lolaraincoat: drawing of toad (toad)
[personal profile] lolaraincoat
One of my previous posts about what kinds of historical change might have surprised Captain America after he was woken up from a 70-year-long period of hibernation has gotten linked around enough that I'm a bit overwhelmed by comments from nice and enthusiastic people I've never met before. This is flattering, and I'm grateful, but ... OK, a couple of things.

So, first: hello! I'm glad you're here. I'm overwhelmed enough that I am not even going to try to respond to the types of queries about stuff that can easily be figured out with a little googling - you are going to have to take your hat-related questions elsewhere, I'm sorry to say.

Second, to sum up, because I seem to be repeating this a lot in responding to comments: It actually makes no difference to me at all whether you get the small details right (either marvel-canonical or historical.) I know it matters to you whether Captain America would have listened to 78s or 45s, or whatever, and that's great. But that wasn't my point here.

My point was that I keep reading fics which make two very very very wrong assumptions. First, they assume that Steve Rogers grew up in a sexually repressive place and time (particularly, a homophobic one.) Here, the fic writers are assuming that 1945 was just like 1955 - or else just assuming that the past was always all the same. No no no! 1945 was a lot more like, say, 1970 in terms of social mobility and relatively relaxed sexual mortality than it was like 1955. If you write fics in which Steve doesn't know where babies come from, or would punch any man who made a pass at him ... well, you are going to have to explain how it was that he came to be so out of step with just about everyone else in the military in 1945.

And the other wrong assumption made in some of these fics was that the most interesting things about the fic writer's lives in the present day (mostly sex, movies, music, computers and related devices - also, clothing) would also be the biggest surprises to thawed-out Steve Rogers. They might or might not be interesting and/or surprising to him, but they would be much, much less surprising to him than changes in racial hierarchy, gender hierarchy, social class, and economic structure. Those would truly shock a white American man who suddenly went from 1945 to 2010. (As they might shock a non-white American woman, for that matter.) How Steve reacts to all these changes is up to the fic writer, but to have him not even remark on having an African-American commanding officer while being gobsmacked by an iPad is, to me, silly enough that I'll back-button right out of a fic that does it.

So that's what I was trying to say. It's interesting to see so many people coming to have related conversations, and I encourage that! But I'd appreciate it if people would at least skim through the comments others have made first, so they're not repeating each other, and I would also appreciate it if people would link to this post rather than to any of the others. Here are the links for all of them:

First post, LJ version

First post, DW version

Second post, DW version

Second post, LJ version

All of them have some really great discussions going on, so please read through those comments!



*****

Date: 2012-06-20 01:00 am (UTC)
thefabulist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thefabulist
Amen! I'm so glad I happened to see this. I think if a historical caveat could be boiled down to one sentence, it would be: Keep in mind the 1940s were much more about the 1930s than they were the 1950s, especially in terms of sexual mores.

I just finished writing a book about 1947, so you have really put a nickel in my slot here. A to the MEN, sister.

just dropping by to say

Date: 2012-11-23 07:09 pm (UTC)
psyfic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] psyfic
Happy Birthday!

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