Skip to comments.3 Great Male Role Models for Girls: Fumbling, stumbling, awkward and imperfect and also wonderful
Posted on 02/16/2014 7:08:10 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Last week I examined the fairy-tale world of the perfect young man, who is portrayed as suave, witty, and handsome (“3 Terrible Male Role Models for Girls”).
Now lets look at the role models our girls should be looking at when they begin to date. What kind of young man will prepare them best to navigate the stormy waters of modern relationships? I have a few suggestions from popular culture for great male role models for young women.
Ron is a hot mess, both in the books and the movies. This teenage wizard is awkward, gaffe-tastic, and so bumbling that J.K. Rowling recently mentioned that she wondered if she should have put Ron and Hermione together. She shouldnt wonder. Ron is tender and loving and he makes an excellent husband and father. Hes a nice guy.
But as a teenage boyfriend, hes the best example of how mixed-up the dating life of a Mr. Nice can be. We grow up with Ron in the Harry Potter novels and movies and his generous and friendly personality becomes a disaster in his teen dating years.
Ron is pressured into a romance with fellow student Lavender Brown. Shes the worst nightmare of a girlfriend — possessive, overbearing, and infantile. She hangs on Ron in public, bestows sickly, sweet nicknames on him (Won-Won!), and has no time for conversation because shes too busy trying to make out with him. Ron finds himself more and more trapped, unwilling to hurt her feelings but unable to bear her for another minute. Hes a classic Mr. Nice Guy.
This is a great male role model for girls. Lots of teenage boys dont know how to navigate through relationships. They can find themselves trapped with a girl theyd rather not be with, and breaking up with someone like that is not easy. Hermione doesnt reject Ron because he was with Lavender, even if her feelings were hurt while he was going out with her. A Mr. Nice Guy like Ron is worth the effort.
Finally, watching Lavender Brown act out her crazed romance is a healthy reminder to girls: Don’t be a Lavender Brown.
Sam is so terrified of asking Rosie Cotton out that he travels through Middle-earth, escapes Ringwraiths, almost gets eaten by a Balrog in the mines of Moria, kills a giant spider the size of a VW Beetle, sword fights with Orcs, and throws down with Gollum at the edge of Mount Doom before he gets up the courage to ask her out.
She immediately marries him and is a wonderful wife, and they have beautiful children together. Dont make a shy young man travel through Middle-earth, escape Ringwraiths, almost get eaten by a Balrog in the mines of Moria, kill a giant spider the size of a VW Beetle, sword fight with Orcs, and throw down with Gollum at the edge of Mount Doom before he asks you out. Just ask him out already and save you both the trouble.
Shy young men are often the best prize of all, as they usually are intelligent, inquisitive, kind, and funny. Theyre a lot like Samwise Gamgee: too insecure to get out of their own way. Sam is a great male role model for teenage girls who might need to widen their vision to see that the bashful sidekick might be the one theyre really looking for.
Dont laugh. Look at this young man. Can you glean the slightest emotion from that cliff wall of a face? Keanu Reeves, it has been said, has the emotive range of a potato, but this is not true. Keanu is a stoic. These men dont emote. They dont squinch up their faces and cry when theyre hurt. Sad movies dont make them weep. They dont make big romantic gestures with flowers and special mix tapes and they dont show up and hold a boom box over their heads and play Peter Gabriel songs. They are unexpressive and remote. If a girl expects a man like this to flip a switch and turn into a talkative extrovert like Ferris Bueller, shes going to be disappointed.
Yet the Neos of our species are worth every frustration and every effort involved in building a relationship with them. A man like this, once his heart is given, is completely committed. They mate for life, like the wolf, and their devotion is unswerving. Once they love you, they love you forever. (Which is why they dont say I love you all the time. They said it once, and they meant it. Why bother saying it again?) The hero of The Matrix is a great male role model for girls who find they are interested in a stoic young man like Neo. Watch here as he is completely uninterested in kissing the smoking-hot Monica Bellucci. His heart is with Trinity, and that is that.
These male role models for girls show the diversity and the appeal of young men who dont fit a romantic-movie model of a charming, witty, perfect date. Theyre fumbling Mr. Nice Guys, incoherent Mr. Shy Guys, and puzzling Mr. Stoic Guys. Theyre imperfect, and theyre wonderful.
I liked Fred and George much better than Ron. They had a sense of humor and a business plan.
I like the guys like Ron Weasley. But the shy guy can be a perv and the stoic can be cold and a user.
Give me Jimmy Stewart in his usual lighter roles any day
Anybody can turn out to be an unfortunate choice. The author seems to be trying to draw the attention of teenage girls (not 40-somethings ;-), to concepts of a boyfriend that are realistic rather than unrealistic.
In her previous article, she gave as bad examples the vampire guy from “Twilight,” Peeta from “The Hunger Games,” and some guy I never heard of.
And with thirteen kids you know he's got it going on.
Didn’t Ron run off and leave them hanging for a good portion of the movie? That last book should have been titled: “Harry Potter and His Band of Overly Dramatic, Bratty Teenagers.”
Here's my 3 Nominations:
What about Pajama Boy? He would be a great bf, sitting around drinking cocoa with her??? Talking about great liberal ideas such as Obamacare????
Oh yeah, he'd be perfect for the feminist. She could demand oral sex anytime and never have to participate in actual intercourse. And he'd lap it up (pun intended).
To emulate? To have as boyfriends?
I prefer this sort of Marine as a role model for my daughter - SSGT Nantz.
They don’t exactly say why these particular males are great role models. I was thinking along the lines of having as boyfriends/husbands, but they don’t actually say that in the article.
Or Harry Potter and the Kids Who Stood Up to Terrorists When the Government Failed to Do So.
The Johnny Unitas look!
I believe the author is offering these characters as illustrations of qualities that could be found in a good boyfriend/potential husband. The point seems to be that a boy or young man should not be dismissed because he is awkward, shy, or not very communicative.
I agree with this, in general. However, while a boy/man like this might have many other excellent qualities, he also might not. I advise my daughters to stay out of romantic relationships until everyone has had a chance to grow up quite a lot.
I still think Mystique could be the perfect girl friend. Endless variety. She can be anyone you want her to be.
But you know what would happen. 3 weeks into the relationship, she’d be saying, “Why don’t you ever love me for my blue scaly self.” And then it would be over.
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