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| by Salma Ihab

Your Partner Is Not Your Hero

I was having my usual daily conversation with my friend and catching up on how our day went, when we got to talking about how old movies always portrayed men in a way, whereas modern movies do not anymore. She surprised me with her response and told me that's the "hero instinct," and I had no idea what she was talking about. This inspired me to look for more answers, and the main question that came to my head, “Is your partner your hero?”

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How Disney movies influenced our view of the hero instinct:

Most of us grew up watching Disney movies, where the Princess waits for Prince Charming to save the day, and our teen years consisted of watching rom-com movies, so we grew up thinking we needed a hero when the reality is that we don't. We were raised to be strong, independent women, and meeting a prince charming is a nice addition to our lives rather than someone who will save us. And, you can see these changes in recent Disney movies, such as Brave Merida, who do not need Prince Charming to save her.

But first, let's define what I really mean by "hero instinct":

In most movies, heroes are always portrayed in a certain way, saving people he cares about, particularly women. The hero is courageous, strong, and honest. But have you ever considered why they are always portrayed in this way? The term "hero instinct" refers to a new concept in relationship psychology that causes men to fall in love and commit to you. But, where did this term come from? It's basically the same as any hero in any movie. Men want to feel like heroes to their partners, and they have a natural tendency to protect their loved ones.

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How the new generation is changing the hero instinct:

And so the debate begins; I personally believe it is past time to stop portraying all heroes as men,  and to begin portraying that women can be heroes as well. For God's sake, we give birth to human beings; if that doesn't make us heroes, I don't know what will. Yes, we all grew up listening to Enrique Iglesias singing about how he can be our hero, making us believe that this is what we really want, when in reality our generation has changed a lot.  We now live in a generation where women are a lot more vocal, such as the "Me Too" movement, where more and more girls are speaking out against their abusers or if they've been harassed, and they don't rely on anyone else, not even a man, to speak out. There are other inspiring women, such as the women who founded Assault Police, who created a safe space for girls to speak out against their harassers.

The heroic Yusra Mardini, an Olympic Syrian refugee who swam for three hours in the sea to push a sinking boat carrying 20 people to safety, is just one example of what women are capable of accomplishing. Now that women are playing the lead roles in new films, they are empowering a whole generation. We used to have to wait for a man to come to help us if we had a flat tire, but now we don't need a guy's help if we have a flat tire; we can change it ourselves, and there are a lot of tutorial videos on how to change a car tire. This generation is fortunate to have had access to the internet, as they have more resources than we did when we were younger.

How can we encourage the next generation to detach themselves from the hero instinct?

In the new generation, we are beginning to see this difference that women are not okay with things that they used to be okay with, and this change gives me hope for the future generations. I believe that if you want society to change its attitude toward the hero instinct, you must first change yourself, such as helping and supporting your friends in achieving their goals and dreams. You will definitely notice a difference once we all support one another.

Young moms, your main goal should be to encourage your children to be more self-sufficient; you don't need anyone's help, not even a man; you can do it on your own. You must teach your children to have self-confidence in themselves, to recognize their own worth, and to view men as partners rather than heroes. The next generation should learn that they should support all women's charities because they help them more than you think.

Main Image Credits: Glamour


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Tags: Relationship advice  Relationship tips  Women empowerment  Inspiring women  Lifestyle  Living  Arab women  Women rights