A Lot of People Want Brie Larson to Punch Them in The Face: An Investigation

On Tuesday, the first full-length trailer was released for Captain Marvel, the first female-fronted superhero movie from the comics giant, and people were shocked. The Brie Larson-starrer, set in the ’90s, shows the titular character punching a crusty old lady square in the jaw. And while Marvel fans were quick to point out that the “old lady” was actually a Skrull (a member of the shapeshifting alien race), queer women like me had a totally different reaction: “I want Brie Larson to punch me in the face.”

But why? Why do we want to be pummeled into the Earth’s molten core by Captain Marvel?

Bethany from Mean Girls had it right when she said of North Shore’s bully Regina George, “One time, she punched me in the face. It was awesome.” In my opinion, wanting an extremely hot woman to punch you in the face has very little to do with BDSM or kink, nor is it related in any way to domestic violence, or any past traumatic experience that is resurfacing and manifesting itself in sexual desire. No, wanting to get gay-punched in the face is a dark and chasmal desire that spurs from years of painstaking sexual repression.

As a Gay, I spent the entirety of my teenage years and early twenties convincing myself that women were not hot. I endured a decade of slapping myself on the wrist, self-correcting every time a sneaky thought about a woman crept through my mind. By the time I reached the tender age of 22, I had agreed with my homophobic inner monologue that, yes, women were ugly and so was their stupid hair. And why did they smell so bad? Gross.

When I finally came out, I felt like I was playing catch-up; I had missed nearly a decade of experiences with sexual desire, from uninhibited pre-teen crushes to teenage lust and first loves. So, it wasn’t shocking that I began acting out as a baby gay — I couldn’t and wouldn’t stop talking about being gay.

If you’ve ever met an out gay person, then you know that this never goes away — all we do is talk about being gay, because for so long, we weren’t allowed to. And many times, we were punished for even expressing a shred of desire toward the same sex. So now, as out queer people, the gayness comes pouring out of us like a gushing, bottomless fire hydrant. And often, that queer expression can be a little extra, or extremely over the top, or—well, violent.

Sometimes, I feel like the gay surges out of me in powerful, unstoppable gusts. On any given day, another photo of Cate Blanchett in a suit can surface, and feeling completely unprepared, I’ll brashly take to Twitter to say, “Murder me, mom.”

This sentiment isn’t new on stan Twitter — any photo of a female celebrity in fierce stilettos can elicit thousands of comments from both queer men and women that read, “STEP ON ME!” A woman’s attractiveness can be so fucking arresting that we want them to vanquish us to another realm, like Brie Larson.

I’ve tweeted about this feeling multiple times, from wanting Keri Russell to perform a murder over my body, to hoping for my own slow, merciless slaughtering from Jodi Comer of Killing Eve. When I saw Atomic Blonde, I wanted Charlize Theron to wrap that yellow rope around my gay body and slice it in two. And after seeing A Simple Favor, I wrote about wanting Blake Lively to bash my skull in with her skull cane. There have been literal hundreds of moments in Game of Thrones where I’ve suddenly desperately needed Emilia Clarke to set me aflame with her dragons.

These reactions are visceral, involuntarily, and constant. Being gay is deeply stressful and traumatic — because of all the homophobia surging across the world, sure, sure — but also because my body and mind are so constantly overwhelmed and distressed by their own knee-jerk reactions to hot women. It’s exhausting. Being gay is a full-time job.

So, given the fact that most queer people have spent a lifetime hiding their true feelings while straight women have gotten to openly drool over mediocre loaves of men like Benedict fucking Cumberbatch (seriously, what?), this violent reaction to Brie Larson as Carol Danvers is totally understandable. Also consider that there’s only one, yes one female superhero movie out there, and it only came out last year! Women have waited an eternity to see themselves as the hero on-screen, and Gal Gadot’s brawny Wonder Woman swept us off our little gay feet in a fire-tornado of sexual attraction. Now, Brie Larson will take center stage in Marvel’s first female superhero movie. She’ll be sucker punching old lady aliens, crash-landing in Blockbuster stores, and suiting up like a smoldering space soldier, and we’re fucking stoked.

Captain Marvel won’t be released until 2019, but until then, tear through my body with a catastrophic, blazing asteroid, Brie Larson.


Jill Gutowitz

Jill Gutowitz is a writer and humorist currently living in LA, originally from The Void.

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