Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm not a hard-as-nails, dyed-in-the-wool feminist. I like it when guys offer to help me carry heavy stuff or open stubborn jam jars. It's only logical to get their help at such times, since they're biologically wired to be tonnes better at doing these things than I am. And I don't mind being driven around by a guy, although if he's a bad driver, I'd much rather take over the wheel. Same goes if he drives like an uncle: slow drivers are frustrating!
But I digress.
I've tried and tried to figure out why helpless women annoy me so much. It's not just because they give the rest of us a bad rep and reinforce stereotypes that we've been trying forever to shake off. No, I think it's got more to do with the fact that (in my view) they're discarding their God-given brains and abilities and taking the easy way out instead, leaning on others to think for them and act for them. Not only is it a form of manipulation, it's also such a waste. They're pretending to be helpless, and people who aren't real drive me crazy.
Modern love stories seem to abound with helpless women. I'm not quite sure what Mills & Boon is doing, but here is a typical plot:
- Beautiful poor girl bumps into handsome billionaire or millionaire. He is either Italian, Spanish or Greek. Occasionally he is Russian but for some reason he is never French, American or Swedish (to name a few). Said millionaire is a known playboy and the poor girl is well aware that he is bad news: for one thing, she's out of his league, and for another, he will never commit to her. BUT SHE JUST CAN'T HELP HERSELF. Every time she comes within two feet of him, her brain turns to mush, her willpower evaporates and all she can think of is jumping his bones. The millionaire, on the other hand, is cynically used to girls falling all over him, but since he has the hots for her, he happily capitalises on her susceptibility. They end up in bed. She falls in love and agonises over it. Then she accidentally gets pregnant and dares not tell him because he might think she purposely tried to trap him into marriage. She runs away. He realises he can't live without her, and chases after her. Ta-da! They confess their love, and get married.
I've been reading M&B forever. They have been using this plot for what feels like the entire last decade, and it's getting old FAST. I know, I know, why don't I just stop reading, right? Romance is my personal guilty pleasure, for when I want something light and entertaining to read that won't tax my brain too much. But... urgh. I am so DONE with wimpy female lead characters who allow their hormones to lead them around by the nose. They are just as annoying as real-life helpless women!