Heyo, guys! Welcome to the Muse!
OK, so… it’s obviously late in the day. My schedule is such that it’s easier for me to write now than earlier, but I’m not going to let that stop me from doing my duty and talking to y’all about writing things!
So, I have thoughts today. I wasn’t sure what they were until I started typing this, but now I know what those thoughts are. I was considering writing about my head canon that Mr. Darcy is actually autistic, which has come up again recently (I’m slowly amassing a number of fellow believers!), but then something else made me angry and I had to write about that instead.
I do not like the Captain America/Bucky Barnes ship. In fact, it and the Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson ship make me irrational.
Now, anyone who’s been with us for a while knows that neither A nor I are homophobic, so this has absolutely nothing to do with both of these pairings being gay. Now, they definitely have something to do with being two men, but it’s not the LGBT thing. I promise.
It’s the fact that both of these pairings represent something I think we need more of in literature: really strong, very intimate friendships. Especially between men. The idea that the strongest relationship two people can have is a romantic or sexual one infuriates me. That two characters like Cap and Bucky, who share an intimate friendship–who might very well be the most important two people in the world to one another–must also be romantic/sexual because OF COURSE a relationship that strong also involves sex.
Get this, people: the strongest relationship two people can share DOES NOT REQUIRE ROMANCE OR SEX.
Now, I understand that a lot of this comes from a place of LGBT people needing to see themselves more in popular culture. And, God, do I agree with that assessment. We need it so much, people have taken to creating elaborate–and unsupported–head canons in a desperate bid to see them.
But, you’ve got to admit that a lot of it comes from the fact that it’s two hot dudes and God knows we’d all love to see them make out. And, more importantly, it comes from the priority we have given romantic and sexual relationships. For some reason, we believe that–aside from parent/child bonds–the relationship we have with our romantic partner or spouse is the strongest relationship we can have. In the show Sherlock, it gets used as a joke (and, of course, people have run with that joke as thought it were real even though there’s no canonical evidence that either Holmes or Watson are even bisexual, let alone gay). Cap is not only with Bucky, he’s with Tony Stark (and, somehow, they’ve adopted Spider-man?) and pretty much any other dude with whom he’s super friendly or confrontational.
Don’t get me started on that stupid fucking “everyone who fights must want to fuck one another” thing. (See? Angry.)
I am not the kind of person who doesn’t have head canons (see the Darcy one mentioned above). I am, however, the kind of person who gives all deference to real canon and doesn’t develop a head canon on the basis of wishful thinking and “OMG, wouldn’t Cap and Bucky be so hot together”. We have two problems here: the lack of LGBT representation and the ridiculous belief that intimacy–especially between men–must be romantic or sexual in nature.
Sometimes the relationship between two people isn’t romantic, but it is the strongest, most important relationship they have. Yes, Bucky and Cap have that kind of relationship and, yes, so do Holmes and Watson (especially in the show). Now, does it hurt me to have these characters paired with one another? No. Of course not. And people are free to do what they want since they’re, of course, fictional, but…
Let’s maybe think what it says about our society that intimate male relationships are shipped so often and, even more often, the subject of gay jokes. What does it mean that guys who are intimate are assumed to be a couple? Because this does seem to happen with men more than women.
I don’t know. But I know it says something that people become convinced–convinced— that there is evidence for this romantic/sexual relationship when, really, all there is is an intimate friendship. And, frankly, I think we need to support these friendships more than we need the image of a couple hot guys making out.