Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

3 Great Male Role Models for Girls

They’re fumbling, stumbling, awkward and imperfect. They’re also wonderful.

by
Bonnie Ramthun

Bio

February 15, 2014 - 7:00 am
Page 1 of 3  Next ->   View as Single Page

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 let’s 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.

1) Ron Weasley from Harry Potter. Let’s call him “Mr. Nice Guy.”

Ron-Weasley-harry-potter-213595_1024_768

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 shouldn’t wonder. Ron is tender and loving and he makes an excellent husband and father. He’s a nice guy.

But as a teenage boyfriend, he’s 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. She’s 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 she’s 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. He’s a classic Mr. Nice Guy.

This is a great male role model for girls. Lots of teenage boys don’t know how to navigate through relationships. They can find themselves trapped with a girl they’d rather not be with, and breaking up with someone like that is not easy. Hermione doesn’t 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.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
If I were to choose a Keanu Reeves character for my daughter's boyfriend to emulate, I'd choose the quarterback from the Replacements.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was searching for the archetype of a stoic, the kind of man this actor represents on screen, and Keanu fits the bill. His personal life is undoubtedly a mess. I wouldn't wish any Hollywood actor on my daughter. Or yours!
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Samwise is actually a great example of why you should avoid Mr. Shy at all costs. He stands by while his friend if consumed by the ring, doing nothing to stop it. His warnings about Golem are voiced in such a mealy mouthed fashion that it's no wonder Frodo writes them off as jealousy. He only goes along with Frodo because he's too weak willed to do anything else. He doesn't go because it's the right thing to do, he goes because he's always been with Frodo. Codependency does not a role model make.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
So how does Mr. Nice and Mr. Shy make for good husbands again? A Husband/Father's primary responsibility is to provide for the family. Mr. Nice and Mr. Shy lack the backbone to ever be successful. If they're really intelligent (which neither Ron and Sam appear to be) they may be able to get a decent paying job as a wage slave in a STEM field. But it will be at the lower end of their field regardless.

Even putting aside money issues, Mr. Nice and Mr. Shy will be nightmares as mates. They'll always have trouble addressing important issues, which will cause the issues to tend to fester. They'll be terrible fathers, because they'll have trouble punishing their children.

No, No, No. Mr. Nice and Mr. Shy are terrible role models for girls.

(For most of my life, I was Mr. Nice and Mr. Shy. I only broke out of that mold /because/ women kept shooting me down. Mr. Nice and Mr. Shy were holding me back personally, professionally, in every way. They are terrible, terrible men.)
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Having been something of Ron and Samwise in my day -- I still would be but I figured out my Rosie Cotton -- I can empathize with awkward boys.
My own daughter seems to have roped a Samwise somehow. Gives me hope for my son, who is finding the other gender as hard to approach as I did.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would argue that that the appropriate mate for a young woman died the other day.. the father in Waltons Mountain.. maybe the last time a male was celebrated as a good man, husband and father.. more important.. as a serious man and not a figure of fun or ridicule.

I look at my own son and sons in law, their women are fine with them but its the way they interact with their three daughters that inspires me, those young kids are going to grow up with an indelible impression of what manhood really is and the huge benefits it offers to them for all their lives.

JC
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
A cynic might say that these supposedly great role models look a lot like men that could be easily manipulated - to the woman's distinct advantage - if a serious relationship or marriage resulted.

Everyone has different tastes and some people want to be dominated while other people want to dominate. If a relationship contains two people who both want to dominate - or both be dominated - I doubt it will last long. Either there will be major clashes because both parties want to be in charge or the relationship will fall apart due to inertia because both parties are waiting for the other to take charge.

This is not to say that one party has to be in charge in all aspects of the relationship! It's perfectly reasonable to have one party in charge of all the decisions in one sphere while the other makes the decisions in another sphere. I think that's how most couples do it.

Couples that are beyond the old stereotypes are free to let the man be in charge of raising the kids or cleaning the house while the woman is free to work outside the home in her chosen field.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here in the "real world" these characters are represented by the techie/nerd/geek. SO HAPPY I MARRIED MINE!! :)
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
During the teen dating portion of my life, I chose to avoid playing the game all together. I knew girls as friends but not at "girl-friends". The emotions, the drama, it just wasn't my cup of tea. Instead my friends and I were happy to hang out with each other, play D&D and computer games, and watch Monty Python movies. I think Ron and Sam would have fit in nicely. Neo not so much.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
This reminds me that I've always detested Ginny's character. Here we have Ron, a typical young teenager, and the most beautiful woman in the world is about to kiss him, and she trips him because he wants her to! Even after they're all married for years, she still can't get over it. She's quite the jerk. The fact the JK likes her, well - I'm not here to judge real people.

PS - A great example of a male role model, although without the romance aspect (we hope, given the age difference) is the hero of Heinlein's Have Spacesuit will Travel.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ginny as in Ron's sister?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I were to choose a Keanu Reeves character for my daughter's boyfriend to emulate, I'd choose the quarterback from the Replacements.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Which is why they don’t say 'I love you' all the time. They said it once, and they meant it. Why bother saying it again?"--Bonnie Ramthun

Why cheapen it by saying it again?

FIFY
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All