A couple of weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with a male friend. We were sitting and basking in the glorious sunlight and the conversation was going in its usual manner when my friend remarked;
“You really aren’t a damsel in distress are you? You already have everything on lock down and can handle it on your own.“
I was amused and perplexed. I was curious to know how my friend had come to the conclusion and why would be assume that I, or any female I guess for that matter, would be a ‘damsel in distress.’
The damsel in distress or persecuted maiden is a classic theme in world literature, art, film and video games. She is usually a beautiful young woman placed in a dire predicament by a villain or monster and who requires a hero to achieve her rescue. (source: Wikipedia)
Disney movies and most pop culture films, shows and all particularly aim to showcase females being at a disadvantage in some way or anything, requiring a ‘Prince Charming’ to come and ‘rescue’ them. Whether it be from the hounds or fixing a broken heel (hello Wedding Planner, you are telling me that the magnificent Jennifer Lopez who is the ultimate wedding planner – who can fix any and all issues, is dumbstruck at the issue of her broken shoe? nvm that she was distracted by the hot doctor but still), this social behavioural structure has been practically ingrained in our minds that this is just how it goes.
Sure, it’s adorable to see a cute girl who’s kind of a dimwit and needs help; however when faced with an individual that can hold her own (or as Neyo likes to say it, ‘Miss Independent she’s got her own thing going on‘) you get stumped – it’s a game changer. No one tells you how to act when faced with someone as your ‘equal’ because obviously how are you to impress her without your big muscles or fancy words?
It’s funny to me how a simple statement can make me think of years of male-female relationships and pop culture’s manifestation of this image.
For the record, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a damsel in distress cause hey, free world. But for myself, if you expect me to be a damsel in distress, you better be THE Prince Charming.