Monday, May 03, 2004

The Gift of Fear

Is the Hollywood romantic lead a lover or a stalker? Chapter 11 of Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear has a fascinating discussion. Highlight: “My generation saw in The Graduate that there is one romantic strategy to use above all others: persistence. This same strategy is at the core of every stalking case. Men pursuing unlikely or inappropriate relationships with women and getting them is a common theme promoted in our culture. Just recall Flashdance, Tootsie, The Heartbreak Kid, 10, Blame it on Rio, Honeymoon in Vegas, Indecent Proposal. This Hollywood formula could be called Boy Wants Girl, Girl Doesn’t Want Boy, Boy Harasses Girl, Boy Gets Girl.” He also has some comments on the double standard for women, as seen in Fatal Attraction, Single White Female, Basic Instinct, and so on. “When the men pursue, they usually get the girl. When the women pursue, they usually get killed.” He suggests that despite Hollywood’s reluctance to use the word, relationships are a clear case where more women need to learn to Just Say “No” for their own safety.

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