the direct result of peer pressure. where's a psa when you need one?
there is currently a bill in Massachusetts to make the fluffernutter our state sandwich. wHY.
you kind of learn to tolerate the female worgen model after awhile, the trick is to pick a good fur color/pattern and hairstyle and pray
and try not to look at her in profile
Just some random thoughts on Captain America and ableism…
First off, don’t get me wrong, I adore Steve Rogers & all the Avengers movies of recent years. But there are some parts of the Captain America story that are a bit hurtful from a chronic illness perspective.
What made me start thinking on this was a screenshot of Steve’s (pre-serum) medical record and the attached comment that was something along the lines of “jfc Steve why do you even leave the house”
Because, you know, chronically ill people should obviously just hide away in our beds forever. Because it’s not enough that our various illnesses and disabilities have already robbed us of our physical abilities to do a lot of things, but we shouldn’t even bother interacting with society or trying to have a life at all. Why would we possibly want to go on even trying to behave like normal when our lives are obviously so miserable that they’re not even worth living, right?
The other, broader, issue with the CA narrative comes down to a quote from a photo of a disabled protestor I saw recently: “Fix the system, not me.” In order to become a real hero, Steve essentially had to be “fixed.” He was a wonderful person before the change & he continued to be amazing after it, but the fact that so few people saw & valued his goodness when his body was sick and weak just makes me so sad. There were a few key people, yes (Peggy and Dr. Erskine), but I guess what bothers me is that Cap’s narrative has never really come back around to that point, that he was just as good without his amazing physique as he is with it. I’m honestly not even sure what I’d want to see on this point, Steve specifically mentoring ill & disabled kids, Steve getting emotional over even being able to run a mile because he knows exactly what it feels like to not be able to, what it feels like for his body to let him down again and again and again. Some acknowledgement that most, nearly all, chronically ill people will never be “fixed” – there is no cure, no treatment that completely ameliorates our symptoms, no escaping the hand we’ve been dealt – but that even without being “fixed” we are still just as good and our lives are just as worthwhile as those of healthy or able-bodied people. The main point being that Steve’s sudden good health is nice and we’re all very happy for him, but it in no way made him a better person than he already was.
That’s another important point, given how there’s little to no hope of ever being (cured) “fixed” if you’re chronically ill, Steve’s amazing health isn’t just an awesome superhero perk, it’s a miracle. I, like many chronically ill people, would give nearly anything to get back the health, physical abilities, and just lack of daily pain that I used to enjoy. And it would affect me every single moment if I did get my health back. It wouldn’t ever be something I could take for granted, because I know what it’s like to not have it. And so to see this huge, very personal change in Steve’s life basically get no acknowledgment on screen really hurts.
I just saw Winter Soldier this past weekend, and while it was overall delightful, Steve’s first conversation with Sam (Falcon) left a little itch in the back of my mind, something that just wasn’t sitting quite right. And I finally figured it out: it’s the casual, even cavalier attitude about his running that he has there. And keep in mind, this is sweet, honest, sincere Steve Rogers we’re talking about here, not flippant Tony Sark or uber-guarded Bruce Banner. But there’s no acknowledgement of his past, even though Sam clearly knows who he is & so probably knows his whole backstory. Not a single mention of how he could never have done anything even close to this when he was a kid, not even a nod to it, no acknowledgement of how much someone who had previously been ill would cherish their health, would continually be amazed by the miracle of simply being able to get out of bed in the morning without any problems, let alone run miles upon miles. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been or what other amazing things he’s done since the change, someone who had as many health issues as we’ve been led to believe Steve did, and someone as emotionally deep & honest as we’ve seen Steve to be, would never stop appreciating and being amazed by their body now that it actually obeys and sustains them.
Cap doesn’t act like someone who knows what it is to be sick – and to suddenly have a miracle make him well again – because he wasn’t written by anyone who knows. His story wasn’t developed with the help of, hell even research or interviews with, people who know. And it just feels like another instance of erasing the chronic illness experience, when by all reason and logic this should have been a perfect opportunity for representation. Like his previous poor health is just a prop to give him a sad backstory, but now that he’s been “fixed” they can completely ignore all that icky sickness stuff, because now Steve is in the wonderful able bodied club so obviously he’d never want to associate with those gross ill people ever again noooo.
Sigh. This has all been really rambly and completely disorganized; I’m not even sure I made the points I was hoping to explain. I really do love Captain America, but the missed opportunities for chronic illness representation still hurt.
Oh well. At least we have the Hulk.
#the image we get of steve is that he only understands his worth in terms of what he’s capable of doing#i don’t think ‘the first avenger’ grants steve the opportunity to understand his worth as a person independent of his physical capabilities#we saw him spending so much of his life yearning to be able to do the things that other people seemed to do so easily#that his sense of worth became heavily defined by physical capability#and the movie never backtracks to say#‘hey – actually – did you notice that steve’s worth never changed as a result of the serum?#did you see that he did not gain more value by gaining more physical abilities?#did you notice that that’s a shitty way to think about people?’#i am not a member of this community#so i cannot fully understand this#but I do believe that’s a hugely missed opportunity#and does a gigantic disservice to a LOT of people#representation in media matters#and writing/acting should reflect that (grayedin)
Hello, anon, and thank you for the question.
This topic has been studied by by researchers for years. There are three prevailing theories that I will relay to you now.
1. It keeps him on the ground.
You may notice in the gif above that Chris’ leg starts to rise as he laughs, possibly a precursor to his entire body undergoing a sort of lift off due to his joy. Chris then employs his upper body strength to force himself to obey the laws of gravity.
2. To check on his physique.
As you may be aware, anon, it takes a lot of hard work to maintain a superhero body. Chris is concerned that in the time he has spent sitting down, sans working out or eating, he has lost muscle mass. Understandably, he feels the need to make sure that he is still a specimen.
3. Object permanence.
Object permanence is a term applied to the understanding that an object still exists even when you cannot see it. Chris closes his eyes when he laughs, making him unable to see that he has not disappeared. By grabbing his left boob, Chris knows that he has not somehow ceased to exist.
I hope this helps.