Okay, so I didn't get a ton of responses to my hero deficit question. Perhaps this is just something historical romance authors ponder. Or perhaps I think about it because my eldest daughter is having trouble finding a decent guy out there who isn't a complete marshmellow!
Anyway, thank you for those who responded. Here is what you came up with:
Angie said: Women don't want to be treated like ladies anymore
I couldn't agree more. Part of the problem is Women's liberation. Who says we needed liberating anyway? Liberated to do what? Work 50 hours a week AND raise the kids and keep the house. (But I digress) Women today have definitely moved into the masculine realm. We no longer need a man to take care of us. We can do everything ourselves. We even dress like men most of the time. We act like we don't want a hero. And our "manly" behavior is just as big a turn off to men as their "feminine" behavoir is to us.
Lisa said: Men are not heros today because they lack decent male role models due to bad fathers or absent fathers.
Again, I couldn't agree more. With divorce on the rise and fathers gone from the home either because they no longer live there or are working 60 hours a week, young boys are not taught how to be men: how to treat ladies, how to fight if necessary, have honor and integrity, defend their families, stand up for what is right, courage etc. I know so many young men who were raised solely by their mothers. And you can tell.
Rita said: The moral and spiritual decline in our country along with our liberal society has broken down the definition of what it means to be a man.
Absolutely. Boys not only don't have fathers to look up to, but when they look out into the world, (or on TV and the media) all they see are men who cheat on their wives, abuse their kids, won't support their families. Not all men are portrayed this way, of course, but how often do you see this type of guy on TV? Why, it's cool now to be a bad boy, to be in a gang and beat up people and treat women badly. Our society is filled with these type of men, while rarely do you see a decent Male role model.
I would add to these ideas the following:
Our society has become soft.
100 years ago, men were concerned about catching game so they could feed their family that night, Now, they worry about what aftershave to put on.
100 years ago, a man had to physically defend his family against many dangers. Today, the biggest danger is an infestation of roaches.
100 years ago, fathers took their sons with them to hunt and farm and build homes, spending lots of time together. Today, it is estiimated that a father spends no longer than 15 minutes with his son each WEEK.
100 years ago, our value system was not dictated by television but by watching the men and women around us who lived their lives with integrity and honor.
100 years ago, more men in this country followed the God of the Bible. And contrary to cultural notions, the Bible is not for sissies. God raises his sons to be warriors, heroes in the truest sense.