Could it be possible that our lust for the bad boys — a hunger which begets dreams that bear nightmares — begins the night we aim our reading flashlights on Rhett Butler and his ilk? Face it, who took away our breath? Who were we trained to want? Namby-pamby Ashley or the dashing Rhett?
How about the other side? The sexy good men (and aren’t the truly good and responsible ones men, not boys?) who step up for justice, or catch a killer, or save the town, without trampling on women’s hearts or bending the rules with a smirk on their faces — how many of them do we worship?
Okay, I too am susceptible to these mythical men who are capable of saving towns and a damsel or two, but fall apart faced with love and fatherhood (I’m talking to you, Woodrow Call of Lonesome Dove.) But the older I get the more I appreciate, am fascinated by, and want to turn the pages to read about, complicated sexy responsible heroes:
Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Atticus sits on the mountaintop of this particular category. He takes care of his motherless children. He fights injustice. He takes on an entire town to face down racism. He’s wise, he’s caring, and we all want to marry him.
Amir from The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: Amir grows from privileged child who both loves and uses his childhood friend — the child of a family servant — to a man who risks his life for this man and the man’s child. He loves and respects his wife.
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