(Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia)
Some of you reading this may know I read a lot of genre romance (that means, there’s a happy ending–and not the one that lasts a few seconds, either).
Like all other genre fiction, there are certain tropes that appear frequently in my reading. As an example, in mysteries, we’ll have the honest cop going against the corrupt powers-that-be; in science fiction, we’ll have the ragtag band of outsiders saving the universe; in fantasy, we have the naive, honorable lad of humble origins who, natch, just happens to be a king…and so on and so forth.
In romance, a recurring trope is that of the hero being in love (or falling in love) with his best friend’s little sister, which creates all sorts of issues–from repressed feelings to a rift between the erstwhile bros.
This trope has always made me wonder–first, I have three older brothers, and a ridiculous number of male first cousins, several of whom have been close friends forever. At one point, several of their male friends were dating several of our female cousins. Other than mocking their friends for showing interest in their female relations , there was little interest or reaction. In other words, I never saw that dynamic first hand, but it kept showing up in my fiction, and later on, I was told by friends that yes, it is a thing.
Which, okay then, I led a sheltered youth (hah).
However, I always wondered, why would a guy be angry with, indignant about, suspicious of a good friend–someone he, presumably, knows in and out, and therefore considers as good a man as himself?
Well, the following post explains it so clearly, I had to share. I re-typed it, exactly as it is in the tweet I saw, because I don’t have access to photobucket at the moment:
Yes, indeed, this makes all the sense.
Empathy? Only for my womenfolk–and there, it’s more a matter of them being part of your self-image, than actually giving a good damn about them as human beings.