Do Teens Read LuAnn? Sure Hope Not
Found via the Comics Curmudgeon who duly mocks it:
The only way I read the funny pages these days is through the Comics Curmudgeon, which probably has some influence on my interpretation of this strip. I don’t know the specific story line for this week’s LuAnn, but the strip has been around long enough, that I know the basic motif of Gunther’s unrequited love for LuAnn and her mixed feelings about his advances.
All together now: “He’s a nice guyyyyyy.” Gunther does not get the message. After years of failing pursuit, you’d think he’d hang it up and see if someone else might take a shine to him. If I were writing the strip, that’s what I would do. That’s called normal behavior of a healthy human being. But I’m not writing this strip. Greg Evans is. He has created Gunther out of “nice guy syndrome” cloth, posing the possibility that one day Gunther will follow advice like this, turn himself into a Gender Stereotype and win LuAnn over with his Powerful Masculinity. Cuz LuAnn has nothing better to do than wait for Gunther to conform to her desires. Or for Gunther to tell her what her desires are.
See, what’s messing me up here, actually, is the mother. “Why do you need to feel romantic toward anyone?” “Well, mom,” my version of LuAnn would respond, “because I want to fuck. I want more than that, of course, but fucking is a big part of it. I don’t find Gunther fuckable. Maybe someone else does; bonnie for them. But I don’t. So I don’t want to hold his hand. Or kiss him. Or get to any number of bases with him. I definitely don’t wanna fuck him.”
This is a reasonable response. Just because Gunther has the self-esteem of a beaten dog does not obligate LuAnn to either give him a mercy fuck, as some Nice Guys™ would have it, or to suppress her own romantic and sexual desires as a reward for Gunther’s self-negating supplication to his object of love.
What the mother is suggesting — and parents in these strips tend to be The Voices of Reason, so I suspect Evans is suggesting it, too — is that LuAnn’s notions of romance are frivolous, silly, the kinds of fancies only the immature would entertain themselves with. That is, until they grow up and Reality places them in a marriage of mounting responsibilities and subsequent compromises, while their bodies age and decay, and the thought of shtupping anyone seems too much effort, might as well read a good book, zonk znorrrre.
Such is the mom’s perspective here. On the funny pages, where discussions of adult and young adult themes are usually verboten, the suppression of youthful sexuality is common sense. As with the eventual union of Lizard Breath and Anthony in For Better or For Worse, the union of LuAnn with her unromantic nice guy stalker Gunther is, if not inevitable, the course of events preferred by nervous editors and the moonbat readership who plague them. Abstinence until marriage, then breed, then hands off. What would a young woman like LuAnn want a hottie for, anyway? Gunther is dependable, good marriage material. Why would he want to marry some slut who is sexually attracted to him? He has bread to earn! She has babies to birth! If only we reproduced through spores, we wouldn’t have all this messy romance stuff in the first place.