Public Usefulness but Rarely Domestic Happiness for the Modern Good Man
My father was a cop, and almost certainly had PTSD as so many officers of the law do. He didn't bring that shit home with him. And he was fortunate enough to find a woman who provided the affection and emotional support he needed to stay sane. Not once did she berate him for working long shifts and having to miss important family moments due to the call of duty. That's as it should be.
You've identified an important trope in popular entertainment that I'd noticed too - otherwise strong men getting embarrassed and emasculated by bitter harridans who seem utterly insensitive to the emotional needs of the men they married, and oblivious to the duties this imposes on them. Whether this is part of a program of deliberate cultural subversion or an expression of the resentment inculcated by feminist indoctrination, the propensity of humans to emulate that which is shown to them as praiseworthy has undoubtedly destroyed many a relationship, and left many a man and many a woman isolated, broken, and miserable.
The latest Avatar movie was a welcome departure from form in this respect.
Well, let's be honest. The main thrust of these movies/shows is a man attempting to accomplish something (standard dramatic fare, see High Noon, Unforgiven, Godfather). As such there was little for a woman to do except mostly look good and be supportive. Men would take the deadly risk, women would worry . . . and if the world resolved itself, they would reunite on a buckboard out to the farm or sit down to a spaghetti dinner . . . or something else normal.
In the equality driven woke world, a fantasy, a minor character (the wife, the divorcee, etc.) has her emotive world elevated to a similar level with the big challenge. So the ex-wife's rantings, which the audience would just as soon "see" edited out, remain to add "depth" to the cop, the robber, the cowboy, the gangster.
Suddenly her "feelings" have to be dealt with as if they were as important as the main challenge of the movie. It all rings false, because the women could all just leave, or retreat off stage, and the drama would continue (and in a much better way).
So the next "solution" to the woman problem is to replace the male action hero with a female action hero. The difference is the female action hero basically kills men for 120 minutes of showtime--they are supposed to be baddies, but in the woke world all men are baddies so, ready aim fire.
Godless tried to make a town of women armed and shooting.
The English did the same with Emily Blunt.
Who knew that 1883 when a wagon went across the Great Plains that all the allies would be Comanches and Sioux and all the evil doers would be white men (bandits!!). Any other white man (the wagon train folk) would be useless and pretty much impotent. It was left to the 17 year old daughter to sleep with a cowboy and a Comanche and save the wagon train 4 times--why, of course she did.
The new formula doesn't work, though. (Game of Thrones had similar BS going on). No one will be watching this dreck in 20 years, the same way no one watches bad 70s TV anymore (the Mod Squad).
I can't seem to find a like button, but I very much liked this. In some ways, I feel that many movies failing the Weisberg Test is a symptom of repressed awareness, a sort of Freudian Slide in the script. The hero has to have lots of problems to make them seem even greater for overcoming, sure, but at the same time they can't help but display their hatred of accomplishment and of the hero concept itself. They can't imagine how strange it is that the heroes wife hates him for being a hero because they themselves are incapable of appreciating dedication and accomplishment that doesn't make its sole end their own aggrandizement. How dare you be great and good in a way that isn't focused on me? What kind of wife could love and support a man who achieves for society, who follows a code of ethics, that doesn't put her personal self esteem as its highest requirement?
Sometime I suspect some people are so far past the point of sanity they can't even see it well enough to mimic it anymore.
The flawed hero fulfills the female need for drama porn while avoiding the attribution of positive character to males. This model became a template that has defined 'detective drama' creations tailored for a female audience. Ironside (Burr) was in a wheelchair. Monk was obsessive compulsive. Poirot was OCD and eccentric. Colombo was a slob. Rockford was an ex-con. Others were retired alcoholics with failed marriages, and so on. The creations seem to appeal to a desire in women for men who will endure danger on their behalf while still allowing women to dominate them. After all, of what is a horse that will not wear a saddle?
Janice, you are such an excellent writer (no surprise with your background). This is a good one. By all accounts, my maternal grandfather was hen-pecked to death, I have heard the term for many decades, although I believe the modern, maybe less polite version, is pussy-whipped. Its a huge problem in real life, rarely ever acknowledged anywhere. Its in visually media too, as you explain.
It's fascinating how complicated life has gotten since men took the fall all so long ago! I don't have an emotional twinge in my body so I appreciate you all giving me a glimpse. My only contribution can be to show an historical perspective on how we all got here:
1. To soften masculine ancient Greece (Hellas), the Olympic matriarchal line created the laborer Sysyphus from a tiny Egyptian slave and a over-emotional philosopher. The large Olympic matriarchal line bore sons with Sysyphus and the half-breed hybrids were sent to the Epirus Region of Greece. With some inbreeding the result was an intelligent, over-emotional, brooding, scheming, tiny white guy. The size of men was cut in half and brought into the female sect. Democracy was created to give the new sect a say in Greece's affairs. Ionian Troian men were brought over as Trojans to police the heathen armies of ancient Hellas. Cretans went on the run, or were sent to prison... Tartarus.
2. Cretans ended up in Mesopotamia to create their own offspring. What the patriarchal line created was a shrunken Greek Titan, or Persians. Part one (Alexander I) mixed with Part two (Alexander II).
3. The two lines were braided together in Macedonia by war. Alexander the Great was the result. Alexander III whose line went to Rome free from the Cretans, became the Caesars or conquerors of men. The Cretan Guard, or Asgaardians created the Religion of Thor in America. Tree of LIfe (Mississippi), Fountain of Youth (King's Highway) , Ouraboros Dragon (Liefr Eirikson-Vineland Station).
4. Rome (Alexander I line) and Denmark (Vikings from America) mixed as they invaded England at intervals just as they did in Macedonia, this is called Danelaw. Science (the Grays) created weapons that men used to kill each other. When weapons evolved to a point where hoplites could be outfitted into Trojans to defeat the Vikings... they did. 1066AD in Europe. 1068AD in America.
5. Today... prenatal vitamins are prescribed to convert nordic males carried in the womb into females. The world is now captured by transgender people who cannot identify with male or female properties. The Olympic form deminimized. The world more confused. History erased to cover their tracks.
Most guys are beyond that. If we want to enjoy any kind of TV, Streaming or Movie, we ignore it. Besides if I want validation as a male I get it from other males. I know I'm showing my age here but media that showed off masculinity as I identified it was produced by guys with the last name of Ford or Huston or Peckinpah and had stars with the last name of Wayne, Borgnine, Holden, Oates or Johnson.
Action movies tend to go downhill in direct proportion to the number of emotive females in it.
Fiction fleshes-out someone's worldview. Always.
It thrives/sells to the degree that it reinforces the dominant one(s) in the culture.
The cringey-dysfunctional gender dynamics you highlight in film (but the tip of a very big iceberg) strike me as diagnostic of a Jezebel-Ahab nadir for our culture. (See 1st Kings 21 and nearby chapters in the Christian Bible, https://nasb.literalword.com/?h=1&q=1+Kings+21, in sharp contrast to how Jesus treated women--and how the believing ones treated Him.)
'Invariably, the contrite hero who endures his wife’s or daughter’s insults not only doesn’t deserve the attacks: he deserves ... '
A kick in the balls.
The (unaware?) goal is to break men down, sic et simpliciter. The world claims men are evil, or at best useless, and women are always better, so the prophecy must be fullfilled, firstly in media. The feminist world cannot allow heroes, men who make their job and are loved for that, because they are deemed useles and without women no good would be possible. It would contradict the narration.
I've an aphorism that fits the heroic male/disgruntled wife/female articulated...
Men marry women they want to stay the same, and they don't. Women marry men they want to change, and they can't.
A film I saw recently featured a flawed hero with a supportive wife. It is so rare that I immediately noticed the “plot twist”. Now if I could just remember what movie it was...
The main problem from an artistic perspective with something like the Bechdel Test (or a Weisberg Test) is that you are intentionally contriving a story in order to beat an ideological drum and most people with any amount of taste find that very fetid and rather gnarly. In contrast a trope is a story element that has resonated with the human condition, which arises from human biology and the interactions between man and his environment, over multiple generations. The most inspired and loved stories usually revolve around an ingenious use of tropes for example the original Star Wars or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight( the beheading trope ). Feminists don't have the talent or ability to write anything inspired so they dragoon writers into beating their ideological drum for them.
Ironically almost everything ever written by feminists would fail the Bechdel Test because all they do is complain about men.
That is an amazing read and analysis.
Psychologist Toby Green in her Body and Soul advice column wrote about how (some) women in relationships are the "Testers".
They test the boundaries, they test their partner to find out if their partner still finds them attractive.
She also wrote about the Bam factor and how women(some) don't fight fair.
It is easy to dismiss comments as being off the cuff, comments like "She'll be asleep when I get home!" or something similar. One day I had an epiphany that the men who made these comments would be at the pub or club until closing frequently, where they felt much more comfortable than being in their own homes.
I once got an invitation to attend the opening of a refuse transfer station in Christchurch NZ. Some of the guests were upstairs in a glassed in observation room, while others, including me, were on the concrete floor of the building.
When the "first truck" rolled in and disgorged its contents into the compressor, those upstairs got a great view and those on the floor received a great coating of the dust and ash that filled the room. I learned that the working life on that floor had not been a high concern for the engineers.
The pristine white building exterior was mere PR for the majority, and the reality for the mostly male workers mattered far less.
I went home and wrote to my mostly male political friends on the council about how easy it would be to enclose the truck and the compressor and suck out and filter that ash and dust, but never got a reply.
Men have always had to fight for better working conditions, and will now have to fight for a better deal in the family courts and in the popular culture. We will get nothing much until we do. And when we do, we will get everything we want. Who will stop us? The only one who could, is us. All it would take is for a majority of men to adopt a reforming position. And accept nothing less.
The hero that wins at work and loses at home, need to get their priorities right. We have changed the world a thousand times, and we can do it again.
The book Canoeing with the Cree was written in 1935 by Eric Sevareid. He recounts a canoe trip he made with his friend Walter Port in 1930. At the time, they were both recent high school graduates. They canoed from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay over the course of 4 months and 2,250 miles.
In 2021, Natalie Warren wrote a book inspired by Canoeing with the Cree. In her book, Hudson Bay Bound: Two Women, One Dog, Two Thousand Miles to the Arctic, Warren recalls canoeing the same route with her friend Ann Raiho in 2011, 81 years after Sevareid and Port.
Canoeing with the Cree is a classic that has inspired many canoeists to travel this route. Sevareid approaches the journey humbly in awe in nature. While canoeing the trip today is certainly impressive, in 1930 it was more difficult because equipment was heavier, waterproofing was not as good, etc. While Sevareid expresses discontent at some of the true hardships, he never descends into whining. Sevareid seems grateful to have the opportunity to connect with nature. His story is not about ego. By sharing his story, he shares with the reader a glimpse of what connecting to nature is like.
By contrast, Hudson Bay Bound is about the rotten ego of feminists. The book is littered with moments where people express concern for the young women, and the women respond by asking "Would they do this if we were men?" In one moment, a religious family shares a meal with them, and proceed to pray for the women's safety. They respond by asking themselves, "Would they have prayed for us if we were men?" Numerous people they meet generously give them gifts. The women respond by insulting the gift givers. While it's true that the gifts make their journey more difficult due to the extra weight and space they take, the women could be grateful and simply discard the gifts without the generous people seeing. Rather than humbly connect with nature, Warren writes about how all evils in the world are the fault of white men.
The contrast between these two stories, written nearly 100 years apart, is very telling. It would be interesting if you wrote an article or made a video about this.