I was thinking the other day that it is tough to be a male in this culture. Women might disagree with that perspective. I can't say they'd be wrong. At least, not from where they sit. But it's not easy being male. First, we boys were fed the same moral tales throughout our early years that the girls were. Think back to them. What was the basic theme? The princess was (we are never told how) being held by some evil entity (dragon, evil baron, etc) and waits for her hero to arrive on his white steed to rescue her. The hero usually has overcome great obstacles to lend testimony to his bravery, strength, and cleverness. He will most often be a prince and, if not, will become one by winning the freedom of the princess. He will be as handsome as the princess will be beautiful. And nothing less than happiness and joy will follow, summed up in that famous phrase "They lived happily ever after."
So, we grow up believing we have to be handsome (flawlessly handsome), resourceful, brave, strong, and clever in order to win the hand of the object of our desire. Substitute a Corvette, a Porsche, a Cadillac, a Mercedes Benz, or whatever for the white charger. Have a profession which pays well instead of being a prince. And all you need is a damsel in distress. Unfortunately, I learned a long time ago that many princesses didn't want rescuing. All too often, they wanted to stay with the dragon. It didn't help that I was scrawny, not very brave, and only moderately clever. To be honest, I wasn't all that handsome either.
When I was in my teens, girls would tell me that guys had it better when it came to dating. Girls had to sit around waiting for the guy to call, they had little power to control the situation. They didn't quite understand it when I tried to explain the fear that had to be overcome just to dial a girl's number, much less actually ask her out. That made some of them feel a little better, I suppose, because they caught a glimpse of the power they actually had. Some already knew they had the power. I never had a chance with them. They dated the quarterback, or the star of the baseball team, or some other "prince."
Things started changing in the 60s. Women's liberation was a boon to those of us who never fit the image of Prince Charming. It was also a problem because it took all the rules of chivalry we had learned as youths and tossed them out the window. It did not impress a girl or woman anymore if you held the door for her. It seemed to be taken as an insult. I see a change again, women seem to want that attention, that courtesy, that deference, they once enjoyed and ceded for the illusion of equality.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago