When I was a little tad and could get my hands on a comic book, my favorite hero was always Captain America. To my young mind – and to my middle-aged mind now – Cap always exemplified what a hero should be. He was selected to be the sole subject of a WW2 super-soldier project because he already had the attributes of a hero: Honor, courage, persistence, valor. The character of Steve Rogers was a representative of all that is best in us as human beings and as Americans, and Chris Evans has brought Cap to the big screen brilliantly.
I’ve not yet seen the latest Cap flick, Civil War, so I won’t be commenting on that. But some of the folks at Vanity Fair have, and they are now whining about Cap’s “heterosexual virility.“
Seriously? Seriously. Excerpt:
Marvel Studios and Disney’s latest installment wowed audiences in North America to the tune of $181 million last weekend, but Vanity Fair writer Joanna Robinson left the theater disappointed. Her reason: Chris Evans’ character, super soldier Captain America, got nostalgic for his “skirt-chasing” days with best friend “Bucky” Barnes.
Robinson said directors Joe and Anthony Russo should not have said fans may “interpret the relationship [with Bucky] however they want to interpret it” since the character explicitly makes clear his attraction to women.
“As if to put the nail in the coffin of speculation, Bucky and Cap paused for a moment in the middle of snowy Siberia to reminisce about their days chasing skirts in pre-War Brooklyn,” Ms. Robinson wrote Sunday. “It’s a sweet, human bonding moment but one that also bristles with heterosexual virility. If Disney isn’t inclined to give audiences a gay superhero, couldn’t they have at least left us the dream of Bucky and Cap? … Doesn’t ‘Captain America: Civil War’ go out of its way to “define” Bucky and Steve’s relationship when Cap smooches Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) while Bucky looks on approvingly? Where’s the room for interpretation in that moment?”
Big fucking deal – so Captain America likes girls. In case the Vanity Fair nitwit wasn’t aware of it, roughly 98% of American men do like girls. But that’s not the larger point.
Ms. Robinson is one of those cranks that sees everything, even a movie, through the lens of their own personal #1 issue. To be fair there are those on the political Right that do the same – read the comments on any political news story and you’ll see someone that can take any story on any subject and manage to do a lateral arabesque to bring, say, abortion into the discussion. Ms. Robinson’s
issue is, apparently, bemoaning “heternomative” culture, and she sees everything – even a movie – through that lens.
Well, that’s fine; she is entitled to complain about whatever she likes. But Cap is fine just the way he is, and in case Ms. Robinson hasn’t noticed, America – the America of which Captain America represents the finest of – is all of us, guts, feathers and all. A heterosexual hero can (and many real-life ones do) represent the best of all of us.
I think Ms. Robinson, blinded by her own advocacy, misses that.