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!