One other thing that’s really problematic about Steve’s ending in Avwngers: Endgame, I think, is what it says about dealing with trauma.
I’ll explain. So, along with Bucky clearly being main part of Steve’s storyline, I also feel like the main theme in Steve’s story is dealing with and overcoming trauma. The trauma of loss, PTSD, and of having to find his place in the world after coming out of the ice.
A few examples of that being made more or less explicit are these:
Here we see Steve struggling to find himself and find people who get what he’s been through.
In the conversation between Steve and Sam at the VA, Sam is showing Steve that he’s not alone, that there are people who relate. Now, obviously noone else has had the experience of being frozen for 70 years only to wake up in a different time. But at the core, Steve’s trauma consists of human experiences that are not at all uncommon: Loss, guilt, and trouble finding oneself after coming back from a traumatic experience.
Sam does this the first time they meet as well, when he asks Steve if “it’s his bed that’s too soft”, showing him that he relates to what he’s going though, and making him aware that what he is experiencing is not an uncommon thing to struggle with as a war veteran.
At the VA, he tells him about loosing his “wingman” and not being able to save him, which almost relates 1:1 to the story of Steve losing Bucky in CA: TFA.
Important note: This not only makes Steve realize that there are people that relate to his trauma, it also Steve’s trauma relatable to the viewers- Which in my opinion,gives the creators a responsibility to treat that part of his storyline properly and delicately - which I actually think that they do to some degree, up until Endgame.
When Steve visits Peggy, she encourages him to start over, and move forward. What I think she is saying here isn’s that we shouldn’t grieve, but rather that in dealing with trauma, we have to accept that we can’t go back. The trauma won’t magically go away, because it has happened. And trying our best to move forward is the best that we can do.
The way I read it, what she is also doing, is that she’s saying goodbye, and telling him not to linger, but to move on, and live, ensuring him that she has already done so.
This again at it’s core, is something a lot of us can relate to - grieving for a lost love. And Peggy says it beautifully - “the best we can do is start over” - it won’t make you happy, expecting that in a couple of years you’ll find some stone that’ll magically take you back in time to that first love that you thought was going to last forever... oh...
Okay, moving on:
So the thing is, that I think Steve does move on, to some extend. In the CA: TWS we see Steve establishing relationships based on deeper connections and shared experiences with both Natasha
As well as with Sam (see/read above) ⬆
Another important example is when Steve and Sam first meet and Sam asks how it is for Steve to have woken up in the future.
In his answer, Steve is focusing on the positive sides to being in the future, which can be read as Steve healthily dealing with his situation, but it also depicts the nuances of trauma.
What I mean by that, relates back to what Peggy was saying: “We can’t go back”. Our trauma won’t magically dissappear, and then everything is all good. In order to move on, we have to accept that we will be carrying some of that baggage with us.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t move on, that it will always be all bad. In this clip, Steve we’re right at the start of CA: TWS, and this is Steve’s first time meeting Sam, before knowing that Bucky is alive, and before having made any friends in the future. And what he’s saying is “Yeah, I miss my old life, I’ve been through something traumatic, but nothing is black and white, and I can appreciate the things that I have now”.
In CA: CW and the later Avengers movies, Steve’s continues developing new friendships, establishes somewhat of a life, and makes meaningful decisions for himself, based on his own ideals. He gets to grieve for Peggy, and even tries dating. (The whole Steve/Shannon debacle and the way she was treated, is a discussion for a whoole ‘nother day btw).
The fact that Steve gets to have Bucky back is of course already streching it in terms of realistic reprensentation of trauma. But I think that can be allowed, given that avenging Bucky and finding a tie between his old self, somebody who knew him all along, and now, makes up a complete storyline, that, aside from working really well, also tells a beautiful story about friendship.
(I mean the whole “one soulmate presumably dies, the other wakes up 70 years later, alone and feeling guilty, and it turns out his soulmate is actually alive, having been made a dangerous asset controlled by the enemy?? *cheff kiss* who comes up with that shit - okay, I might be little bit biased in this) :):):)
- Back to the point!
So, to sum up:
Steve starts off feeling completely alone because of the unique nature of of his trauma, and realizes that at the core of it, there are people who can actually relate to what he is going through (the grief of a lost love, the loss of a friend and the guilt of not being able to save them, struggling with finding yourself as well as your place in the world, in the aftermath of a traumatic experience).
He moves on and begins letting people in, letting himself grieve and establishes new ties that bind him to his surroundings, when he finds out that there is no going back, only forward, and he is in fact not alone with his experience og trauma.
Now, Idk about those of you guys that have had to go through either one of the above or other types of trauma, but to me, this process doesn’t sound unfamiliar.
I think that a lot of the reason why so many of us fell in love with Cap’s story, with the relationship between Steve and Bucky, Sam and Natasha, and the reason why these relationships are so inspired and well-written and exciting to examine in fandom content, is because this is a beautiful story about overcoming trauma in a nuanced and realistic way, of finding out that you’re not alone, and of using that knowledge to move forward.
When Steve finally gets Bucky back, everything isn’t back to normal or okay. They both have still lost, both others and parts of themselves, and they still have to process a lot of trauma, and find their place in a new time.
But that’s okay, because overcoming trauma is possible, even if it doesn’t magically go away. And it will be okay, because they have someone by their side who can get what they’re going through.
And I think a lot of us relate to that. And I also think that that’s a really important representation of trauma and of friendship and love (be it platonic or otherwise) between men, within a far-reaching franchise such as the MCU.
But oh no, MCU just had to get in a frantic Gay Panic over the fact that people fell for these beautiful dynamics and were inspired to create stories and art examining that, to more explicitely fit the reprensentation that they need, that they threw all of out the window, just to go out of their way in both Infinity War and Endgame, to ensure that there could be interpreted exactly zero Gayness between Steve and Bucky, and not even the smallest possibility of Steve not being 100% straight would be left open,
Leading to an ending that is the exact opposite of a healthy narrative when it comes to dealing with trauma:
- Little guy gets the buff body and the Girl, and then all the bad was gone and everything was perfect -
While completely ignoring the fact that he’s leaving his life and his friends behind, to go to a place where he knows nobody and his best friend is actively being tortured, and Steve will have to not be noticed in the past, probably leading to a very isolated life.
And thus, MCU managed to fuck up when it comes to appreciating their LGBTQ+ audience, representing healthy depictions of coping with trauma, as well as male friendship and non-toxic masculinity.
Only for this short clip, that would leave us all very dissapointed and confused:
Way to go.
Thanks for reading, if you made it this far:)
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⛅️🌷 𝒔𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒏𝒚!𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒗𝒆 𝒓𝒐𝒈𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒊𝒆! 🧺🌱
hello everyone! 🌈🪴🍄 it’s come to my attention that i’d really want to interact with another nonnie romantically besides my daddy bear and (somewhat) mister rogers nonnie so i’m creating this post to get the word out! 🌻🌺
💌 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒘𝒉𝒐? 💌
hello hello! 🧸 my name is rosie as most of you guys know and i love to garden, bake sweets, cook from my families recipe book and write poetry! 🧸 i’m in the ddlg community but that doesn’t really apply to this form but I want to state that i’m a little! 🧸 I consider myself a very soft person and very giving and I know that with your consideration we can make an amazing pair! 🌸🌸🌸
🌈 𝒏𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒊𝒆 𝒊’𝒎 𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒐𝒓 🌈
i’m looking for a skinny!steve rogers nonnie or better known as pre-serum!steve rogers ☁️ steve rogers has always been a comfort character for me and i have a huge soft spot for pre-serum steven ☁️ even though he’s small and unhealthy, his determination, kindness and ability to stand up to anyone makes him the strongest and bravest person in the universe ☁️ to this day I admire that so so very much and that’s why i’m asking for a skinny!steebie nonnie! 🌷🌷🌷
🍡 𝒏𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒊𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒒𝒖𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 & 𝒕𝒂𝒔𝒌𝒔 🍡
i’d really like the nonnieship to be romantic and somewhat sfw but we can always talk more about it if you’re applying! 🧃 we can communicate through my asks if you want to go on anon or you can create an account -not really necessary- so we can communicate through my messages! 🧃 i’d like if you’d check in daily because I sometimes get worried but the frequency of our interactions can be negotiated! 🧃 lastly but not least important, the person playing the skinny!steve nonnie must be 18+ and not take advantage of my kindness please and thank you 🍭🍭🍭
🌸 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆’𝒍𝒍 𝒅𝒐 𝒊𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖’𝒓𝒆 𝒎𝒚 𝒏𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒊𝒆! 🌸
gardening! || I have a very large garden that me and my daddy bear (my daddy!ari nonnie) are working on and if you’d like to be my nonnie we can work on it together! 🌿 I can give you flower and herb lessons and we can just have fun as we plant our vegetables, fruits and flowers! 🌈🌷🧃
picnic dates! || I love picnics and with the weather getting warmer as summer begins to present her lovely self we can stroll through the meadows or flower fields 🌸🌼🌺 have a nice lunch on a gingham blanket overlooking a serene lake scape and enjoy the sunshine ⛅️🍓🧺
baking! || making sweets is one of my favorite hobbies and if you’re my nonnie well bake loads of sweets and accompany them with tea as we enjoy them both on our garden terrace 🍰🍪🧁 also I like making baked desserts for people and stuffing your face in cakes and brownies would be fun for the both of us! 🌷🍭💫
much more! || i’m a very outdoorsy person and that might be the opposite of steve but i’d love to take you out on carnivals, art exhibits, museums and the beach! 🐚🎡🧸
🪄 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒍𝒚 🪄
just send me an ask or message! 🌼 we can discuss the role in details further and I can answer any questions or concerns that you have 🌼 ideally I want someone who can give as much as I can give because it’s very exhausting giving your all when you don’t receive the same energy 🌼 let’s get to know each other and we can be the bestest duo out there! 🌞🌞🌞
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