Anonymous asked: sorry if this sounds rude but wouldn't steve's upbringing make him sort of ignorant about a lot of things? i think it makes sense that he would be on the conservative side...
alright, anon, here’s what i think:
- steve grew up in the 30s and 40s - right smack in the midst of the great depression.
- he was the child of a poor, single, working mom who was also an irish-catholic immigrant - a group that was viciously persecuted and discriminated against at that time.
- he had a variety of severe medical conditions that likely went untreated due to lack of health-care, and his mother died of pneumonia because of the same lack of health-care.
- he was frequently beaten up and bullied because he stood up for himself and others when no one else would.
- he volunteered to serve during the war because he so fervently believed in the cause he was fighting for and the people who needed his help and protection.
and then there’s stuff like this:
(from “man out of time” #3)
so basically, anon, i don’t agree with you at all.
he’s got his flaws, yeah, but steve would NOT be politically conservative. he would NOT be aligned with modern republican ideals, and he CERTAINLY would not be ignorant or insensitive to oppression, discrimination, inequality, or injustice.
in my opinion, anyone (or any narrative) that believes otherwise is completely missing the whole damn point of steve rogers.
FUCKING THANK YOU! I’m going to bookmark this to shove in people’s faces when they assume Steve would be conservative (hi, I have strong feelings about this). Also READ THIS ESSAY: "Steve Rogers Isn’t Just Any Hero" by Steven Attewell. Attewell grounds Steve Rogers in the political and social context of 1930s/40s America, making a flawless argument as to why Steve would be socially liberal.
Maybe it’s my upbringing that makes me think the whole idea of Steve being conservative is inaccurate and weird. My grandmother was a teenager during the Great Depression and a coal miner’s daughter. She’s a Democrat, in favor of government aid, and pro-union. Don’t assume that everyone from that time period is/was a raging conservative. Also, understand that the definitions of conservative and liberal have evolved drastically since the 1940s; however, I think it’s 100% accurate to claim that Steve Rogers would be a liberal by today’s standards.
No idea whether Steve voted in the 40’s (a lot of career military men of his generation *didn’t* until they retired since the military is under civilian control - and yes, that included General (later President) Eisenhower), but it’s canon that he supports gay rights (his best friend growing up was gay), same-sex marriage (he defends said best friend’s relationship with his partner as every bit as valid as his relationship with his girlfriend), civil rights, interracial/interspecies marriage, is proposed to by his girlfriends (who are uniformly strong, smart, and competent, not wilting little flowers), has a black superhero partner, has no animus against Communists, worked for the Federal Arts Project as an artist in the late 1930’s, and has repeatedly clashed with hard-right presidents and politicians (see also: his resignation over the Marvel equivalent of Watergate, the Civil War, etc.).
Not only, but the one time that Captain America DID support right-wing causes, it wasn’t Steve Rogers. It was William Burnside, the Captain America of the 1950’s, a fervent McCarthyite who took up the role while Steve Rogers was in the ice. Even better, Burnside, who’d used a variant of the super soldier serum, went crazy, started attacking civil rights workers, and was yanked from the field.
My bet? Captain America is not only a Democrat, he privately belongs to the Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren wing of the party. He doesn’t publicize this (“I’m supposed to symbolize the whole country, not just one party or group”) but when he goes into the voting booth in 2012, he votes straight ticket Democrat.
I think part of the reason that people have this image of “conservative Steve Rogers” is because the political make-up of the US changed drastically just after WWII. After the War, the “Threat of Fascism” was all but eradicated, and the new political enemy became the “Threat of Communism.” Prior to this shift in political enemies, communist and socialist political parties were fairly strong minor parties, and it was not uncommon for people to know (or be) members of one or the other. It’s not until after the War that Communism really became a “threat” to the American way of life.
And that’s history that Steve missed, because he was under the ice when that went down. He slept through the entire Cold War, which includes the division of Germany between East and West, the Iron Curtain, McCarthyism and the Red Scare, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the conflict in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the Iranian Revolution, the Chinese Civil War, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and of course, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the fall of the Iron Curtain. He has absolutely zero frame of reference for any of these events, because they occurred after he went down and before he woke up. The world changed significantly in those seventy years, not just in terms of technology and culture, but in politics and international relations.
And that, I think, is at least part of what he’s getting at when he tells Fury, “They say we won the war — they didn’t say what we lost.”
That may be why he seems to get along so well with Natasha, who after all is Russian, and why he doesn’t seem to have any problems at all with non-whites despite blatant and widespread racism in the United States when he was growing up. He moved in liberal circles, probably knew anti-lynching and anti-racism advocates, and despite his hideous attempts at flirting with Peggy Carter, almost certainly knew feminists and women who did more than just stay home with the kids.
Plus “staying home with the kids” is luxury only the middle class and up can afford, and even then it’s mostly a post-WWII 1950s affectation. Steve Rogers’ working class background and circle would not have been able to pass up a second income. All of the women he would have come in contact with prior to his big sleep would have worked.
Not to mention that his MOTHER worked. Thanks for pointing that out.