Her Name Is Thor, Not Lady Thor, Thank You Very Much

The first teaser trailer for Taika Waititi's "Thor: Love and Thunder" is here, and along with it is our first look at Natalie Portman as Jane Foster as Thor — a comic book event that's been teased as becoming part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for some time. With the appearance of Foster as Thor, unfortunately, also comes a whole bunch of fans and outlets calling her "Lady Thor" or worse, "female Thor." Waititi clarified this point on Twitter in July 2019, but apparently, some folks didn't get the memo. Now, "Lady Thor" is potentially one of Foster's many titles in the court of Asgard, much like Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), but it's not her official title, and using it is just kind of lazy, gendered silliness. Calling Jane Foster's Thor "Lady Thor" feels like the same tactic used to name women's sports teams: what the heck is a Shamrockette, anyway?

The Mighty Thor

If people had been calling Hemsworth's Thor "Lord Thor," "Prince Thor," or "Man Thor" all this time, I would have zero issues with gendered names for Portman's Thor. The reason this kind of thing matters is because it further enforces masculinity and men as the default, with women as secondary. The character of Thor as we have known him and loved him is Thor. Jane Foster is also Thor. Think of it like Hawkeye: both Kate Bishop and Clint Barton are Hawkeye. Kate isn't "Lady Hawkeye" or "Hawkgirl," thank goodness, and so applying it to Thor just feels unnecessary. 

In the comics, Jane Foster has been referred to as "The Mighty Thor," which is the same title that Waititi used when correcting fans. To differentiate between Thor Odinsson and the title of Thor, it seems like "Love and Thunder" will refer to Hemsworth as Odinson, since he no longer wields the hammer Mjolnir or fights for Asgard. In the comics, Jane's road to becoming Thor is a painful and difficult one and reducing her to "Thor, but a girl" is deeply unfair. The Mighty Thor will have slightly different powers than her predecessor, and she's not an Asgardian but a human, but she's still Thor. 

"Thor: Love and Thunder" clearly has no problems with unconventional gender roles or titles: Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie is the King of Asgard, for Yggdrasil's sake! So why are people hung up on defining Jane Foster by her gender instead of the fact that she's a badass cancer survivor who can wield the power of Mjolnir? Her mightiness is what matters and should be celebrated.

"Thor: Love and Thunder" premieres in theaters on July 8, 2022.