I loved Captain America: Civil War. I dont think it is the best Marvel movie, as that title belongs to Winter Soldier, but it is certainly in the Top 5. Heck, those movies borrow a lot from some of the best Captain America story (those written by Brubaker with art mostly by Epting and Perkins).
Recently the Internet is doing the Internet thing and is teeming with slash fiction about Cap and Bucky. And why not? Now, I’m not big into fan-fiction but if folk enjoy it, they should have a blast.
But it seems like this shipping might be turning into a movement to make the MCU Cap and Bucky a couple. And I’m not such a fan of that.
Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions let me assure anyone reading this that even though I am straight I certainly see the need for gay representation in comic media. That goes for on screen as well as on paper. We live in a beautiful diverse world and that is a world I’d like to see in my entertainment.
Also, the main reason isn’t because they are canonically not gay in the comics. Okay, I’ll admit that does ring through my head whenever an established character is suddenly alteredto be gay (Iceman). But then again there have also been stories that have successfully “outed” established characters. (Rictor and Shatterstar). And that isn’t really my reason.
I guess, like many people, my reason has a lot to do with who I am and my experiences growing up.
I’m not quite 35 (birthday this June.) Living through the 80s and 99s I feel like the rules for what it meant to “be a man” were starting to change. These traditional rules are ones we all know. Men aren’t supposed to cry. Men aren’t supposed to show weakness or feelings. To do otherwise meant you weren’t a “real man”. It might even mean you were *gasp* gay! (As if being gay excludes you from being manly.)
At some point while growing up the message went out that men were supposed to change. We were encouraged to have feelings and put more value in expressing those feelings both verbally and physically. The rules of manliness changed (at least for some.)
Still, this greater freedom wasn’t always so clear. What did it mean. As for me, I was in the drama club and had no problems giving a guy a big if he needed one. Sure, there were rumors but that isn’t really the point as those tumors never really blossomed and never prevented me from enjoying how I wanted to live or being who I felt I was. I’m not sure exactly what privilege that would fall under, but it was a privilege as not everyone gets that.
And this is getting to why I’m against this kind of shipping. Why can’t two guys just simply be friends? People click and people connect. Can’t people do so platonically onscreen without it meaning something?
When I saw Force Awakens my first thought about Poe and Finn was that it was great to see a supportive male friendship. Then the Internet yelled they must be gay. I Shrugged because maybe they were meant to be gay and that does seem like a thing I would miss. Guessing the sexual orientation of fictional characters isn’t somethings I practice.
But with Cap and Bucky, established characters with an established friendship, at just makes me roll my eyes and shake my head. And in a way this kind of shipping will only increase the amount of “not-gay” moments in film.
Just because it is in the name of diversity saying that two men who are supportive of and there for each other must be gay isn’t going to do male friendships any favors. The is already enough asshattery and insecurity that seems to be societally placed on two guys who want just to be friends.
And, c’mon, even in the movies Steve has been clearly established as heterosexual. But come to think of it, has Bucky? Or Sam? So, Internet, if you want to ship those are the guys to do it with. They even start off bickering and movies love romance that starts that way!