Keep Your Identity Politics Away From Captain America

Keep Your Identity Politics Away From Captain America

LGBT activists’ concern over identity politics is for a niche audience, and putting Captain America in this situation won’t make it any less so.
Brandon Morse
By

Let’s cut to the chase. Captain America is not gay. There’s absolutely nothing in his 70-plus years, multiple heterosexual relationships, and total lack of homosexual relationships that indicates he could in any way be gay. That he hasn’t explicitly stated he’s straight is not an indicator that he could be gay, and asking people to prove that negative doesn’t match Cap’s history. That the Bible doesn’t say Jesus didn’t observe Taco Tuesday isn’t an invitation to assume he did.

Furthermore, Steve Rogers is the red-blooded American archetype. He’s brave, upright, and has a value system that every grandma wishes for her grandsons. He attends church regularly and doesn’t even like cursing. Rogers is a soldier who works in absolutes, and will go so far as to become a criminal to maintain his principles.

Lastly, turning Steve Rogers gay would make him cease being Steve Rogers, because Steve Rogers isn’t gay. His moral compass wouldn’t allow it.

Captain America Fans Aren’t Driving This Discussion

None of this seems to matter to the activists and social justice warriors who latched onto a hashtag to declare that Captain America, the superhero loved and admired by so many, needs to suddenly turn homosexual and get a boyfriend. Together they created the #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, and without needing much prompting, media outlets from Time to E online to the Los Angeles Times talked about how “fans” wanted Rogers to have a same-sex love interest.

But these aren’t fans of Captain America. Many of them I spoke to on Twitter didn’t even seem to be fans of Marvel. One of them didn’t even know Steve Rogers was the captain’s real name. None of them seemed to be aware that Marvel already had LGBT characters, including the wildly popular Deadpool, who swings in every direction. In short, most of these people weren’t fans, they were armchair activists with a WiFi connection.

If they were really fans of Captain America, then they’d not want to make such a drastic change to his character. Let’s face facts. Rogers is a white, straight male who also happens to be a loyal Christian, and he’s currently at the forefront of Marvel’s most popular team. The horror! To the social justice warrior, this is unacceptable. It’s the current year!

The plan here is to not only take this vestige of the quintessential American from public view, but turn him into something that is more socially acceptable (to some people) and “inclusive.” The thinking here is that if more people were forced to view Cap through the same lens this small minority of LGBT activists views everything, through the lens of identity and sexuality politics, then surely our heteronormative society would give way to a more sexually liberated society where everyone sleeps with everyone, gender doesn’t matter, and dogs and cats live together sans mass hysteria.

Most Americans Aren’t Interested In Sex Politics

The reality is that America is largely not gay: less than 4 percent of the American population makes up that designation. The rest of us aren’t consumed with LGBT concerns, nor do we want to be. It’s not a part of our daily life.

This has nothing to do with “homophobia” or hating gays and lesbians. It has everything to do with the fact that the vast majority of us aren’t gays or lesbians. The hard truth is, LGBT characters and themes don’t play as well on the main stage because most of us don’t fit that category, and we don’t care about the identity politics that comes with characters that focus on it. Gay and lesbian characters whose main characteristic is their sexual orientation offer little potential emotional investment to straight people—not because we hate homosexuals, but because we aren’t like them, and taking our characters and making them unlike us won’t make us accept gay people any more than we already do.

This attempt to force everyone into the LGBT world by pirating one of our most beloved characters and making him struggle with concerns that are relatable to few other people won’t bring us closer together. It will just make us angry that we can no longer relate to our favorite character as we did, and will kill the brand, as well as darken our view of the LGBT community.

Forced ‘Inclusion’ Repels People

The LGBT activist community wants to be included in society but consistently thrusts itself between us and our escapism, then wonders why they feel so isolated when we reject their meddling. Perhaps instead they could connect with people who love comic books through, you know, a shared interest in that world of comic book characters, plots, styling, history, and the like. Pirating Captain America isn’t an act of inclusivity, it’s an offensive measure that pushes his real fans out so people who feel they’re not represented enough can feel better about their “sexual fluidity.”

This is a constant pattern: Activists pushing their will on everyone else by going on the offensive, while simultaneously claiming victimization from a “heteronormative” world at large, then using the resulting outrage over mutations in characters we know and love as proof of how bad they have it in our society. They break these characters into pieces and reassemble them for their own self-confirmation, then tell us it should happen because we need “inclusivity.” Like we owe them important parts of our culture as reparations for everyone else being straight and them having to participate in a straight society.

We don’t. Their inclusivity problem could be easily solved by promoting and spending time and money on the current crop of gay and lesbian characters that seem to be getting the shaft by the community that claims to support them. It’s true that they’ll likely never achieve the fame of Captain America or Iron Man, but we once again have to realize that this concern over identity politics is for a niche audience, and putting Cap in this situation won’t make it any less so.

Even Stan Lee, the man more or less responsible for Marvel’s upbringing, said “I don’t see any reason to change the sexual proclivities of a character once they’ve already been established.”

They Just Want to Use Cap to Score Points

It’s a lazy solution to steal a character away from popular culture and turn him into something he’s not, when you can easily create a new character that has these characteristics established from the get-go. It has the added benefit of alienating no one, and everyone walks away happy. The activists won’t do this, because they don’t want Rogers being who he is in pop culture.

They see good ol’ Captain America as a chance to eliminate one more bastion of normal, everyday America from the public view. He’s one more scalp to put in their trophy case in their quest to legitimize their agenda. They did it with Thor, they did it with Ghostbusters, they tried to do it with video games, and they’re even trying to do it with Jesus. Every popular thing must be approved by the Ministry of Outrage, and if it fails to meet their standards must be overhauled, destroyed, reassembled, repackaged, and force-fed to the public.

Needless to say, we the fans just want to be left with our characters, and if anyone from Marvel reads this, then take my advice. Leave Captain America be. Let our characters be who we love them for. Don’t listen to these fake fans who probably never cared about Captain America before the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Don’t turn every interaction he has with Sam or Bucky into a “Brokeback Mountain” callback. It’s not who he is, and it’s not why we love his character.

Male Love Doesn’t Imply Sexuality

One final point. Social justice warriors falsely insist two men can’t just have a deep bond garnered from childhood friendship—or even more, a bond developed by fighting side-by-side in battle. If you ask soldiers about their fellow brothers in arms, you’ll definitely hear an overtone of love and respect, but the social justice insistence that any affection between men must include homosexuality is rather insulting.

The bond between fellow soldiers is so far out of the experience of the social justice community and the mainstream media that they can only interpret it through a contemporary Hollywood lens. This is such narrow, lazy thinking. Aside from being insulting, it’s boring.

Steve Rogers and his best friend, Bucky Barnes, share such a forged-in-fire relationship. They were not only childhood friends, they fought alongside one another throughout the bloodiest war in history. It’s why Rogers put it all on the line to save Barnes. It has nothing to do with a romantic feeling, and everything to do with that sense of brotherhood and loyalty to a man who bled and lost beside him.

That this should be interpreted as homosexual behavior is a slap in the face to our men and women in arms and others who have experienced the horror of war together. Cap and Bucky’s relationship is a small extension of that, and should be left well alone.

Brandon writes for The Federalist, and is front page editor at RedState.com. Direct all hate to @TheBrandonMorse on Twitter.

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