Why Men Hate Chick Flicks

When you avoid emotions at all cost, as Michael Taylor once did, you also tend to avoid romantic comedies (aka ‘chick flicks’).

As I reflect back over my teenage years, some of my fondest memories growing up include going to the movies. Of course, back then my interest wasn’t always focused on just watching the movie. In most cases, I was more interested in using the movie as a way to get my date in a dark quiet place to see if I could get past first base. If I was really lucky, I might even get a chance to “accidentally” touch her breast as I attempted to put my arm around her. Those were the good old days.

Now that I am happily married and do not have to accidentally touch my wife’s breast (another good reason to be happily married), I can really focus my attention on the movies and their content.

Steven Simon (author and producer of Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come) really encapsulates how I feel about movies when he writes, “Movies are the most electrifying communications medium ever devised and the natural conduit of inspiring ourselves to look into the eternal issues of who we are and why we are here.”

I’m sure most people reading this may not have such a serious definition of what movies mean, but to me, that sums it up. Movies can inspire us and help us discover who we are and why we are here.

Whether it’s a drama, an action flick, or even an animated-film, I find meaning and can enjoy any type of movie

Yes, I love chick flicks, too. That’s right I love them. Of course, the appropriate term for the genre would be “romantic comedy,” so I will use that term instead.

I have not always enjoyed romantic comedies. Like most men, they used to make me extremely uncomfortable because I did not know how to express my feelings as I watched them. If ever I felt emotional, I’d repress the feelings and not allow myself to experience the appropriate emotion. Like too many men, I was unable to be that open and vulnerable, so I would deflect the emotion with some unconscious attempt to not appear too sensitive. My defense mechanism of choice was laughter. If ever became overwhelmed with sadness, I would crack a joke to deflect the feeling. If I were overcome with joy and happiness, I would simply fake-laugh to keep from feeling the true joy. Whenever I feel deep joy, I usually cry, which was a huge blow to my masculine ego, so I never allowed that to happen. Rather than expose myself to the possibility of being emotional, I avoided romantic movies like I avoid rectal exams.

But now things are different. As a result of my healing and inner work, I am able to experience movies at a deep emotional level. I am no longer trapped in the old masculine paradigm that would keep me from “feeling” the movie. I can now allow myself the freedom to simply experience whatever emotion I’m feeling. It amazes me how much of the movies I used to miss because I did not allow myself to feel and experience the movie. Now that I am open to all of my emotions, it simply makes the movie going experience more enjoyable.

When a man becomes courageous enough to move past the societal and cultural conditioning of what it means to be a man, he learns that his feelings are the language of his soul and he should not be afraid to express himself emotionally. If he is willing to do this, I can assure you that movies—along with everything else—will have more meaning. This is a man’s greatest challenge, to get in touch with his feelings and not be afraid to express them openly and honestly.

So if you happen to be one of those guys that’s afraid of watching chick flicks, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you uncomfortable expressing your emotions?
  • Are you afraid that you might not be able to hold back the tears of sadness or joy?
  • Are you so insecure in your masculinity that you simply refuse to even consider checking out a chick flick?
  • Are you afraid of being called a punk, wimp, or sissy?
  • Are you more concerned about what other people think versus what you truly feel?

Whatever your reason for avoiding chick flicks, just accept the fact that it does not make you less of a man by watching a movie. Know that real men are comfortable with their emotions and have no difficulty expressing them. They aren’t afraid of checking out a chick flick every now and then because it not only helps them get in touch with their emotions, it also helps them feel closer to their mates. Sharing your emotions with your partner during and after a romantic movie can bring you closer together and create a level of intimacy that can actually improve your sex life. I bet you didn’t know that, did you? Now you have a perfect excuse to go see a chick flick. So go for it. Take your mate to a chick flick. Just remember, it’s just a movie and sometimes big boys do cry.

Go ahead and ponder on this for a while and let me know what you think.

In the meantime, I’ve got a hot date with my wife to check out a chick flick. If I’m lucky, I might get that opportunity to accidentally let my hand touch her breast.

—Photo csessums / flickr 

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About Michael Taylor

Coach Michael Taylor is a self educated entrepreneur, author, spiritual coach and radio talk show host. He is seeking to facilitate a shift in male consciousness which he believe will lead to the eradication of high divorce rates, absentee fathers, and poverty while increasing a better work life balance for men as they seek a higher calling to joy and happiness. Find him Find him on www.blackmenrock.net

“Men are hungry for this dialogue. The question is whether or not they will gain the courage to engage in it."

Comments

  1. This is all wrong. All wrong. RomComs aren’t chick flicks. Jane Eyre is a chick flick. (Hitch and the Princess Bride are two of my favorite movies)

    Not happening to enjoy sleepy, boring romantic (no comedy) movies has got nothing to do with avoiding emotion, anymore than women avoiding action movies is due to avoiding action.

    Lastly, most movies are fiction, not real life. Watching or not watching a movie has nothing to do with anything in real life. If a person really wants to truly experience human emotion, it’s best done with actual human beings, not strangers on a movie screen acting out a made-up story.

    • You don’t get to appropriate it simply because you like it. Hitch and The Princess Bride are byd efinition chick flicks. Very little action, no special effects, all about getting the girl, losing her and winning her back or rescuing the damsel in distress and smooching. Chick flick!

  2. When I was a teen, the main issue I had with romantic comedies was that they showed male leads with improper responses to their emotions, which were usually over the top displays of affection that in reality would be borderline obsessive or stalker-ish. After watching the first few, I started to ignore romantic comedies as being dangerous to my own dating life, as either encouraging stupid behavior in me, or conditioning my potential partners into having an unrealistic expectation of what truly demonstrates affection.

  3. Personally I hate romcoms because they blandly affirm the toxic values mainstream culture tells us are healthy ones. Romcoms tell us that women can and should be deluded about relationships and it is not their responsibility to grow past that; and that men can and should completely ignore their own emotions as a matter of course, and rather than being themselves, must impersonate a romantic archetype – however modern the archetype may be – in order to get the girl.

  4. I can’t agree more with Eric, Greg and Felix.

    Rom Coms bore me. The stereotypes are stilted and don’t resonate with me.

    It has nothing to do with men avoiding emotions – another empty stereotype. I engage emotionally much more with movies like Das Boot, Deer Hunter than tripe like Jerry Maguire.

  5. Rom Coms have predictable plots and poor jokes, nothing to do with emotion, i doubt a man would avoid an emotionally charged movie like Saving Private Ryan or La vita e bella

  6. Two problems with this:

    1. It classifies all movies with any semblance of a plotline primarily concerned with human emotion (as opposed to action-adventure) as “chick flicks.” In short, it tells us that there are movies intended for everyone (action-adventure) and movies intended just for women, the “chick flicks.” Why are emotional movies for women? Because, in life and especially in relationships, women are expected to do the emotional work, the same way they’re expected to do the housework–that’s why. And for the same reason–because they just naturally “care about that stuff more.” Or are expected to. Michael Taylor writing about how he is able to watch and enjoy “chick flicks” reminds me of a guy bragging about the fact that he does an equal share of the housework with his wife. Well, he should. They both make a mess, they both should clean it up. No medal-awarding ceremonies necessary.

    2. The article fails to acknowledge that just as some action-adventure movies are bad, so are many romantic comedies. They can be insipid and they can encourage and reinforce stereotypical and unhealthy views of the sexes and relationships. As a woman, I can’t sit through much of what passes for “chick flicks” because so many are insulting to my intelligence and sense of the world. It’s hardly a bad thing for a man to find them lacking as well. What I do find annoying is when men assume that as a woman, I must love every stupid romcom that comes down the pike because “women like that sort of crap.” No, all women don’t like that sort of crap. Crap is crap, whether it’s a bad movie about stuff blowing up real good or a bad movie about men and women and love.

  7. Oh brother – ANOTHER politically correct article about how terrible men are on this site. Women are always more interested in the details of relationships. Men are not as interested. Only an era as foolish as ours has forgotten that.

    And those are NOT romantic comedies you are describing.

    It is difficult to believe these articles are intended seriously. They are so PC they seem likes joke.

  8. I think there is *some* truth in what you say. WIth my ‘typical man’ head on, I can see that part of my aversion to ‘chick flicks’ is inescapably tied up with masculine identity, stoicism or being emotionally reserved (I have issues with whether that type of emotional continence is necessarily a bad thing, but that’s for another day.)

    However I think there is a much, much bigger point that you overlook. Chick flicks are, by their very nature, partisan. They represent the female point of view while the male characters tend to be 2-dimensional good guys and bad guys, love interest or villain. They also tend to be the objects of the plot rather than the subjects, ie not protagonists but narrative furniture. There’s nothing wrong with that – these movies know their market and their audience and are perfectly entitled to be as they are. But they are inevitably going to largely exclude male engagement as a consequence.

    Worth noting that there are a few romantic comedies which give a relatively equal balance of male and female viewpoint – When Harry Met Sally, Lost in Translation, for example, which are reasonably popular with men, because there’s something there that can be identified with.

    Having said all that, I think there’s a really interesting question to be asked of both Hollywood and male audiences,which is why there are so few romances made from a male POV. The answers to that question might overlap quite heavily with the points made in the article. But, as I hinted at above, I don’t necessarilsy accept that it is obligatory for men to address and express emotion in a more steretypically female way. I’m quite happy keeping some feelings to myself, thanks.

  9. Richard Aubrey says:

    Actually, they’re boring. It’s okay for a man to admit being bored. It doesn’t mean he’s less of a man.
    “afraid” of emotions.>>> Straw man with overtones of hollow.

  10. I have a serious question. What if I am a woman who doesn’t like romcoms / chickflicks? I mean, what does that say about me?

  11. We really need to look at serious outcomes in reality. Dearhunter was a good example. Woman don’t want to be bothered with things like that when they go see a movie. Men know its just a movie and were not actually on the battlefield. Fried Green Tomatoes is a chick flick. I can’t sit thru that or the Color Purple again I’ve already seen it. Nobody tells how to feel about Romantic Nationalism after you watch the Deer Hunter with Dinero. I was sold my sexuality while watching a toothpaste commercial. Remember the shower seen in Love Story, then she dies?? Now they have chemotherapy and people die anyway. Movies become reality after we watch them on the screen. What will we do with 7 trillion dollar bailouts. nobody remembers WWII or Vietnam. I would like some one to tell me the significance of the Red Scare. What kind of a world do you people think we will be living in soon. See you in the movies.

  12. -I can’t watch 99% of sappy chick flicks/lifetime movies, especially the ones with a really exaggerated fake plots. There’s a difference between watching a really moving film (Schindler’s List/Apocalypse Now) and rolling your eyes while some woman balls her eyes out because her husband did not buy her candy and flowers for Valentines day. It’s not considered repressing emotions when you call some whiny GF/housewive annoying after she’s cried for 10 minutes on camera.

    -Many of these movies have a totally un-realistic plot lines, and make men look like insensitive dogs/rapists/stalkers/murderers and other women look like home-wreckers. You leave the theater watching some of these fims thinking “Why did I waste my time?” or “At least I’ll get laid for putting up with 2 hours of man-hating, whiny women wonder aimlessly”

    – Watching a romantic comedy makes women feel inadequate. Watching some pussy-whipped guy do something really romantic for his GF may make a woman think “Why doesn’t my guy do that-does he still love me?” This is also the reason I don’t like having couple friends, but I digress.

  13. Have you noticed C.F are on the increase?
    I hate films that involve couples and the so-called comedy about them

  14. i love film, i mean who doesn’t? And i love ALL types of film. Personally i think actions are just as unrealistic and predictable as romcoms or just plain romances, but that’s why i enjoy them both, that’s the whole point. if i watched x men and wolverine died in the end id be a little annoyed, and that’s why the good guys mostly always triumphs, of course there are exceptions. Compare this to romance,if it didn’t have a ‘happy’ or at least emotional ending, i wouldn’t say its much of a romance at all. Im not saying action or romance is completely predictable but they will usually have the same structure. To be honest my favorite films are white house down, rain man, the vow and my fair lady which shows that we don’t have to dislike one whole genre of film, because each has there bad film and their good.

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