May 25, 2017

Bad Boys

Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do....

Oh bad boys. I've been thinking about them a lot. You see, I recently re-read Wuthering Heights (see the post about my used book fetish). I remember loving the book as a teen when I read it first but years later I love it even more. Why? Because Heathcliff.

Heathcliff is a dick.

He is NOT a good guy, not at all. Some may think of a bad boy as someone who drives a motorcycle and smokes Marlboros with greased back hair and all those stereotypes, but this guy would eat those boys for lunch. He's not the kind of guy you should swoon for. He's downright despicable. He beats up on well, everyone actually. And at one point he hangs his wife's dog. That's right. He HANGS A FRIGGING DOG! Heathcliff abused everyone in his life (men, children, woman, etc.)  And yet...he was so compelling you wanted to read more about him.

If Heathcliff were around today, his doings would make one hell of an episode of Law and Order.

But still there are some ladies who read the book and fall in love with him. Why? Because he's angsty and dark and troubled and bitter and brooding. And because, let's face it, fictional bad boys are AWESOME.
There are several examples of the bad boy in literature, movies and television where horrible dudes doing horrible things are romanticized. Long before anyone knew that Snape was actually an okay guy, there were girls (and boys) writing hot fanfiction about him. And I've known many a grown woman who fell for Christian Grey although I have yet to figure out why. I have never read 50 Shades of Grey nor have I seen the movie and to tell the truth, it doesn't sound entertaining to me in the least. Although what do I know? I mean, I like Heathcliff, so....
Now I know there's some psychology to this, although for the life of me I can't figure out what it is. I'm not a very patient person in real life. I'm super-nice on the outside but if a guy even looked at me cross-eyed I'd probably dump him on the spot. So why do we women - good women, strong women - like these fictional guys that would possibly hurt us?

Because they can't. That's the only answer I could come up with.

There's kind of a safety net there. You can experience all the danger and excitement of a real bad boy with no heartbreak, or you know, actual physical/mental abuse and long-term implications. It's a fantasy of danger without having the visible scars to deal with. And no one gets arrested.

I probably am giving this too much thought. Girls will always have crushes on the fictional, dark, brooding dudes who would drive us crazy in real life. Just as guys will always have their crushes on...bad girls? Feel free to chime in here boys. I'm kind of interested in what kind of fictional bad girls you like, because in my mind they're probably all this:

So there you have it. Bad boys will be bad boys and girls will always love them - albeit from a safe distance. Feel free to chime in below with your fictional "bad crush". I can't judge, because, you know, Heathcliff. ;)


  1. I'll chime in with these important notes: (1) Women deserve WAY better than Bad Boys, "men" who don't even know how to pay the bills, mow the lawn or put the toilet seat down. (2) That's an *amazing* illustration of Heathcliff.

    1. Well in real life bad boys suck but in fiction, they're romantic. :) We women are weird.

      Also that picture is by Fritz Eichenberg who did some awesome wood-engraved illustrations. My copy of Wuthering Heights has is illustrated by him. Genius!


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