His exact words were “mewling quim”. Now, if you’re like me, you probably don’t know what quim means, but Urban Dictionary informs us that it’s a slang term for a woman’s vagina from the Victorian era, it’s a derogatory term, and roughly analogous to the term “cunt”. (Sidenote: I am 1000% for reclaiming the word “cunt”, but I’m also 1000% sure nothing like that is going on with Loki’s use of the word “quim”.)
I’m really not sure how to feel about this.
It’s always fun to use old-timey words (and to slip one past the censors), but the use of this word is giving me some issues. It’s applied specifically to Natasha, and it’s an insult that reduces her to her femininity and implies that it’s her femininity that makes her worthless. Contrast this with the insult Loki uses on the Hulk in a moment of similar pissiness: “you dull creature”. This insult is about intelligence, and even more, it’s about the fact that Loki really just thinks he’s better than everyone.
So why the emphasis on Natasha’s femininity? Why not just call her a weak fool, a powerless cretin, etc. etc.?
It seems strange that someone so far removed from Earth’s culture would use such a gendered insult. But, then again, maybe Asgard has similar gender problems, considering Thor’s line in his own film about how no one thought a “maiden” like Sif could become one of the fiercest warriors.
So, on the whole, I’m not quite sure what to make of all this, except that it all probably needs to end in Sif and Natasha kicking Loki’s ass seven ways to Sunday.