It’s spring and also I’ve been watching Tyrone Power movies. Hence the topic of today’s post…
There are two myths floating around the secret world of men with respect to “marrying up”. One is an old myth and, to be honest, I’m not sure it governs any minds other than my own or those of a handful of strapping antique-European lads. The other is ubiquitous throughout American pop-culture and is ingrained in the minds of every youngster, male and female.
Imagine a noble woman. She’s beautiful, young, and looking for marriage.
In typical Hollywood fashion, her father is a grumpy protector, looking to marry her off for dispassionate political reasons. Her chosen husband is always distasteful. She always rebels, running off with some street-urchin beneath her in status, class, and bearing. Nevertheless, “true love” wins the day, and the two are whisked off into happy oblivion.
This “trope” (if you will), is expressed many times and in many different ways. It amounts to an attack on hierarchy. Now, maybe this attack is motivated by an American sense of gritty equality, but more likely, it’s motivated by Marxism and Jacobinism, which make “equality” a sort of religious virtue and must always be championed at the expense of the virtue of some beautiful white woman. (This is especially the case when her chosen miscreant is a negro).
The screen-writers endow their hero with inexplicable virtue that, in reality, is far from any member of his class. He’s a brilliant fighter, a brilliant thinker, or superior to all the noble characters in some crucial virtue. Conversely, all the noble characters are endowed with clear vices and foibles. They’re shown to be absolute buffoons, unworthy of the high social status they’ve attained accidentally. The young girl is given clarity of vision and seeks to overturn the entire system by eloping with her heroic miscreant.
“Her daddy says, he ain’t worth a lick.
When it comes to brains, he’s got the short end of the stick!
But Katie’s young and, man, she just don’t care!
She’d follow Tommy, anywhere!
She’s in looooove with the booooy…”
I had to deal with this with my own sister who, being a lunatic like all young women, encouraged the advances of a white-trash degenerate. Accordingly, playing her part well, she rebuffed the attempts of my father and I to discourage the boy’s affections, openly defying us in many cases. I was young and couldn’t clearly express what I was feeling. My father always had half a foot in liberaldom. The result was, my sister and mother – swimming in the seas of pop-culture – won out, and predictably, it ended tragically.
Those who think this trope is “beautiful” never heard all the nights my sister spent crying alone in her bedroom…
Now let’s examine the other trope; the unpopular, yet virtuous and time-honored, way to go about marrying a noblewoman (or, that is: any woman who’s higher than we are in class).
In this scenario, there’s an honorable king with a beautiful young daughter. This unfortunate king has a major problem. His kingdom is haunted by a dragon or some towering monster. His knights have either been defeated or have run in fear. So in a desperate attempt, he makes the decree: “My daughter’s hand to the man who kills this dragon!”
Here, we ask the important question: how does a man attain “nobility” in the first place?
Well, he slays the dragon! That’s how.
To “marry up” requires a feat of heroism, bravery, and hard work on behalf of the man. He must prove himself. Moreover, if he truly does have the virtue of a nobleman, he ought to realize this to begin with. He knows how presumptuous it would be to look at the noble woman with an eye towards marriage. He knows he’s not good enough for her. He’d join with the father in protecting her virtue, even from the likes of men of his own class and status. Even should the noblewoman express her affection for him, he’d rebuff her and challenge her to remember her position.
(This has practical implications, even for women who don’t realize or appreciate their status. For example, I’ve had a group of people suggest we ought to sleep in the same hotel room to save money and didn’t understand why I’d object to a mixed company in the same room. “It wouldn’t look right,” I said. We want to protect even the appearance of virtue in our female friends, if we can).
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with recognizing how desirable a noble-woman is, as long we treat her fairly in our estimation, and realize the size of the dragon we’d have to slay to deserve her…