Photo courtesy of http://www.popmatters.com
Not long ago, Gabrielle Reece, the world famous model, volleyball star and wife to pro surfer Laird Hamilton, sparked controversy with her new memoir “My Foot Is Too Big For The Glass Slipper”. In her memoir, she claims that ” to truly be feminine means being soft, receptive, and submissive.” It just so happens that around the same time, I was enjoying a day full of watching old classic movies. One of my favorites is Gone with the Wind. When I heard about Gabrielle’s controversy, I immediately thought of the stark differences between Scarlett O’Hara and Melanie Wilkes.
The question is, do men prefer a Scarlett or a Melanie? Let’s use the Scarlett and Melanie characters from the movie as a basis for a comparison/contrast to the modern woman.
She truly has to be one of the most popular characters in cinema and classic fiction. Even if you have not seen the movie, most are familiar with the characteristic traits of Scarlett. She was spoiled, ruthless, conniving but a survivor. However, she was not always like that. In the beginning, she was hopeful, in love and plotting a future with a man she felt she loved. It was the harsh realities of the war that changed her and made her cold, calculating and money hungry. She became fiercely independent, despite her many marriages. In the majority of those marriages, it was obvious that she was the one to wear the pants.
Melanie is the polar opposite of Scarlett. She is sweet, indulgent and self sacrificing. She puts her husband’s needs and everyone else’s ahead of her own. She is so submissive to her husband, that she even participates in his self perpetuated illusion of a world that allows him to avoid facing reality due to his cowardice. Despite being drawn to Scarlett, Ashley knew she was too much for him and chose Melanie because she was more like him. Melanie is still a pillar of strength, similar to Scarlett, she just goes about it in faithful and loyal manner. The Melanie’s of the world are the homemakers. They take great pride in their families. They allow their husbands to lead and they don’t mind being the background to their foreground.
This leaves us with the question, who would make a better wife- Scarlett or Melanie? Which one do most men seek out?
I believe there will always be a debate about whether or not a woman should be submissive to her man. A lot of women view submissiveness as a detriment to their independence. Yet, there is the other spectrum that believes wholeheartedly the man should be the head of the household. In Gabrielle’s memoir, she felt the reason her marriage is such a success is due to her submissiveness.
Is this why so many women are choosing to remain single; because men are really seeking the meek and mild? I would love to hear what others think about this topic. Feel free to leave your comments to spark up a discussion on this topic and remember to keep it respectful!
~ Mara Prose