The poor heroine has to run away from goondas who chase her in the middle of the night (and she runs right into the arms of the hero who of course knew this was going to happen),
… she screams and pleads and cries all the time – except when she is unreasonably angry and shouting at the good-natured, funny, absolutely lovable hero who takes it all in his stride or gives a fitting reply (which all changes the moment she realises what a great, kind, incredibly wonderful guy he is),
… she is easily forced into marriage against her wish (until the hero comes to save her),
… she is bossy and foolish and loud and arrogant at first until the hero turns her into butter (after which she is totally wagging her tail for the rest of the movie),
… she makes foolish mistakes that no one in the world would make (until the hero gently and firmly and mockingly sets her right),
… if by mistake she is a policewoman, she is the most ruthless and unkind and unreasonable one (until of course… ah, you get the drift).
The hero is as super as Superman, as spidey (creepy??) as Spiderman, as bat… err, fantastic as Batman, as magical as Mandrake, as firm as the Phantom, and all that. He is kind to those who need his kindness, and he can survive the most impossible situations with his wit and cleverness and wisdom, beat the strongest villains, walk around effortlessly after getting shot a hundred times, perform all the tricks in the world, and – we’re quite okay with it.
Whereas all the heroine can do is flop down and cry when someone says “BOO!”. I wish someone would introduce her to Taekwondo and be done with it. Or at least teach her to outrun those overweight goondas. Because if the hero can be fantastic beyond all logic, why can’t the heroine?
Very rarely in a few films, the heroine gets the upper hand, but she would inevitably have misunderstood the gentle, kind, well-meaning hero at first and would end up apologising profusely to him.
No wonder we have this feeling somewhere deep inside that women are weak cry-babies, who just want to run away from (and who can be easily made to run away from) trouble (though they can’t even run away properly), whereas men are strong beings, who do not know what cowardice means, who always win no matter what the battle is, who are made of something other than flesh and bones. Moreover, when there is a big trouble, like the hero goes bankrupt or losses someone dear or is wrongly put in jail or something, he never tells his wife, because she would freak out (and possibly scream and howl the house down) and he doesn’t want her to be upset. Isn’t that noble or what? Puts a trifle more pressure on ordinary men to perform, don’t you think?
Imagine a movie like Renaissance Man (and many others), in which the woman private says All Men are Dogs and actually gets away with it. No one bothers to knock some sense into her, no one takes it upon himself to snip off the tails of her arrogance, no one thinks it his duty to humiliate the woman until she wriggles on the floor and apologises for uttering those criminal words and promises never to utter another sound again.