18.09.2017 в 00:58
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“Nice boots, Tinker Bell!”: Steve Rogers as an allegory for the impossibility of perf
There’s nothing new about the consideration of male superheroes as icons of masculinity. Superman representing the pinnacle of wholesome, idealised masculine power, or The Hulk as an allegory for the angry, repressed male id. And these types of masculinity are not innate or inevitable. Masculinity, like all gender roles is a socially constructed performance.
But performative masculinity has a tension to it that performative femininity does not, because performing itself is seen as innately unmasculine. You cannot learn to be a real man, you are or you are not. You can’t make one or learn to be one. Because our story about masculinity is that it just is. It is an ur state of being. The most natural way for a human to be.
Steve Rogers came out of a bottle.
And Steve Rogers’s weapon is a shield. Steve does not attack, he defends. Steve Rogers is the only Avenger who does not thrust forward with a phallic weapon. From Loki’s staff to Clint’s arrows, Black Widow (who pairs so well with Steve because she is a phallic woman) has guns, Tony essentially is a giant penis (sorry, friends, that’s all I see), and of course no one would even pretend that Thor’s hammer isn’t Thor’s penis.
But Steve has a shield. And a shield isn’t particularly feminine. It is not a cup or a sheath or a hole. It is just anti-phallic.
And that is Steve. the non-phallic man. Because you can’t make a man in a machine. Only a strange kind of monster.
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Steve Rogers did not begin as a man. Skinny Steve is a feminised man. A sissy. He fights against it - it’s a highly stigmatised way for a man to be - but he can’t win. He can’t win any fight. He is small, he is weak and sick. He starts trouble, but he needs to be rescued. He tries to pursue the most masculine thing he can, being a soldier, but as he stands there with his fluffy hair and child-body, his pretence at masculinity is rejected by the real men.
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@темы: steve rogers, metas, gender