Friday, June 13, 2008

Now that we're men

My kids have gotten into Sponge Bob Squarepants and in the movie, Sponge Bob and Patrick sing a song about being men. It is actually amusing to hear what they think being men is all about, facial hair and all that. Sort of like snips and snails and puppy dog tails.

Due to some recent events, I have been thinking about men, more specifically about heroes. What makes them work? What makes them not work? And most of all, what makes them tick?

I like a wide range of heroes from Mal in Firefly/Serenity to Ramiel in the Lady's Tutor to Marcus in Partners in Passion: No Limits to Julian from Fantasy Lover to Draven from Master of Desire to Daegus in The Dark Highlander. I started to think about what made these guys heroes to me. And how that translated into a man in real life becoming a hero to me.

It all seemed to come down to one thing for me. Their own code of honor. They might not be good men, some are womanizers, some are thieves, most are jaded. But, they all live by their own code. They do not, under any circumstances, go against that code, no matter what other faults they might have.

Mal is a good one to illustrate this with. He's a thief. He doesn't mind killing when the situation demands it. He often has a cruel sense of humor. But he has a very specific code of honor: you protect your own. There's an episode where he comes back for River and Simon, two people who live onboard Serenity, his spaceship. Simon asks him at the end about why he came back for them. Mal says, "You're on my crew." Simon says that "you don't even like me." Mal says, "You're on my crew. Why are we still talking about this?" If you're part of those Mal protects, he will do anything for you. Anything. Even risking his own life and his ship to do it.

It's what makes him a hero in my eyes, despite other things that would probably eliminate him from that list.

Another thing about most heroes is that once they get involved with their heroine, their code of honor dictates they are only with her. They keep their vows to her, just like they keep their code of honor. Often times, their vow is a part of that code that they keep.

It's what makes a man a hero in real life, too. I know men who have their faults, but they keep their vows to their significant others and their children, in keeping with their own code of honor.

What kinds of things make a man a hero in your eyes?

Mechele Armstrong aka Lany of Melany Logen


Ciana Stone said...

Thanks for posting with us, Mechele! I think you hit on a very important point. Heroes always have a code of honor - be it for good or evil. And their dedication to that code is part of what makes them so appealing.

As women we want to see our heroes translate that same dedication to their devotion to us. If we warrant the same level of devotion or loyalty then we've found "the Man".

Ah (sigh) The Man.

Mechele Armstrong said...

Yep Ciana, I do agree. That code is what makes them so appealing.

Thanks for having me.