Hollywood gives men role models for a wrecked America

Summary:  Young men look to modern films for guidance and role models. They get very bad advice. Also, see list of useful books at the end.

Released 2008. Available at Amazon.

Dalrock made some typically incisive comments to yesterday’s post, Men standing together can end the gender wars. He asked what role models do young men see in films? Here are his comments, lightly paraphrased, with my replies.

Dalrock’s comment: let’s first look at conservatives’ films!

See the evangelical Christians’ embrace of the “Christian” outlaw biker as the epitome of manhood. See Moms’ Night Out (2014). See the picture at the top of Robert Ebert’s review of Mom’s Night Out.

Here is the hero, surrounded by the adoring (married) women.

Moms Night Out - women cheer the hero

The review at Focus on the Family picks a picture showing their view of married fathers. Good men generate tingles, after all. {See Dalrock’s posts about Mom’s Night Out and Christian Conservative’s belief that wives’ tingles are signs from God. Which of these men gives these women tingles?}

Here are their husbands.

Mom's Night Out: The husbands

Another example of the noble bad boy biker is The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. In this a noble bad boy biker – his hobby is aiding single mothers – reforms the uncouth sexy bad boy movie star – making him suitable for the strong independent 34-year-old pure Christian woman. See my post Bad boys, single moms, and the love of a strong independent woman. You really can’t make this stuff up.

My reply.

“Christian” family movies should be sufficient to start a counter-revolution. No wonder churches in America are filled with women, elders, and children. They are on a march to extinction. The Bible say that there is always a remnant. But it counts only if they are willing to stand together and act. That’s the missing element today.

More typical of modern films is Young men look to modern films for guidance and role models. Role Models (2008) (see Wikipedia’s summary of the plot).

Enough of this pap! We need films and TV giving inspirational models role models for men in today’s world. But there is a problem with this. Classic films and TV {roughly before 1970) show strong men. But they show traditional women, a kind that social and economic trends have made rare today. Parents show these films to young adults (“this is the kind of women to look for”). Young men watching these films hear us say “go find a unicorn!”


Classic movies understood that not all women are unicorns.

My reply.

Yes, classic films show a wide range of women. In them men successfully pair with good girls, or bad girls that reform. In the ancient world, good women are plentiful. In Casablanca police captain Renault says to Rick (Bogie)…

“How extravagant you are, throwing away women like that. Someday they may be scarce.”

Now the unexpected has become routine. The raw material of women and men does not change. But society molds personalities and incentives shape behavior. Now those traditional women have become scarce. In our big cities those kinds of women are unicorns. Now we have bold sassy women, and relationships are often fights for dominance. Hollywood’s films and TV shows depict women as the winners.

  1. A new hot trend from Hollywood: women hitting men.
  2. Disturbing next steps in the gender revolution:  Hollywood glorifies women breaking strong men.
  3. See the media mold the next generation of men – Commercials showing broken, despicable men.

Dalrock: spanking!

In John Wayne’s movies he dealt with bratty women. These scenes are shocking to our modern sensibilities.

John Wayne spanks Elizabeth Allen in Donovan’s Reef (1963).

First spanking Scene in McLintock! (1963).

A second spanking Scene in McLintock! (1963).

My reply.

That is an important point showing why these “old” films (55 years ago) provide no useful role models for young men. The behavior of classic strong men would be mad, even illegal, with modern women. The feminist revolution of the past fifty years has changed everything.

Let’s start with those spanking scenes. They show how radically we have changed in an eye-blink of time (as history goes).  At her discretion today she could call the police and ruin those men’s lives. It brings us to an important and larger point: classic films showed wild alpha guys being domesticated by women and wild alpha women being domesticated by strong men. The former is becoming rarer as men (slowly) see marriage as a bad bet. But the latter is also obsolete. Both society and the women considered right and proper that men should act as leaders in relationships. Even if women did not like or agree with the specific circumstances, they accepted the overall social structure.

But today men’s attempts to be the head of his household (note the possessive) are inherently illegitimate, and far more so in a premarital relationship. As Dalrock has well-documented, even Christian conservatives cannot accept that concept. This means a man marrying a strong woman is in a match in which she has the high ground. He no longer has the advantages granted by a patriarchal system. She has the strengths women have always had, plus the ability to end the marriage at will (taking away money and the children). As Frank Herbert wrote in Dune

“The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.”

George Bernard Shaw, as usual, saw this long ago. John Tanner is the alpha guy in Man and Superman (1905). A nice guy, well suited to be a white knight, he well understands the peril of marrying a strong woman in the modern era.

“No man is a match for a woman, except with a poker and a pair of hobnailed boots. Not always even then. Anyhow, I can’t take the poker to her. I should be a mere slave.”

Young men today have no useful role models for dealing with young women – except as betas. If they copy the arrogant behavior of alphas, they are treated badly for their presumption. Some say that husbands should use Game every day for a lifetime. That is a fantasy. It is a fun imaginary system, like communism on the Left and libertarianism on the Right. These can be useful sources of ideas, as is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – but shouldn’t be a basis for action.

Gender Roles
Unisex figures. It’s not a war between the sexes.

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: “Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

See Dalrock’s post elaborating on his comments.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about society and gender issuesabout feminism, about marriage, and especially these …

  1. A brief guide to the new war of the sexes. Both sides are 100% right – Music videos are a mirror to our new society.
  2. Modern movies show the hidden truth about romance & marriage: they’re dying.
  3. Disturbing next steps in the gender revolution – films showing romance as women breaking men.
  4. Classic films show what marriage was. Facts show its death.
  5. The new “Lost in Space” shows us our future! – A strong man broken by a stronger wife.
  6. Women’s self-esteem: boosted to their self-destruction – Motivational music videos by Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Katy Perry, Hailee Steinfeld, and Fifth Harmony.
  7. Christian films show the feminist revolution’s victory.
  8. Top pop stars prepare women for loneliness.
  9. Important: The death of romance in America – As seen in cartoons and on TV.

Books that can help us

(1)  Dalrock points to a powerful book that will upend your ideas about the decline of Christianity in the west: The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularisation, 1800-2000 by (atheist) Callum Brown (2009). He discussed it here: The roots of modern Christian wife worship. See his other posts about wife worship

(2)  Dalrock highly recommends the first few chapters in The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition by C.S. Lewis (1936). He has several posts on this virus infecting western civ. I recommend starting with Courtly Love: The origins of cuckchivalry.  See his other posts about courtly love.

(3)  Has anyone read Richard Doyle’s books? He was editor of the men’s rights monthly The Liberator (1972 – 2004) and president of Men’s Defense Association. He wrote Doyle’s War: Save the Males (2016) – also see the Kindle edition. He also wrote the more obscure The Rape of the Male (1976).

Save the Males: Why Men Matter Why Women Should Care
Available at Amazon

(4)  To see how pitiful our condition has become, legitimate books questioning feminism, however slightly, can only be written by women. Such as Save the Males: Why Men Matter Why Women Should Care by Kathleen Parker (2008). She is a slightly conservative columnist at the WaPo (see Wikipedia). From the publisher…

“With piercing wit and perceptive analysis, Pulitzer Prize–winning {for “commentary”} writer Kathleen Parker explores how men, maleness, and fatherhood have been under siege in American culture for decades. She argues that the feminist movement veered off course from its original aim of helping women achieve equality and ended up making enemies of men. The pendulum has swung from the reasonable middle to a place where men have been ridiculed in the public square and the importance of fatherhood has been diminished – all to the detriment of women and children, who ultimately suffer most.

“Exploring our burgeoning culture of permissiveness and the impact of anti-male attitudes on families and relationships, Kathleen Parker tackles some of the more taboo subjects in today’s sexual politics and culture wars that will have America talking about saving the males.”

What’s important is that radical feminism is now harming “women and children” who – of course – “ultimately suffer most.” That’s why “women should care.” If it was just men, well then … Also, note the gender-reversal. In the modern era, women need to save the hapless men. We are helpless, just like animals and children.

10 thoughts on “Hollywood gives men role models for a wrecked America”

  1. Larry Kummer, Editor

    Correction to my post!

    “Parents show these films to young adults (“this is the kind of women to look for”). Young men watching these films hear us say “go find a unicorn!””

    This is a poor analogy. A unicorn is rare (in mythical worlds) but easily recognizable.

    We set young men a more difficult task: look at the many young women to identify the ones that will prove to be good wives and mothers ten years in the future – with ugly consequences if they choose wrong. That’s nuts. Few young men can accurately predict what a young women will do ten minutes in the future.

    No surprise that increasing numbers of young men decline to play.

  2. Don’t know if you have seen any of Camille Paglia’s interviews on youtube? Apologies, I don’t have the url to hand. They are very funny and very pointed. At one point she says that she sees no flood of women applying to get down into the bowels of the sewage system and clear blockages, but men do this all the time without thinking twice about it.

    It is really something when it takes a committed lesbian to hold up her hand and say stop this nonsense about toxic masculinity, actually there is a lot to be said for men.

    Its not an accident that she is of Italian background.

    There always has been something toxic about some sections of American society in their attitudes to sex and the opposite gender, in this case men. Remember though when the founders left England, and what they left. Restoration society and the aftermath of the great plagues of syphilis which had struck England at the turn of the century. Its the progression from Midsummer Nights Dream to Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida. My love is as a fever longing still. The metaphor is not harmless. Or, patch as you will, the pox will out. He does not mean blackheads. The puritans banned anything that could lead to sexual license, and they had good reason, and the horror of the physical lasted until penicillin.

  3. Moderate spoiler for Netflix “Lost In Space” follows…

    I’ve just sat and watched the whole series and wondered if you’d had the chance to do so. It was an interesting portrayal of a family.and I think John Robinson actually turns out to be a pretty good role model. A largely absent soldier father who suddenly drops his career to follow his over achieving family into space. Doesn’t sound entirely promising, but…

    In the event, after a sticky start, there’s a decision made by his wife that completely ignores his advice and it comes close to killing them. It could have been played many ways, but she apologises and says she should have listened because it was something he was an expert in. There’s another scene where John has to drive a vehicle backwards at high speed to escape an earthquake. After escaping they get stuck and unable to call for help because they’ve ‘lost’ the radio aerial. Maureen says “yes, you knocked it off driving backwards through the forest, though very expertly I might add”.

    They talk, cooperate and gradually establish a partnership and eventually re-establish a relationship/marriage where they completely trust and rely on each other.

    I thought it was positive.

    Oh, and Parker Posey is an incredible Dr Smith. It’s hard to see a redeeming feature in her. At all. Anywhere. Ever.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! These things are totally subjective, so FWIW here are mine. I only watched the first few, and skimmed them. So my impressions are based on far less than your.

      I thought John was a pitiful beta. Strong, brave, dumb (his 10 year old son explains the properties of magnesium to him). Nice that his awesome wife compliments him occasionally, as she would a dog who does a nice trick). It’s as if she has his balls in the pocket. Pretty sad. No wonder he preferred to be off fighting in distant places. This shows how our view of families has changed since the 1960s, when John Robinson was a brave man, a great data, and the scientific genius behind the Alpha Project.

      IMO Dr. Smith was as much a cardboard cutout as in the original series. If John still had his balls, he would have shot her. In the first series Smith was their only doctor. Since Judy is either a doctor or just-as-good (she’s 18, the shows wasn’t clear which), they don’t need Smith. She is a walking macguffin, driving the plot when the writers frequently run out of imagination.

  4. One movie worth mentioning is Daddy’s Home by Will Ferrell and Marky Mark Wahlberg.(spoiler alert). As expected, Ferrell plays the goody two shoes beta stepdad who raises Wahlberg’s ex wife and kids and Wahlberg plays the alpha bad boy who returns to see his children after so many years to claim them and his ex back from beta Ferrell. And he generates tingles in women wherever he goes, including his ex wife.

    There’s a particular scene where apparently Ferrell and the woman can’t procreate because he’s impotent (shocker). They’re at the doctor’s office and Wahlberg is there. At some point Wahlberg pulls his pants down to show his virility and you can hear her gulp with anxiety.

    There’s another scene where Ferrell tries to one up Wahlberg by buying expensive LA Lakers courtside tickets for the whole family including Wahlberg. Bear in mind this was shot during Kobe Bryant’s last season with the Lakers, he even does a cameo. At some point the woman gets upset about Ferrell paying so much for those tickets, which is ridiculous because I’m not a basketball fan and yet I know Lakers tickets are expensive. Which is why Jack Nicholson gets to have season tickets and not me. So clearly she doesn’t care about alpha and beta fighting over her unless it’s convenient.

    So yes, this whole movie is ridiculous. While it does a great job of chastising both alpha Wahlberg and beta Ferrell, it never goes after the woman herself, who seems a typical Hollywood Mary Jane. Nobody cares that she went for the bad boy who leaves and then grabs herself a nice beta to take care of the kids and the house so she can be strong and empowered. That’s is, until Alpha shows up again. And they made a sequel, where Wahlberg’s father is Mel Gibson and Ferrell’s father is John Lithgow.

    And on the subject, there’s a new movie called Blockers. Or it’s supposed to be called Cock Blockers, but it’s basically the picture of a rooster in front of the word Blockers. Freaking hipster cleverness. Anyways, this is supposed to be a sort of Superbad or American Pie, but it’s actually the girls trying to lose their virginity at prom. And it has John Cena playing a beta dad. That’s how bad it’s gotten, forget the fact that it’s easy for girls nowadays to lose their virginity, even ugly ones.

    Sorry for the elongated comment. I couldn’t help myself.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      Thank you for the comment. The length is OK since it is crammed with useful info. It’s a report back from the front lines of the gender wars.

      From the Wikipedia plot summaries, Daddy’s Home and the sequel seem like beta fantasies. They acknowledge their humiliating condition but provide dreams of happy-ish endings. They are the modern equivalent of Cinderella (written for poor girls before modern times).

      Who is the market for Blockers? From the Wikipedia plot summary, it does not seem directed at parents or teens — except as social realist indoctrination. It reminds me about the cartoons the US Army has made to teach troops for WWII — about VD, information security, etc.

      Films are great mirrors to our inner conflicts. I was attempting to watch the new Lost in Space, with its military but dumb Dad subordinate to his brilliant authoritative wife. What does he get out of it? The obvious answer is the kids, all of whom are awesome (although the NYT reviewer complains that none are gay). Is that enough? If so, we should revise the wedding vows. That would reduce the number of marriages, providing a “truth in packaging” label for the institution.

  5. The question it would be nice to have a reply to from yourself and perhaps Dalrock in the last items in the series is this: in outline, how would you like to see gender roles structured, legally? It can be a pretty short summary on a few key points. Do you agree with:

    — votes for women
    — women working outside the home
    — prohibition of gender discrimination in pay and hiring
    — access to contraception for women regardless of marital status
    — no fault divorce (or do you want to go back to proving fault to a court)
    — mandatory child support for children of which a man is the proven biological father
    — criminalization of domestic violence
    — the current situation re abortion

    … and there are probably a few more key issues that I have not thought of. Division of assets on divorce might be one – how would you like to see that done?

    This is what I’m missing in the series so far. Or do you want to see the current legal structure more or less maintained, with some changes in the direction of greater fairness, as with paternity, but for there to be changes in behavior and attitude?

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      Good questions. Unfortunately you are not paying enough to receive such information. If I had such answers, I wouldn’t give them out for free. That’s also true for my coming series giving the secrets of faster-than-light travel and fusion energy.

      If you read some of the posts here, you would see that they are mostly journalism – with some forecasting and editorialising, just as you get on the op-ed pages. Mr. Wizard’s website is down the road.

  6. Dunno. Its just a question about what you personally and Dalrock too if possible would regard as a reasonable way to structure society on these issues. Yes, I get it that its journalism, but surely you have some idea what you would like to see? We all do, don’t we? Just as we all do on most large politicaI or social issues. I could give one or two sentence answers to all the topics above. Some more hesitant than others admittedly.

    I’m not asking for information, just what your feeling is. I do agree that forecasting, or prescribing with a prediction of what the prescription would lead to, that is really hard.

    But OK, you prefer not to, understand that. But I think it is the question that the series is going to raise in the minds of quite a few readers. Same question comes to mind reading Dalrock’s site.

  7. Pingback: Unless the men are *Christian*. | Dalrock

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