The Only Men Who Ever Protected Me Were Gay

Straight women have been sold a narrative that straight men “protect and provide” although the protection part is purely fantasy. When you actually need protection, gay men are far more likely to come through.

Rachel Presser

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Two white men wearing rainbow wristbands holding hands over a black background
Licensed via Adobe Stock

If you’re a cishet woman of virtually any age, how much do you recall the notion of “women need men to protect and save them” being instilled in you even if you come from a fairly ecumenical and liberal background?

Chances are that it was inescapable, even in pockets of America where little girls received the messaging that they could be whatever they wanted growing up. As an elder Millennial who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, we were definitely given conflicting images of the Disney princess being saved by a prince and the career-driven ingenue who’s just Not Like Other Girls.

Even Sex and the City, for all its revolutionizing in somewhat-aromantic characters like Samantha Jones and the way that women discussed sex with their girlfriends, still ultimately upheld this ideal that marrying rich was your ultimate life goal (which ironically, strayed from both the source material and the creator).

Which is odd given that a medieval historian debunked the whole “chivalrous knight saving a damsel in distress” thing as early as 1981 upon pointing out that chivalric fiction was a huge genre then it caught metaphorical fire just like the real ones in the Hollywood Hills. This concept goes back even farther, all the way to the myth of Perseus and Andromeda in the age of Greek antiquity: the hero slaying the monster to save the maiden.

Even though it wasn’t until relatively recent centuries that women were subjugated to have no rights and marriage was presented as your only option in life. This persistent messaging that you need a man to come save you was mostly a 20th century invention. But this hasn’t stopped 21st century podcasts and social media accounts composed of cishet men who love to hear themselves talk from constantly bloviating about how women just need to…

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Rachel Presser

Game dev, writer, small biz & tax consultant to indie devs. That loud socialist Frog Slut from The Bronx, now in Angel City. https://linktr.ee/sonictoad