In the early days of cinema, men were portrayed as strong and brave. Men were often shown as heroes or villains.
Men were seen as protectors of women.
James Bond provided a role model for male viewers. He was strong, sexy, dangerous and not really a protector of women as well as someone who seduced women.
The Tarzan Syndrome is the theory that men must have a woman. This law must have a woman in order for humanity to survive. For example, every Tarzan must have his Jane, Spiderman must have his Lois Lane.
As male (and female) identities have developed and changed over time in real life, the action hero has also become dated and seen as a bit of a joke. Macho men are no longer fashionable, and perhaps no longer what women want.
In the 1990’s, there was much talk of the ‘new man’ – a man who recognised the equality of women and moved away from the chauvinistic attitudes of the previous generation.
Hugh Grant epitomised the new man.
According to the Guardian, a new man ‘gets up at night to the crying baby, cooks, washes up, attends ante-natal classes and pushes the pram in the park, plays inventive games with children, soothe the baby and change it’s dirty nappy, shops fast and sensibly always remembering dinner money, iron the school shirt whilst minding the toast with the baby slung over one shoulder.
- This post – Freudian’s idea refers to men’s jealously and inadequacy and not being able to nurture a foetus and give birth.
- Some films reflect this notion, such as Junior, Daddy Daycare and Three Men and a baby.