There is much to be appreciated in a man that sympathizes and under-stands the plight of women and Tyler Perry seems to do this often in his movies. Not only this, but he does a commendable job at exposing the kinds of traumas that many women have experienced firsthand or witnessed in some form or fashion. Traumas that are often not openly spoken of or swept under the rug. Traumas that plaugue many women and their choices for most if not their entire lives. However, with that said the problem is that in these movies the answer or reward to a woman who has been through these sorts of senarios in varying degrees is finding this perfect, sensitive, and gorgeous man who sweeps her off her feet.
I know it’s entertainment and as a woman myself it's easy to get caught up in the fantasy of the this night in shining armor depiction of men but I don't think its right or fair that Tyler Perry uses some very sensitive issues pertaining to the experience of being a woman and then resort to these cliché and unrealistic endings and resolutions.
In “I Can Do Bad By Myself,” April played by Taraji P. Henderson who is incredibly selfish, finds a man who is willing to teach her what love is really all about. In “Diary of A Mad Black Woman,” Kimberly Elise’s character, Helen, just so happens to meet a wonderfully sensitive man just as her long term marriage of abuse and neglect appears to be coming to an end. And let’s not forget Vanessa played by Lisa Anderson in “Madea’s Family Reunion,” that meets a man who actually says to her that, “some men come to restore.” In reality, relationships might play out more like Kimberly’s marriage in Madea’s Big Happy Family, but with the man actually leaving in the end because women like her won’t face their issues and as a result become hellfire on wheels.
I am all for the fantasy that there is a better man out there than what most of us women run into on a regular basis. One that is not petrified of love, commitment, or marriage and somewhat understands what a woman needs. The kind of man that even though he is far from perfect, takes the time to make sure his wife feels and is loved by him. But let’s not lie to ourselves about what having a man like that really means. For one, he probably won’t be gorgeous, and second he can never be perfect. He will surely have his own problems and baggage to deal with and won't always have the time, knowledge, intuition, or patience to sweep down and save us from our own.
The truth is ladies that we have to stop looking, expecting, and thinking that a man is going to come and save the day for us, or love us so hard and so long that it heal us from all of our brokenness. We have to let go of the belief that if a man really loves us, he will happily endure all the hell we give him and come out being Mr. Wonderful in the end. Quite frankly, putting that kind of pressure and expectation on a man is enough to ruin a relationship all by itself. No man comes to restore, only God can do that and if he chooses to use a man to help that process along that does not negate our responsibility of facing and resolving our own issues. Neither does it change the fact that our help comes from God and not a man.
Keep in mind that the same man that might help you through a hard time can turn right around and give you hell right back. But if you are too invested in his role as the “restorer” in your life, you will fall to pieces when he is not behaving that way. It’s best to deal with your issues and get them straightened out on your own and with God's help so that when that right man does find you, you will be strong enough to support and love him through his own issues too.
This is why I have become less fond of Tyler Perry's movies over the years. I also don't like the way he half heartedly incorporates and mixes scripture in his characters and plot, even making jokes about them, yet displaying no real power or change that those scriptures implies and even promises. In a nutshell, I think as women we must be very careful for all things we allow our brains to fed on, even entertainment, lest we spend our lives and time chasing a fantasy of love and not the real thing.
Stephanie Kekeocha was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). (read more)
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