Three years ago, today, while living in Gaithersburg, Maryland and attending the Sovereign Grace Pastors College I started this blog. I pray that it has helped men and women grow in a greater understanding of biblical manhood and womanhood.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
[My friend, Carolyn McCulley had this intriguing observation in her post last week. I had never thought about this topic in this way and thought my readers would find it equally thought provoking.]
So I'm watching the latest romantic comedy when I sense it coming. "Oh, no, here comes the drunk scene," I groan aloud.
Everyone else in the room looks at me, question marks popping up over their heads.
"Watch," I say, gesturing toward the TV. "This is the turning point in their relationship. She gets drunk. He has to care for her. She has to stop being her pugnacious self and dial down her obnoxious-meter. She finally receives some protection and leadership from him, and his ability to see her in a tender way changes their relationship dynamic."
Ten seconds later, the script plays out in the predicted manner. And I want to pull my hair out of my head! Why is this the required plot point in 99 out of a 100 romantic comedies?!
My answer? Because Hollywood has no other device to help young women receive the care and leadership of men--other than to have them get falling-down drunk. Until that point, every female rom-com character is outspoken, in-your-face, quirky, and reeking of insecurities that are propped up by a brittle facade of self-confidence. She spars with her love interest because she has not been taught to make room for him in her life, to live inter-dependently, rather than merely independently. And that independence is a sham, anyway, as the drunk scene inevitably reveals. She needs the help of others, but she is too proud to admit it. And that's when his care comes along. He tames her, so to speak, in her drunkennness. She stops fighting him and learns to trust him, but only after she has been humbled by being out of control herself.
Once the drunk scene is out of the way, the scriptwriters now have a reason for the male and female lead characters to work together, to trust each other, and to have some mutual care for each other. It is sad that women are being told over and over again that 1) this kind of trust and tenderness can only come about by losing self-control, and 2) that alcohol is a female problem (I never see the men getting drunk in these movies anymore).
My recommendation is that when you watch these movies, point out this contradiction to those watching with you--especially if they are young men and women. Our culture doesn't have a framework for masculine benevolence anymore, which is sad. It seems the only way to showcase that quality is for someone to be so obviously helpless, as in a drunk scene, and then it's okay for a man to exert protective qualities. As for young women, help them to understand that feminine tenderness and receptivity is a good thing, that men today are still looking for that quality, and that you don't have to get drunk to find it.