Chick Flicks and the Man

Yeah. This picture really doesn't work, does it? It's supposed to represent a chick-flick. But I think it looks like "Stalker Approaches Innocent Woman." It's my huz. He stalks me all the time. Except I let him. Which could be chick-flick-ish, right? -ish?

Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick MEEEE!

I had a thought.

It emerged after this discussion on YA author Shannon Hale's blog, as well as this follow-up, about there not being enough female leads in movies, and why.

Now it's been a few days since I read the posts, and I don't have them memorized. But it seems to me that while there are some very good points in them–i.e., people should expose boys and girls to the same movies, not just push "girl" movies on daughters and "boy" movies on sons. And another i.e.: that Hollywood seems very willing to have fewer female leads in movies, and worse, fewer good roles for said female leads–I think something is being missed here. And that is this: After 26 years being married to a dude, and 21 of those years spent as the mother of 4 offspring, I think I'm qualified to make the following observation: Okay, wait. That wasn't the point being missed, this is:

Women are more instinctively able to enjoy adventure and thrills than men are instinctively thrilled to watch romance and princess-movies.

Yep. That's what I said. And I'm sticking to it. I think some of the problem in Hollywood is that, plain and simply, men are genuinely not as open to chick flicks as women are to dude-flicks. Not because women are better than men; but because we are built differently. 

Women are built to relate to both girls and boys, because we ultimately are the ones raising and nurturing both of them. Men are built to feed and clothe and hunt and slay the dragons for the family. They don't have to be able to relate to princesses to do that. Just dragons. And the occasional boar.

I don't think men not loving chick flicks is a social problem. I think it is literally how they are built. I mean, yeah, men should absolutely try to round themselves out a little bit. Get beyond the boar. Try to relate to their wives and daughters because we need them to. And honey, if we ain't happy, they ain't gonna be happy. Besides which, daughters need their fathers to care about them, protect them and respect them. So do their fathers' wives.

But I don't think we should try to force them into something they instinctively are not. Or worse, teach our sons that there is something wrong with them if they're not dying to see Nancy Drew as much as their sisters are dying to see Sherlock Holmes. No. I think instead we should teach them that they might learn a thing or two by watching the occasional chick-flick. That they'll score serious points with their wives, daughters, and significant others by going to these movies WITH them. And that girl movies/books/interests are not without value simply because they as men are less interested in them. 

In other words, I think we need to teach our boys/men to respect us. I don't think we need to teach them to become us. (and by the way, Ms. Hale wasn't saying quite what I've said here. I just used her posts as a jumping off point.)

All of that said–WAKE UP, HOLLYWOOD! There are a TON of women out there. How about a few more movies with good roles for women? With women as the lead? How about a few more adventures and thrillers with women front and center? There are a boatload of us who'd buy tickets to that. There's money to be had in them thar theaters! Get out there and do something about it!

(And while you're at it, the prince-dude from "Tangled"? Totally awesome. My boys totally got him and thought he was hilarious. Bring on a little more of that cross-over appeal too.)

Hollywood really should check with me on these things.

Btw, if you want to read part 2 of my funky Irish short story on Challenging the Gnomes, Click here. There's a link to part one at the top if you want the whole silly sheebang. Cheers!

About Janiel 433 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. Eric is so good at watching chick flicks with us. But when we’re away for a day or so I always make sure to get a copy of Die Hard for him to watch while we’re gone.

  2. Totally agree with you on this, though I’d never really thought about it much. I can see it now though, thanks for sharing the light.

  3. But we’re already forced into something we instinctively are not. Why do we work SO hard to suppress women’s instinct to feed, clothe, hunt and slay dragons, and equally hard to suppress men’s instinct to raise and nurture?

    It’s cruel that this is done to us. That’s why women have fought so hard for the right to do those things. Although it’s a lesser battle, it’s now why men are asking for the right to enjoy a rom com without being laughed at.

    Besides, the idea of a “chick flick” is a myth. I know this because I know many men who are into those movies. Also because if you look at the ratings people give on IMDB, men and women give movies almost identical ratings.

  4. Runebug, good points. And I don’t mean to say that there are no men out there who enjoy “chickflicks.” My husband is the one who went out and bought “Legally Blonde” after we saw it in the theater, and he really likes “While You Were Sleeping.” As well as several others I think he is loathe to admit.

    And there’s the problem. Why is he loathe to admit? Because society is always trying to suppress peoples’ instincts and telling them they should be something they are not. And worse, belittling them for what they are.

    We need to celebrate and nurture who we are, not try to force ourselves, our kids, our spouses, our friends, into roles we think (or anyone else thinks) they should occupy. We’d probably have world peace if we could manage that.

    Thanks for the comment!

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