Quick quiz: name more than five examples of idiotic, selfish and/or juvenile men in TV ads, or movies, television programs or books. Pretty easy, yeah? Now, name more than five men who are believable, decent, good, caring men in the same mediums. More difficult, right?
Rapidly approaching my first Single Adult activities as a divorced woman (you can get lawyer’s help with handling a divorce through this site), panic struck so intensely I had been visiting a counsellor to address my significant… ah… “trust issues and social avoidance” (her words, not mine – I’d have gone with “self-preservation and comfortable habits”). Hence, I was given unexpected homework for the week ahead; testing the hypothesis that there were good men in the world and – to stop anxiety clawing its panicked way up my spine to throttle me – was told to look first for examples in books, on TV or in movies.
“I don’t want you to look for the romantic comedy/chiselled jaw/Disney happily ever after rubbish”, she told me. “Instead, I want to you consider the characters, their flaws, their strengths, and see if there are decent men, even presented fictionally. Men who try to do their best, not just for themselves but for their friends and family. Flawed people, yes, who might yell or get angry or pick their noses and make mistakes, but who also make and keep promises as much as they can, who try to be good. Go see what you can find. You need to find evidence that there are decent men in the world.”
I didn’t want to do it.