gets her way by squeezing the creep’s hand real hard.

Here’s the scene, which is all of a minute long.

The scene is a clear homage to a similar if much more violent scene in Terminator 2, in which a nude Arnold Schwarzenegger appropriates a motorcycle from a biker after squeezing his hand real hard (and then throwing him onto a hot stove, throwing another guy through a window, and thoroughly beating up a good portion of an ornery looking biker gang).

But the angry dudes (and a few angry gals) of the internet have reacted to Captain Marvel’s too-firm handshake as if Brie Larson — the actress herself, not the character she’s playing — had gone on a crime spree in Los Angeles.

Leading the charge against the motorcycle-stealing superlady? A motley assortment of professional shit-stirrers on the right, including the alt-right adjacent YouTube blabber Tim Pool, video-prankster-turned-joke-congressional-candidate Joey “Salads” Saladino, self-professed debate champion Ben Shapiro, and one of Ben’s employees at his vanity publication the Daily Wire.

Tim Pool
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Woah I never saw this clip but damn...

Captain Marvel is a villain. She straight hurts and robs a dude because he was a jerk to her. Thats a villain
Saladino for Congress
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She should be in jail.
Ben Shapiro
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Man, it is so empowering to watch a woman with superpowers physically hurt and then threaten to break a man's hand -- and steal his motorcycle and jacket because he said something rude to her! So empowering! Empowerment!
Ashe Schow
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Captain Marvel’s response to fairly mild toxic masculinity is to commit multiple felonies (even against people who did nothing to her)

And this is a celebration of feminism?

Schow’s Daily Wire post on the subject is somehow even more embarrassing than her tweets about it. She begins by taking issue with the shorter version of the scene in the film itself, in which the Lady Captain simply steals the bike — no hand-squeezing necessary.

Hooray for feminism! A man creepily asked for a smile, so she commits grand theft auto. That’s not at all a disproportionate or insane response.

But in her mind the extended scene is oh so much worse, turning the superheroine into a supervillain. “Let’s recap,” Schow writes, working herself into high dudgeon.

After a jerk suggested he would help her in a creepy way and asked for a smile, Danvers [Captain Marvel] crushed his hand, carjacked him, took his clothes, and stole items from a nearby clothing store and broke traffic laws. And this is supposed to be a celebration of feminism and rebuke of toxic masculinity?

In the original scene, Danvers committed grand theft auto. In the extended scene, she commits assault, a carjacking, a mugging, shoplifting, and a possible driving felony.

I am shocked — shocked! — to see lawbreaking by the main character in an action movie!

If these, er, “critiques” of Captain Marvel weren’t so obviously in bad faith, I would have to wonder if any of these critics had ever seen an action movie before. Or, indeed, any movie.

The trope of a movie hero or heroine stealing a car — or a truck, or a horse, or a motorcyle, or a spaceship — to get to where they need to go is nearly as old as the movies themselves.

Action movie heroes and heroines break the rules — and the laws — all the time. We don’t go to action movies to see blameless goody-goodies obeying the traffic laws in car chases, or watching and waiting for the police when a villain starts wreaking havoc. We go to see larger-than-life characters beating the crap out of bad guys — and we don’t much care if their violence is sometimes disproportionate, or if there’s a bit of collateral damage (to people, to buildings, to entire cities) along the way.

In the original John Wick movie, for example, the titular hero seeks revenge after some thugs kill his dog — and in the process he manages to kill 77 people. (His body count across all three John Wick films? An even more staggering 299.) Yet we still root for the guy.

Good guy in action

The critics of Captain Marvel’s motorcycle theft are not only forgetting that this is a MOVIE and not real life; they’re also completely ignoring the plot of the film — and the character arc of the air-force-pilot-turned alien-human-hybrid who became Captain Marvel.

When she arrives back on earth at the start of the film – and steals the motorcycle she needs to complete her mission — she’s basically a brainwashed, emotionless killing machine working for a race of aliens called the kree. Over the course of the film she regains some of her humanity. That’s called character development.

As human beings, we’re all flawed, and we like our heroes to be, like us, somewhat less than perfect — because that’s what enables us to relate to them. Our heroes may be reluctant — like Humphrey Bogart’s Rick in Casablanca — or roguish scoundrels with a heart of gold, like Han Solo. They may have a dark side they wrestle with. Sometimes they win this struggle (like Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel); sometimes they lose (Darth Vader, Walter White).

Everyone who goes to movies knows all of this — and is happy to accept these tropes when the flawed hero in question is male. But once it’s a woman in that scuba superhero suit, all of that knowledge seems to drain right out of some men’s (and some women’s) brains.

Some, like the right-wing shitstirrers who helped to gin up this phony controversy in the first place, really do seem to have trouble distinguishing between movies and real life.

@Erst_Officer
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Replying to @usatodaylife @brielarson @RobertKazinsky
Sooooo, Captain Marvel just committed grand theft auto.
@PPalaciosUSA
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Replying to @AsheSchow
I saw that deleted clip. It's really bad. A cheesy come on tactic is not license to commit assault, and grand theft robbery.
Sug Dolomar
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Replying to @usatodaylife @brielarson @RobertKazinsky
Captain Marvel should have been arrested. She assault a man who not only didn't harm her, but tried to help her. Even if he flirted with her she still committed a crime.

A number of critics seemed to think the clip reflected a certain sort of rank bigotry directed against males — especially white males, and even more especially against those who like to go around saying crude and patronizing things about (or to) women.

MrBSchoenhard
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Replying to @Timcast
Well considering the actresses comments about white males, that scene doesnt suprise me.
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Replying to @usatodaylife @brielarson @RobertKazinsky
If this is toxic masculinity, worthy of assault and robery, then I can only assume Captain Marvel would nuke most high schools, in response to overhearing conversations in the boy’s locker room.

Others demanded a sort of moral blamelessness from Captain Marvel that no one would demand from a male superhero. She’s a terrible role model, they cried. Just think of the children! And the adults! And all of the other superheroes that look up to her!

So whoever wrote this scene thought it was acceptable to teach young girls that it's okay to assault and steal from a man if he acts like an ass? I'm glad this was cut.
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Replying to @Timcast
My 7-year-old son was watching with me, and by the end he asked “is she the bad guy?”
@FawningGirl
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Replying to @JoeySalads
Glad they scrapped this (if that is even the case, since I haven't seen this). This makes her very unlikable. Anyone doing that in real life would (and ought to) get prison time for sure. For a hero, she sets a bad example.

Him: "Smile?"
Her: "Give me your keys, and your bike!"
@surui2003
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Replying to @LordAndNigga @spiritworldfilm and 2 others
Well that's still theft lol. 
Doesn't set a good role model for a super hero.
Unless we're going into the age of superheroes being assholes. You know, to make the subject more "modern".
If the writers are smart they will turn her into the main villain. She has the power I think.

Hate to break it to you, dude, but Superdickery has been a thing since, like, the 1950s, if not earlier.

@coop_theater
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@usatodaylife @brielarson
This tone deaf response to a guy being a jerk in the #CaptainMarvel movie has made it clear. Ladies, if a man makes ANY overtures that you find unwanted, you are within your rights as women to assault them and steal their property.

Dudes, this is a movie, not a WikiHow video. No one is recommending that women literally steal a motorcycle every time a creep asks them to smile. It’s a fantasy in a film that’s all about fantasy. The scene is funny because it allows women (and men) to indulge a harmless fantasy of taking violent revenge against some of the most irritating men on the planet.

Let’s face it, perfect characters are boring, and make for boring movies. And they’re not good role models either, because no one can truly relate to them. It’s better for girls to see female characters struggle with their flaws than to demand that they emulate someone who’s flawless in every ways — and constantly find themselves coming up short.

But the real issue here isn’t character flaws. If the writers of Captain Marvel had made their central character pure and blameless in every way, angry dudes would be complaining about that too – how come she’s perfect, they would whine, while all the men have flaws?

No, the issue here is the fact that this superhero is a woman that a retrograde internet mob has decided isn’t deferential enough to men. And so they will grab on anything they can in order to make bad faith demands on Marvel and Disney in order to get them to stop making action movies with female leads. There’s no real point in arguing with these people. Just turn to them, like Captain Marvel herself, and ask with a smirk “What, no smile?”

UPDATE: And here’s that line in gif form.

UPDATE 2: Oh, look, it’s Ben Shapiro, who was so indignant about Captain Marvel stealing a motorcycle, applauding the latest John Wick movie, in which Mr. Wink kills 94 dudes:

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Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

Whew, glad to know all this stupid people are still stupid. Wouldn’t want to break that trend.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
2 years ago

@Cat Mara:

That scene was my favourite in the whole movie.

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
2 years ago

@Lainy:

Also what’s up with parents taking their children to pg-13 movies then complaining about their children being exposed to things that aren’t for little kids. If you want them to see a little kids movie you take them to the lego movie or toy story 4. If you want to see a pg-13 movie and you have a small child you get a baby sister and then go to it.

Hehehe… I really wish my parents had learned the words “age appropriate” before having me. I was allowed to watch whatever I wanted, and even more that I didn’t want to watch.

Example: they took me to see Dune in the theater. I was 5.

Simon
Simon
2 years ago

Astonishing there were any pearls left in thbe store for them to clutch after that load of nonsense. And I’m with Captain America, I genuinely dislike Ben Shapiro.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
2 years ago

This is a pretty common behavior whenever the use of hierarchical positions or abuse takes place. The people being abusive will ALWAYS come up with this whole “Two wrongs don’t make a right” speech, whenever they find their power being subverted, by whatever means.

Isn’t it odd, that their humane and ethical side only comes out whenever they’re on the receiving end of a shitty situation? It’s not that they don’t know that what they are doing is wrong, they flat out know it and still engage in shitty behavior because they know they can get away with it.

Long story short, not only can “two wrongs make a right” but sometimes only a “wrong” is the ethical choice to make a right (for example “court packing” the Supreme Court to counteract what Republicans have done). Means and processes are not results, and any means that foregoes the human cost tied to it, solely because it is “morally good”, is anything but.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
2 years ago

What a joke! Both sides of you idiots need to simply STFU and go dry your eyes! You all make me sick.

IT’S A FREAKING MOVIE! Who gives a shit either way. It’s all fake. It’s not real.

Considering that you came in here with a partially all caps rant and feel sick because of this post gently mocking internet manbabies, I think you give quite a bit of shits.

All these SJW’S on one side screaming for fairness this and fairness that with the others idiots crying about how unfair the directors and movie writers and film industries are being to the beloved franchise. Give me a damn break here with all this bullshit

Where are you seeing all this screaming and crying? Because it’s not here. We were just merrily making fun of them until you showed up to tell us to stop being hysterical.

Really, we’re Gayle King and you’re R Kelly here.

comment image?itemid=13669407

You’re the one who needs to calm down, champ.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
2 years ago

@Lou

I don’t go the actions/fantasy movies for a lesson in morals or ethics or sexuality or politics. I just want to see a great movie and if it doesn’t turn out then that just to damn bad..

This has got to be the biggest load of bullshit I always hear conservatives telling. You rubes are always praising movies that adhere to your values, or elevating celebrities that spout the same narrative as you do, ALL. THE. FUCKING. TIME.

Yet the minute a celebrity or movie takes an opposing view it’s always “STOP PUTTING POLITICS INTO MY ENTERTAINMENT!! I DON’T CARE ABOUT POLITICS!11!!”

1- Yes you do. Stop fucking lying. It’s not that you don’t want politics in your entertainment. What you don’t want are forms of entertainment that do not represent your views.

2- All art and entertainment is, and has always been, inherently political.

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
2 years ago

I love it when MRAs bring up “life’s not fair!” It’s a fabulous demonstration of the fact that most of them haven’t matured past elementary school.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@Kimmy
You went to a *Marvel* movie expecting feminism? There’s your problem. But sure, the movie sucks and it’s feminism”s fault.
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Viscaria
Viscaria
2 years ago

If we’re going to get anywhere, she has to be better than asshole “heroes.” That’s the whole point!

Hear hear, Kimmy! Real feminism is about insisting that women fit within strict moral guidelines for behaviour, castigating them when they fail to do so, and not holding men to those same standards. That’s the whole point!

JarredH
2 years ago

“No one is recommending that women literally steal a motorcycle every time a creep asks them to smile.”

Seriously. I mean, what on worth would a woman do what THAT MANY motorcycles anyway? And storing them all would be a nightmare.

Airis Damon
Airis Damon
2 years ago

The internet babies must have been raised on nothing but Dudley Do Right.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
2 years ago

Internet man-babies: Everything should be maximally grim & gritty! ‘Cos it’s mature and we are Hard-Nosed Men of the World™! Release the Snyder Cut now!!!1!
Also Internet man-babies: Oh noes a lady did a crime summon my fainting couch

Ryan
Ryan
2 years ago

I quit giving this article any credence when you said Tim Pool is alt-right adjacent. I don’t understand how you can be so fracking wrong. And dumb. Just because someone disagrees with some of the more insane and ridiculous things the regressive left does doesn’t make them Nazis or evil or ‘alt-right’. You’re just a puss puss who can’t take criticism but LOVES to dish it out.

ChunkySpaghettiSauce
ChunkySpaghettiSauce
2 years ago

Oh, look. The internet man babies are really pouring into this one. Go figure the article they’re getting worked up over is about a lady superhero movie. Looks like we better pass around a box of tissues.

vaiyt
2 years ago

The MCU starts with Iron Man breaking international law to go on a private terrorist manhunt, and arguing in an American tribunal (instead of, say, The Hague) that he should be allowed to dish vigilante justice wherever he wants with the citizens of other countries having no say in the matter.

Fabe
Fabe
2 years ago

The MCU starts with Iron Man breaking international law to go on a private terrorist manhunt, and arguing in an American tribunal (instead of, say, The Hague) that he should be allowed to dish vigilante justice wherever he wants with the citizens of other countries having no say in the matter.

while also working in a masturbation joke as well.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

@Yutolia

Did they complain about you having nightmares or knowing curse words because they took you to an adult movie? because that’s what really annoys me. I saw really small children at Deadpool. The movie that has like a 3 minute scene of just different sex positions. They eat a thanks giving dinner off of each other. Then there was parents complain that their 5 year old saw sex and heard the word fuck a lot. Basically just complaining to the world that their not good parents and then acting like it’s the others fault. That’s what really annoys me. marvel makes comic books and animation that are just for kids to watch. Deadpool even in some of those.

Nequam
Nequam
2 years ago

I wondered about parents who were bringing 5-year-olds (or maybe younger!) to see Pulp Fiction.

Thing was, this was a “just-before-video” theatre in a poorer part of town and I realized with dismay that it was probably cheaper for the parents to pay a $5 (or maybe $1! it’s been a long time and my memory may not be accurate) ticket for the kid and hope they weren’t too traumatized than to pay a babysitter for the roughly 2 hours of movie going.

Snowberry
Snowberry
2 years ago

Sigh. My parents were *those* people, except it was family movie night, and they didn’t complain about it to the video-store clerks after, because they genuinely thought R-rated films were appropriate for young kids. They pretty much only watched R-rated ones. At least until they divorced; at that point my father kind of gradually turned family movie night into “movie for whoever shows up night, not going to tell anyone about it, and no you don’t get a second chance to see it later” which tended to be a weekend evening but wasn’t at a regular time or date.

…And then it got reeeaaallllllly stupid. I figured out I was bisexual at age 14 because he was renting softcore Playboy videos and playing them in the living room while the kids were present. ?‍♀

No, I didn’t come out of any of that damaged (that I’m aware of) but my younger brother might have been. Or he might have turned into a creepy douchebag misogynist with a lot of other emotional issues anyway, who knows. But hey, all those R-rated films meant that I had Ellen Ripley (Alien/Aliens) as a childhood hero, and that’s probably kind of unusual! ?

Snowberry
Snowberry
2 years ago

(I hesitated to post the above because it’s one of those things which really doesn’t sound believable. My parents were weird, and not in a good way.)

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
2 years ago

My parents took my sister and me to a double feature at a drive-in during the summer of 1975 or ’76. I don’t remember what the main attraction was, but the 2nd film was “Death Race 2000” , which went on to have a cult following. My parents were aghast at all the violence in it. A brief synopsis of the plot: A cross-country road race in a dystopian near-future, where drivers rack up points by mowing down pedestrians.

My parents needn’t have worried about it. IMO, the movie is so cartoonish, it didn’t phase my 7-ish self in the least. I think my sister slept through it.

It’s a pretty cool low-budget movie, as well as being eerily prescient in some ways.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
2 years ago

I quit giving this article any credence when you said Tim Pool is alt-right adjacent. I don’t understand how you can be so fracking wrong. And dumb. Just because someone disagrees with some of the more insane and ridiculous things the regressive left does doesn’t make them Nazis or evil or ‘alt-right’. You’re just a puss puss who can’t take criticism but LOVES to dish it out.

When someone just so happens to always disagree with everything on the left and defends everything on the right, it becomes justifiable to call them alt-right. Feel free to point me to evidence that this isn’t what Tim Pool is. Admittedly, I don’t much about him, but from what I’ve seen, he’s pretty damn alt-right sympathetic.

Oh, and it’s only the alt-right adjacent that uses the term “regressive left” so you kinda told on yourself there.

tim gueguen
2 years ago

This post reminds me of the comment I made about Death Wish 4 more than a decade ago on my blog, that the message of the movie could be taken to be illegal drugs bad, illegal guns good. After all Paul Kersey(Charles Bronson) acquires illegal guns and explosives to go after some drug pushers after his girlfriend’s daughter ODs. Of course I also noted I probably put more thought into my post than the screenwriter did into any contradictions like that. (If you’re a Star Trek: Voyager fan you might get a kick out of shouting “Oh no, Tuvok is selling drugs!” when Tim Russ appears at the start of the film as a drug pusher.)

The comments about inappropriate films for kids remind me of a now defunct local video store chain that put “Absolutely not for kids!” stickers on some anime. You’d think a half naked woman being menaced by phallic tentacles on the cover would be a big giveaway it wasn’t for kids, but apparently not.

Dalillama
Dalillama
2 years ago

My folks didn’t go out of their way to rent R-rated films, but i don’t recall dad going out of his way not to; I saw Akira shortly after it came out, which would’ve made me about 10 at the time.

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