Embrace the Tropes Part 2

So you might recall the earlier post that I did about Embracing the TROPES. That time I talked about “The Chosen One.” Today I’m going to talk about my second favorite and one that’s a bit more controversial. “The Damsel in Distress.”

Let’s start out with talking about Twilight. I enjoyed the books first book even though I think Stephanie Meyers has some serious flaws as a writer (but hey! I’m unpublished and she has millions, who am I to criticize?). I hear recently she has actually published a Twilight in reverse. Life and Death. With a male protagonist and a female vampire. All to strike back at the witch hunters slamming her for the “damsel in distress”. (The book has so many flaws, I think D.I.D is the least one of them.)

But… w-wait?! I LOVE DAMSELS IN DISTRESS!! Call me old fashion, maybe a bit old school, but I like the story of the girl being rescued by the guy. What’s wrong with it? It’s romantic if nothing else. The damsel locked away in the tower and the male that can’t get to her until he’s overcome insurmountable odds (like slaying a dragon).

Seriously, most males are like…guy-staring-main

So to hear of a guy going to a few great lengths is highly amusing to me. After all… “face the fire breathing dragon or… just find another hot chick?” That’s a weighted choice, don’t you think? Very admirable of him.

Personally one of my favorite movies (as old school and laughable as I’m sure it is) is still Krull. And, you know, because I’m a Disney fanatic, I still think one of the most beautiful scenes is the waking of Sleeping Beauty. Snow White, too, has her moment.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with balancing out the trope. A bit of Princess Leia Star Wars flavored damsel-in-distress works, too. Of course Meg from Disney’s Hercules.

There’s a charm to having a guy saving a lady. I still appreciate a good damsel that is just a meek and mild tiny thing. Not EVERY BLOODY GIRL has to be strong. Guys can be the strong ones while the girls get to remain the thinkers and enjoy the safety of a guy’s arms now and again.Tamaki_and_haruhi_huggs

Though I think the best sort of stories are the ones like Beauty and the Beast. They save each other in equal parts.


3 thoughts on “Embrace the Tropes Part 2

  1. tpesce2015 says:

    Oh dear, I’m so glad you’re the one who wrote this, because you did it so much better than I would have and also because I couldn’t have taken the heat. I don’t speak of it because I assume I’m out of step with the times, but I DO MISS the hero of olden days sometimes. All the remakes of old-fashioned tales with the heroine muddy and bloody from victory, as the former “hero” sort of lingers about and gazes in awe. Somehow that doesn’t get it for me, even though as a woman I have a very powerful life. In the best relationships, each claims the other makes them strong. It’s true. So I agree with you about saving each other mutually. And… I love a smart, strong courageous man who would fight for me… like my incredible husband would, if need be.


    • Penna Fischer says:

      Aww, I miss the old stories of chivalry. I’m a great fan of the original King Arthurian tales. The ladies handing off tributes to the knights who go off to do battle for them. I love the stories of the women being the emotional tie. The thing that keeps a man sane. Tom Hanks in the movie Cast Away. Thinking of his wife was such a draw. I think that draw ties in with why I love the D.I.D. trope so much. (oh dear, don’t even get me started on the movie Braveheart….)

      I think people confuse it a bit. They immediate associate girl-needing-guy to be girl-too-weak-and-must-have-guy-to-operate. I do not think that a D.I.D. implies they are empty headed ninnies. Just that, let’s face it, there are differences between men and women and while I think girls can be excellent fighters and intelligent strategists, it’s men who are the real warriors.

      I do not feel that my opinions in any way undermine any sort of feministic acts or petitions, either. I think that sometimes people can feel so strongly about a topic that they go off to the far side of the spectrum.

      Ancient mythology makes a big deal out of finding that middle ground (sophrosyne) between hubris and complacency. I think the same concept should be applied a bit more. I’m all for women’s lib. My mother was a hillbilly and she chopped wood for a fire just as easily as my dad – in fact during Hurricane Hugo in ’89 a tree fell on our house while my dad was out a sea (Navy). That tree didn’t cut itself. She raised us children while my dad was away and we weren’t close to friends or family. THAT to me is the true power of a woman. Not whether or not they can shoot a gun or sling a sword.


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