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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.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

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).

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author

There is enough astute analysis here for its own Substack essay, thank you.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

I actually enjoyed 'Godless' and 'The English', probably for some of the same reasons I can occasionally enjoy Women's Hockey!

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

Photography was good.

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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.

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author

"... a sort of Freudian Slide in the script." Hey, I thought *I* was the writer! Thanks for this, excellent.

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I'm just a little bitty writer, with a deep and abiding love for Gary Larson :D

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5d/24/62/5d2462bba99c5aefb8aeeffe152d0d4d.gif

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author

Oh, that's great!

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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?

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Jan 25, 2023·edited Jan 25, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

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.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

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.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

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.

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Sometimes we hear a phrase so often, it never really registers. Usually, it is a casual remark, that is unremarkable, that is until looking back you may have heard it in various forms more than a dozen times. Then suddenly it is the realisation something extremely significant is being said and nobody realises it.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

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.

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author

This is a great point (about male validation) I wasn't thinking of but should have been (because I'm preoccupied by all the angry women in these shows). Most of the movies DO show men bonding with other men, sometimes working with a partner, sometimes even bonding with an antagonist (as in Heat--where the real relationship of understanding and appreciation is between the Pacino character and the De Niro character). Sometimes there is a woman-buddy who supports the hero in a non-sexual way. It is striking, though, that the movies can't seem to imagine a woman simply appreciating her husband/father for his greatness.

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Thank You for commenting Janice.

When I was a kid ‘Father knows Best’, ‘The Donna Reed Show’ and ‘Family’ (although a late entry into the genre) was all about Mutual Respect between Mothers and Fathers and kids. I don’t know that most fathers needed to be idolized as soon as they walked in the front door. But with Feminism and the need to turn fathers into the village idiot, the upshot is what you see in nearly all media productions now…there is an occasional refreshing scene where things like mutual respect (and dare I say affection even) is portrayed but that usually portends some horrible blowout in the next scene!

Pretty sure the whole the whole thing went to hell with the reference to how difficult men made women’s lives by leaving the toilet seat up.

By the way I am also a fan of Davids writing. Keep up the good work you two!

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deletedJan 24, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo
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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

I admit to not having seen that one. I had to look up Rachel Ticotin but I do remember her. I may have given the movie a pass because Sharon Stone was in it. I can take or leave Arnie so there is also that.

Emotive females who didn't destroy the movie they were in = Joanne Dru, Barbara Stanwyk, Eleanor Parker, Angie Dickinson and nearly every one of those tough, wise cracking broads from the Film Noir era in the 40's and 50's. Faith Hill in 1883 and Helen Mirren in 1923 (so far). Don't get me started on Beth Dutton!

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Jul 17, 2023·edited Jul 17, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

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.)

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Feb 8, 2023·edited Feb 8, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

'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.

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author

Haha!

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Feb 3, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

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.

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The goal is to break men down absolutely, to put them under the sway of a feminist and collectivist government that uses their manpower, work ethic, capability, and ingenuity but destroys their independence and will.

In the case of the henpecked heroes of the police procedurals and court dramas, however, it seems that the fracture lines in the ideology are more starkly revealed than normal.

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Feb 3, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

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.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

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...

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author

I'd love to see it!

Have you watched the Reacher series (not the two movies, but the season, based on the first Lee Child novel)? It has a scene in which the hero is forced to apologize to a woman for drawing the fire of their enemy away from her. She felt it showed her as less capable than a man. He duly apologized.

I recently re-watched the two Reacher movies also; in one of them (can't remember the name), Reacher is continually under criticism by the woman he busted out of army jail, in whom he is romantically interested.

Perhaps the point is simple, part of our anti-male (but male-reliant) culture: no matter how superlative the hero, he has to have a 'soft side' that apologizes to women and acknowledges female moral superiority. He must be reduced in stature, even as his heroic qualities are on display.

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Jan 25, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

No I haven’t watched The Reacher series, and you’re not really making me want to! I’m going to try to remember the movie I referred to...nothing yet.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

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.

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author

Agreed. The Weisberg Test isn't serious, just a way of drawing attention to a striking feature of some modern movies and series.

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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.

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Hi Janice,

Excellent as always.

I'd love a scene where the unhappy wife complains to her mother about domestic life and her cop husband, expecting sympathy, and her mother replies:

"Your husband has a dirty, dangerous job. And all of us need him to do it. He's been shot at several times and he still goes to work for us. He has to look at mutilated corpses and people beaten to death, but his only concern is securing the crime scene and then going to the office to do the paper work. Because we all need him to do it. He's hard working and selfless. It would be good if he had a wife to match that. Instead he was a whiny, self-centred brat like you. So I agree - leave him. He deserves better."

I'd laugh.

Have you heard of a YouTube movie critic called The Critical Drinker? He's an abrasive Scottish guy who's often really funny and on the money. Here is a link to recent 14 minute video essay about modern movies and their hatred of men. Very close to your piece.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUWe11I_7Oo

Definitely worth the few minutes.

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Jan 26, 2023Liked by Janice Fiamengo

Yes, I'm a fan and love his channel. Here's the thing: those old style heroes are so sexy and very appealing to this old bird. (and I suspect many younger ones as well). Whinging, girly men are so unattractive.

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