Bro code: bros before hos

28 Mar

(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:

bros before hos

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.

9 Responses to “Bro code: bros before hos”

  1. Kat 28/03/2016 at 7:24 AM #

    I loved this trope as a teenager, but I don’t have older brothers or older male cousins. Now that I’m older and wiser, I do think it’s dodgy if the male relative has a huge negative reaction, unless it’s a taming-the-bad-boy plot, in which case…well, it’s all very enjoyable. 🙂

    • azteclady 28/03/2016 at 8:04 AM #

      I’ve enjoyed the trope plenty myself, but I prefer when at least there is some acknowledgement of why it is a problem for the heroine’s brother–or for why it’s such a ridiculous trope (I’m thinking now of Nora Roberts’ Bridal Quartet–I like how this trope is handled there, very much)

      • willaful 28/03/2016 at 1:08 PM #

        I’ve never encountered this in real life either, perhaps because I mostly know guys who aren’t assholes? 😉

      • azteclady 28/03/2016 at 1:14 PM #

        There you go.

  2. Lori 28/03/2016 at 12:48 PM #

    Exactly. Because respect for women doesn’t start at home, it only exists there.

    • azteclady 28/03/2016 at 1:16 PM #

      What really gets me is that, for these ‘bros’ at least, it only exists at home when if affects how other bros see the women in their home. Meaning, the bros can treat their own sisters/mothers/daughters like shit, but dog forbid their friends do the same.

  3. heavenlea27 29/03/2016 at 1:51 AM #

    Umm, if your supposed BFF is so cool and you would do anything for and with him, why is he not then good enough for your sister?

    With two younger brothers I’ve not been interested in any of their mates, or vice versa. Although, there were a couple of cuties on one of their teams when they played footy back in the day… LOL

    I might go and write you a story now AL, where it’s cool to go out with the sister, encouraged even! LOL


  4. bamaclm 30/03/2016 at 10:25 PM #

    I’ve never liked this trope and don’t buy it. It just never made sense to me, as you pointed out in your piece.

    Inkalypse’s point is well made (like if you’re talking about frats or such) but I think she is painting with too broad a brush. Like you, I’ve never come across men like this in real life but then I didn’t have the college ‘experience’, which is where I think stuff like that mostly happens

    • azteclady 30/03/2016 at 10:29 PM #

      The gang/mob mentality? Yes, it makes sense–asshats egging each other to be ‘men’ and to prove it by nailing anything/everything in sight–they being (justifiably) upset when one of those ‘men’ set their sights on one of the women in their lives.

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