Thursday, July 28, 2011

What Makes a Hero?

On and off during the last couple of years I've read that some men are afraid that books, such as the Twilight series, will give women and girls expectations that they can't possibly meet. They are afraid that their girlfriends or wives will want a perfect guy like Edward. Putting aside the idea that a vampire who sparkles in the sun, and doesn't have the control to do much more than kiss his girlfriend is perfect, the last thing men should be worried about is a fictional hero.

To be a hero to a wife, girlfriend, child or friend doesn't take supernatural ability. Yes, we love reading about men that kick ass and take no prisoners to protect their family, but it's the emotion behind that act of bravery that makes us crave that type of love story.

My husband installed a new water heater this summer, including rewiring the electric in the basement because it was a different type of heater than we'd had before. When he was almost finished I went down to hold the flashlight for him while he did the final wiring. He made a joke about his mad skills and how hot it was that he could do this type of work. We laughed about it, but later I realized that it IS cool, and yes, sexy, that he can give me back hot water without calling an expensive repairman. I also find it sexy that he is a good father, comforts me when I'm sad or stressed, and that he does little things like buy me my favorite kind of chocolate when he knows I had a rough day. All of these things combined make him a hero to me.

Rather than worrying about women having unrealistic expectations, perhaps guys should be focusing on truly getting to know someone and learning what makes them tick. If men really took a good look at our favorite romance novels I think they'd find that they CAN meet those expectations in their own way. Women aren't stupid. We know our man will never have supernatural strength to fight vampires or zombies. He may not have perfect abs or the ability to wield a sword, but that's okay. It's more about us wanting a man that we can IMAGINE would do those things if he could.

I think women simply want their own personal hero. For each of us this means something different and the man who figures it out is the one we'll love forever.

What do you think?


Brenda Hyde has been a freelance writer of home and garden articles for over 20 years, and now she's also writing paranormal romance through short stories and novellas. You can find her at the Wayfaring Writer blog here: http://moonsanity.blogspot.com/.


Tina Donahue said...

Great blog, Brenda, and so very true. I don't want my guy to have muscles ala Swartzenegger or have movie star good looks. Having him by my side and on my side no matter what, having him be there for the little things (dishes, taking out the trash, computer/car problems, etc.) is what makes a hero in my mind. :)

Delaney Diamond said...

I agree! Men are so sexy doing everyday things--things they may not even realize are sexy to us. Often, it truly is the thoughtful little gestures that make me melt.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

You're absolutely right, Brenda, men don't have to be handsome, strong or mensia geniuses to be sexy.
My husband climbed a ladder high into a tree just to fixate an owl house my dad made for me. I thought he was the sexiest man alive when he did that for me. I took a zillion pictures of him doing it and prayed he wouldn't fall out of the dang tree.
Wonderful blog today, Brenda

jean hart stewart said...

Great blog. I agree completely. My husband was always my hero, even though he teased me about how my fictional heroes really couldn't do all that sex stuff. Jean

Kathy Otten said...

Hi Brenda,
Great post. I don't think any woman is foolish enough to believe the heroes in books would replace the guy who changes her oil, picks wildflowers, or goes to the store for ginger ale when your sick (esp. living in the county, where the store is six miles away). I tend to like beta heroes anyway. Maybe because they're closer to the real thing.

Fiona McGier said...

Your words are so true, Brenda. As you say, we women are not dumb...we know our men can't fight zombies or vampires...but who can? We want men who care about us, empathize when we need it, and give us reasons to celebrate being alive. That's all...simple, yet so very complicated to some. It requires caring about someone else enough to learn how to please them. The men who say that is unrealistic expectations are doomed to always wonder why women are so hard to understand.

Brenda Hyde said...

I'm glad you all agree with me:) It's nice to know there are all types of real, everyday heroes out there that give us a great foundation for writing about the fictional ones.