So, wow. Yeah. Another one of those “I’ve been reading a lot of.. and.. (insert my opinion here).”
So, yes, I keep reading about Bucky as the ladies man: all sexed up and such. It’s a bit baffling to me, as this is a very modern way of thinking. Dating - or courtship - was very different in the 30’s and 40’s than it is today!
For example, take this excerpt from A Brief History of Courtship and Dating in America, (Part 2):
Beth Bailey and Ken Myers explain in the Mars Hill Audio Report, Wandering Toward the Altar: The Decline of American Courtship, before World War II, American youth prized what Bailey calls a promiscuous popularity, demonstrated through the number and variety of dates a young adult could command, sometimes even on the same night.
In the late 1940s, Margaret Mead, in describing this pre-war dating system, argued that dating was not about sex or marriage. Instead, it was a “competitive game,” a way for girls and boys to demonstrate their popularity.
This describes a situation in which dating was more about one’s reputation than any sort of romance. It was very important not only to be seen with many dates, but with the proper people. This explains why Steve would have had such a difficult time securing a partner: being seen with someone unpopular was worse than not being seen at all. However, this gives us a clue as to how popular Bucky must have been! If he was able to leverage himself in order to get Steve dates, Bucky must have been pretty high-ranking on the dating scale.
For men, desirable dating traits included a good personality and dance skills, as well as being “tactful, amusing, well dressed, prompt, and courteous” (Great Depression and the Middle Class…). Lasciviousness was not a good quality! Women communicated with one another concerning a man’s suitability, so for Bucky to have been popular he couldn’t have been the sex-centric playboy that fans like to imagine. It’s far more likely that he was well-spoken, funny, charming, and a great dancer. Remember, Bucky was from the lower classes, so he wouldn’t have had the money - despite the Depression, it was expected that men pay for the entire date (barring Sadie Hawkins themed events and once a couple started to go steady) - to impress women with a car and fancy clothes, nor would he have been able to take them out to dinner, so his dance skills would have been pretty important!
In fact, dancing was such a popular form of entertainment that, in one year, the University of Michigan fraternities held over 300 evening dances!
According to this web page “young people in the 1930s dated and double-dated by going to movies, getting something to eat, going for ice cream, driving around, spending time with friends, going to dances, and even ‘necking.’” That’s right folks, necking. Not fucking.
Women were expected to straddle a fine line between being too forward or too “frigid,” both of which could harm their reputations. Young people engaged in kissing, necking, and petting (meaning anything short of full intercourse). Petting was becoming more common - due, in part, to rising automobile-culture - as was sex itself; heavier petting typically came from going-steady, and engagement “came… to mean that partners would at some point ‘go all the way’” (Teen Culture in the 1930’s). Ladies who were known to be free with their sexuality prior to commitment were in danger of being known for exactly that, and could easily become popular merely as a means to an end (the wrong kind of popularity).
So, it likely wouldn’t have been hard for Bucky, as a popular young man, to find a willing partner (and I’m certainly not suggesting that he was virginal). However, if he were the sort of man to focus on easy women, it’s not likely that he would maintain his own high rating (which, again, we can guess at by the fact that he was able to not only secure himself dates, but Steve as well).
This is a really quick and dirty run-down of dating and sex during the 30’s into the early 40’s, but there is a lot of information available out there. Bucky is presented as a stand-up guy, so I don’t really understand why so many people seem to view him as some sort of a man whore. I sincerely doubt that he was entirely chaste (particularly once he went into the Army, a topic which I avoided on purpose), but I imagine that he was a desirable companion for his charm and dateability far more than for his sexual prowess.
It’s a panel of five white guys and him (okay, six white guys) talking about gender equality in the workforce.
It was originally supposed to be an interview about the attack on New York by the Chitauri, but they’d gotten on the subject of the Black Widow and now…
Steve sinks lower into his seat. Some of the stuff these guys are saying is really inappropriate, not to mention wrong. And this is live TV!
"Women’s place is in the home," one of the men says, and turns to Steve. "That’s how it was back in the forties, so—you agree, right, Captain?"
At least he got the title right. Say what you will about Fox News, but when they meet someone they respect, they use all the right titles. The fact that they refuse to call President Obama by his title is one of the many things that peeves Steve.
"It wasn’t like that in the forties," Steve says. Had this man ever taken a history class? “In the 1940s, America was at war. It’s thanks to a lot of really great ladies that we even won that war. If they hadn’t been in the weapons factories, they would have stood empty. They made our bullets; they made our parachutes; they made our lifevests. I—and most of my squadron—would be dead without those women.”
The man is shuffling around his papers. Steve glances at the others, who are avoiding his eyes. “Our great country would be nowhere without its women. Without Agent Peggy Carter, we would have no intelligence program to speak of. Without Ada Lovelace you wouldn’t have a computer. Without Clara Barton, we’d have no American Red Cross. Do you want me to go on? Because I can.”
"Neither Peggy Carter nor Ada Lovelace are Americans."
For a second, Steve can’t believe this guy has the balls to say that to him. “Who cares? They changed the world. Peggy started that here, with SHIELD. She’s the reason I’m here.” He hesitates, waiting to see if anyone else is going to say anything, but they don’t. “I, for one, owe my life to Peggy Carter. So do most of you. You can’t tell me a woman like her doesn’t deserve equal pay. Peggy Carter is a warrior, and to be honest, so is every woman living in this country. With guys like you, they’ve got to fight for their survival. I’m surprised they haven’t mutinied on us.”
Sam comes out of the shower to spot Steve sitting in their living room, sketching quietly and an idea pops into his head. He doesn’t know if Steve’s seen Titanic or not, but he figures he’ll get one of those full-body blushes out of Steve and it’ll be worth it either way.
So he goes back into the bedroom, hangs up the towel and puts back on his dog-tags. Steve doesn’t look up when Sam saunters into the living room, but he does when Sam flops down on the couch dramatically, wearing nothing but the chain around his neck and says, “Steve. Draw me like one of your French girls.”
Of all the reactions he was expecting, he certainly couldn’t have predicted the startled look in Steve’s eyes, followed by all the blood promptly rushing from his face.
Sam just stared for a minute, confused, before Steve finally stammered, “Who…How do you know about the French girls?”
i cant stop thinking about bisexual steve rogers going to his first pride and i want to cry bc imagine how much he’d probably cry oh LORD HE’D BE SO HAPPY