While I plan the release of Peg’s Story: In Search of Self, I’m still writing. I have several short stories that I’m turning into romance novels. I want to make sure nothing I write undermines women. Therefore, I’m looking at myths and making myself some rules. The fifth rule is about the hero of the story.
Myth #5 – Women Want the Rough and Tough Guy
Rough around the edges, tough enough no one will mess with his woman? Hopefully not rough with his woman, though? Secretly sweet inside and kind to kittens? Terrified of babies because they’re so helpless?
Is that image why the rough and tough guys so often have more confidence than the nice, polite, considerate guys?
Me Too Connection
As I write, this scene is still playing in my mind: A high school study hall. A dozen kids at most, mostly boys, a few girls. The girls and half the boys trying to focus on their schoolwork. The other boys carrying on rowdy conversation as they enter the room, being corrected once, twice. One girl annoyed with them. Maybe because of things the teacher can’t hear. Then a clear comment about the girl’s sexual activities broadcast to the entire room clearly. The girl landing a few punches as she cries out at the injustice of his talking about her after they’d broken up, then running out of the room in tears.
Shock when the teacher sends the boy to the office with a referral for sexual harassment. Just words? There doesn’t have to be touching? Half the boys, the other girls, still quiet. None telling the boy or his friends that they are jerks, none asking to go after the girl to make sure she’s okay. Staying out of it.
There doesn’t even have to be truth in the words. A lie does just as much damage. Rumors never die. Even with everything in the news, times have not changed for the better, not for that teenage girl this cold day in 2018.
Rule #5 – Heroes Wear White Hats
Not literally, unless I do a western romance. But my heroes will be good guys who stand up for what’s right, follow a code of honor, and treat women as equals worthy of respect.