You know that moment when you’re reading a comment thread and you think to yourself “50% of this is talking more about the cute couples then the message.”
I’ve written about shipping recently, and defended certain kinds of ships as enhancing the story, but I didn’t really talk about the question of whether or not shipping should even exist.
I figured, it’s not like it’s going anywhere, but I’ve been seeing a few people saying they are so done with it. They are sick of all the arguing. It’s funny how seriously people take it too, I won’t argue that. Especially the most unrealistic ones.
This burn out on shipping has more, I believe, to do with a very real question, wrapped up in a lot of fictional characters: The question of whether anyone needs a significant other to be a full, functional human being.
A lot of romantic songs dwell on needing another person. Old movies are mocked for their inclusion of female leads who sing about how they need a man to be happy.
Even Disney’s Hercules, which many people like because the female lead was NOT looking for love, has a whole song devoted to making it clear she still wanted it, and denied her feelings out of fear.
I’m sure I could fine more mainstream adult movies with examples of a similar thing.
IT doesn’t matter how seemingly self-sufficient your female lead is, she’ll end up with a man 99.9% of the time.
And you know if she doesn’t, it’ll be discussed in the movie.
I could call out the serious double standard here, since it’s more common for the male lead to stay alone, especially in older movies, or to get the girl as some kind of prize.
Actually what really bothers me is how often the woman was a total idiot. Like in Crocodile Dundee, ick.
The same is true of old books, in fact, it might be more true of books than movies, which have more pressure to be “progressive.”
But the solution I see younger people falling back on, and feminists push them to do it, is to simply say “Well, a woman doesn’t need a man to be happy.” It’s usually a woman do, the man clearly needs someone to balance him out.
And hey, I won’t argue with that. But I think the portrayal of women has gotten to be a little unfair.
They tend to be shown as these top-notch, independent, brave, and above all tough and emo-like characters. I could just use kids movies, and I’ll find you that character in almost any of them. From The LEGO Movie, to Big Hero 6, to The Avengers, (in fact, every single female lead in the Avengers was basically the same character for quite a while.)
Why would a character like this need a man?
Especially when their male companion is usually goofy, clueless, and hot headed? Or a wimp.
You can feel, even if it’s never said, that the woman is just basically putting up with his nonsense because he’s cute.
Talk about a role reversal.
Now, as true as that might be to real life, is it any less true that men have to do the same thing with women?
And the girls I know, though I can’t speak for anyone else, are not anywhere near being as put together as these feminist archetypes.
The truth is, both the old way men were portrayed and the way women are portrayed now, involves a suspension of reality. They are shown as unbreakable, because society tends to worship the unbreakable, we don’t always care whether it’s a him or her, so long as the right qualities are there.
And the real situation is that the qualities I listed above are far more likely to be shared between two above average people in a relationship, then found exclusively in one of them.
And it’s because of that unrealistic portrayal that people are able to say “Well she doesn’t need a man,”
Let me speak some truth sister, (or brother), if they were shown how they really are, how you really are, you’d be more likely to wonder if they deserved a man, let alone if they needed one.
If you on your worst day is not a fate you wish to spare people, then you aren’t honest with yourself. We do stuff that drives people crazy.
However, I’m not saying we should think that we are better off alone because we suck. Other people do things that suck too. The idea of being together, is that we are better together, the sum of our good becomes our new identity.
That is actually what marriage is supposed to be, and by extension, a dating relationship should be growing toward that ideal.
Way back in Genesis 2, God said “It is not good for man to be alone.” The Bible goes on in other books to say that two are better than one, and that we need tor ely on each other.
It’s not hard to figure out, if you read the bible, that God is in favor of relationships.
So it is the height of pride to claim we do not need each other.
Not everyone is meant to get married, it’s true. But I think most people are, because we were designed for that.
We should not be voting for people, real or imaginary, to be single. Because it ignores the truth that we are not good alone. It’s deceiving ourselves to tell ourselves that.
Being alone is freaking hard, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I am not alone in my house, but I still feel lonely. I’m old enough to be dating or getting married. And I’m not ashamed to admit that’s a need.
The question is of timing, not of necessity.
I would not be good alone for very long.
Anyway, I think this all goes back to humility. Letting go of our obsession with the unbreakable human being stereotype. If you are unbreakable, you’re as cold and hard as rock.
Or, you’re too soft to break. Like clay. Humility is what gets us there. And relationships are what get us humility. Unless you know another way…
Until next time–Natasha.
My sister found this hilarious song/clip about relational expectations, check it out for a good laugh at yourself: