Compassionate Men in Media

I watched The Devil Wears Prada last week while my husband was on a business trip.

As an escape. As something fun. But…I was furious by the end.

Why was this intelligent, hard-working woman being pressured by her boyfriend to give less than her best to a job? What did he offer her other than comments on her body and cheese sandwiches? And then for him to say he was getting *his* big break in Boston after she’d just taken a job at a newspaper, hinting that she might need to move for him?

On the one hand, I understand a movie can’t tell you everything. It’s a limited medium with limited time. But, if the denouement involves the main character having a major epiphany resulting in her apologizing to a boyfriend, I should feel something other than disgust, yes?

It was one year of her life. She had to give her very best, neglecting everything else, for one year. That’s it. He can’t wait a year for her to earn her dreams? FOH.

In light of my frustration at this, my own tiny epiphany, I asked Twitter what media they could recommend that showed men as truly compassionate, honest, mindful, and caring.

You know, a boyfriend who would hear you when you say you HAVE to take this call from work and not guilt you or shame you about it. And, Twitter stepped way up. Turns out, this question hit a nerve. I didn’t include every show named, but this is most of them. I haven’t seen many of these, fyi.

Clearly, we’d all very much like to see more of this representation.

Here’s the list:

Wash from Firely
Uncle Iroh from Avatar: The Last Airbender
Chidi from The Good Place
Commander Sinclair from Babylon 5
Sisko from Deep Space Nine
Newt from Fantastic Beasts
Dad from Emperor’s New Groove
Matthew Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables
Bert from Mary Poppins
Captain America from the Marvel movies
Ian from My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Foreign Films
O-Oku (Japanese)
The Way He Looks (Brazilian)
Train Man (Japanese)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canadian-French)

The Full Monty
Dead Poet’s Society
Magic Mike XXL
Regarding Henry
About Time
Saving Private Ryan
The Sound of Music

Grace & Frankie
Slings & Arrows
(There were very few TV shows recommended, which surprised me!)

I’d love to grow this list. If you have a show or movie or character you think should be included, please speak up in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Compassionate Men in Media

  1. Great list! I just saw the movie Eighth Grade, which I would add to this list. Thinking about TV shows now. There’s Mr. Wilson from Home Improvement and the dad from My Three Sons (long time ago now).

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