Jan 16, 2015
Annie Get Your Gun: Beefcake and a Gay Couple
It's actually about real-life sharpshooter Annie Oakley (1860-1926), who joins Buffalo Bill's traveling Wild West Show in the 1880s and competes with the star, Frank Butler.
There's something to be said for a big, tough, rastlin' backwoods gal who can shoot guns, but why make her so all-fired eager to give it all up for a man?
I'm quick on the trigger with targets not much bigger than a pin point, I'm number one.
But my score with a feller is lower than a cellar- Oh you can't get a man with a gun.
Wait -- I know the answer. Heteronormativity.
My tiny baby brother, who's never read a book, knows one sex from the other --
All he had to do was look!
And the object of her affection is rather a cad, leaving a chain of seductions wherever he goes:
There's a girl in Tennessee who's sorry she met up with me
I can't go back to Tennessee -- I'm a bad, bad man!
The kicker: Annie is a better shot than Frank, but in the big match, she deliberately loses, so he will like her. What kind of message is that for young heterosexual girls? Squash your talents in order to get a man!
There is a small gay subtext in the relationship between Buffalo Bill and his manager, Charlie Davenport.
Notable Franks have included Bruce Yarnell, John Raitt, Harve Presnell, Tom Wopat, and Patrick Cassidy,
See also: The Sound of Music; The Pajama Game.