Saturday, October 12, 2013
First, this is not going to be a story of these two fictional characters in a smack down, although that would be funny. What I want to do here is compare the ideal female fantasy, according to fiction, and the ideal male fantasy. I do realize that these are generalizations and people have different tastes and priorities, but both of these characters are placed on pillars as the epitome of what women and men want. Both of their names are synonymous with sexuality. 50 shades of Grey is one of the bestselling stories of our time. The sales have exceeded Harry Potter at times. When women talk about why they like this book, what is the main reason? They touch on the love story briefly, some do get into the sexual parts, but for the most part their highest praise is Christian, aka 50 shades of fucked up. We have all seen the memes, “60% of wives wish their husbands would go Christian Grey on them,” gifs with women in bathtubs. Yes, there are plenty of women who say that he is abusive. His popularity among women overshadows his criticisms. When you Google for lists of top “Hot animated women,” the same character keeps topping those lists. Jessica Rabbit has not only become a staple of what men find attractive, but her name has become a literal term for female beauty. We have all met these women who have been referred to by their peers as a “Jessica Rabbit.” So what is the appeal of Christian Grey? He is a twenty-seven year old multi-billionaire with his own company to start with. He exudes power and control in every aspect of his life. His love interest is constantly calling him “a Greek god.” In addition to his overwhelming physical appearance, he wears cologne she likes and launders his clothes with the correct detergent. Despite all of his traits that make him the ideal alpha male, he still has a flaw that his woman gets to fix. A “crack whore” mother that left him with a pension to hurt women that look like her raised Christian. Jessica is an over exaggeration of the ideal female body type. Huge hair, legs long enough to make up 60% of her body, massive lips, a waist thin enough to turn any corset into a swimming pool, and yes, breasts that looked like they will not just burst out of her dress but throw the whole thing off of her. Her dress exposes different parts of her body depending on how she stands and how she moves. She is also a singer, and when she sings she has no shame in letting her sex appeal fill the room. Her one balancing factor is that despite her strength and resolve, she still needs protection from the bad guys. From these two characters, we can come to the standard conclusion that women seem to care primarily about the cerebral while considering the physical. Men primarily focus on physical while considering the cerebral. Is there anything though that connects these two characters? Is there any common ground women and men can meet on? Both of these characters have one thing in common: they both seem to be in a relationship with somebody who is beneath their station. Christian is in love with a middle class girl fresh out of collage with self-esteem issues and apparently eyes that are too big for her head. Jessica is married to an annoying, high-pitched, cartoon rabbit. Anybody on the outside of these relationships would look on them with confusion. Does this detract or enhance their appeal? We all fantasize about being with the ideal person. We all have celebrity crushes. We all have characters from books, television, or movies that we favor purely because of their sex appeal. When we see ideal forms though settling for people that we can relate to, or at least do not seem capable of getting the ideal forms, it gives us a sense of hope. “If Ana can get Christian, maybe I can get my own Christian.” “If Jessica Rabbit will marry Roger, maybe the prom queen will go out with me.” One could argue that this is a false sense of hope, and usually it is. The fact remains that in order to be in a relationship with somebody, that person has to agree to it. Maybe despite physical appearance, ability to provide, and potential for empathy, the most appealing quality a person can have is acceptance of our own imperfect selves.
My name is Ian Anderson. I started reading mythology at the ripe age of…well I was very young. I can remember my very first book of Greek Myths given by a tutor that my parents hired to help me with my English. Many of you may have heard of it: D'aulaires book of Greek Myths. All the pictures and different colors fascinated me. It was showing people doing things that I had never seen before, and for some reason that spoke to sense of being.
As interesting as it was however, it was still just a book. Even before PlayStation, X-Box, I-phone, or even the internet, books still had to compete for children's attention against things like television, Atari, and hand held electronic games that did nothing but beep at you and moved dots across a screen. Of course, by screen I mean a dark glass panel that would have an army of monochrome lights ready to light up at any given moment.
I think the real turning point for me was an episode of the "Superfriends". For those of you who do not know what that was, it was a watered down kid safe version of the justice league. The vague recollection of the episode was that somehow they ended up on this island where they had to face off against monsters from Greek Mythology. Superman had to face the Minotaur, Wonder Woman went up against Medusa, Batman and Robin had to solve the riddle of the sphinx, and Aquaman had to retrieve the Golden Fleece from an invisible man. How talking to fish gets you out of that one, I will never know.
After that episode, I wanted my tutor to show me the stories that involved these stories. I also bugged my parents to take me to see the original Clash of the Titans. I will admit that it was a bit scary for me at the time and I did spend a fair portion of the movie with my eyes covered, but remember I was a small child at that point. From that point, I was hooked. I never looked back, I never regretted it, and it keeps getting better the more I dedicate myself to it.
As I got older, I began to branch out discovering that there was more to mythology than what the Greeks contributed. I first learned about Norse Mythology the same way most people these days are, the comic book Thor. I first read the books not realizing that there were tales as old as the Greek Myths that dealt with, Thor, Odin, Loki, and Baldur to name a few. To this day Greek Mythology is still my favorite, but the Norse traditions are a close second.
Eventually I started to learn the stories from Egyptian, Hindu, Aztec, and Japanese Mythologies. Lately I have delved into Irish/Celtic Mythology, and even read a bit about Voodoo. They have a few things in common, many gods that have different influences on our world and very human like personalities, emphasis on heroism, and an underlying warning against arrogance, nature, and death.
Fast forward to present day. Now I am a published author of a series called Modern Disciples. I have already published the first three volumes in the series. The story centers around six children of gods, each from a different pantheon. These children called disciples are the god's eyes, ears, and hands on earth as they protect humanity from the titans and their creatures called spawn. A small sample of the spawn include, maenads, satyrs, dark fairies, Nemean beasts, giants, even vampires and werewolves are thrown into the mix, although slightly.
In future, I plan to write more in depth of the characters from the story, where I get my ideas from, the myths behind the Modern Disciples, and I will do some reviews of books that I have read having to do with mythology and other topics that interest me. I may even write some supplement stories that add to the series. I am always open to ideas though so if there are any topics you would like me to discuss feel free to leave them in the comments below.