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By Excess Hollywood | May 23, 2007

She was a psych major at a local college. I was a junior in high school. She was a Smiths fan. I liked the Misfits. She and I used to get into some pretty interesting conversations at the resort where we worked.

“”Most girls,” she told me because she was such an expert, “”like a guy who can be nice, be romantic and also be tough and confident. They like a guy who will hold the door open but also f**k them hard enough to make them think they’ve just had a gang bang with the football team.”

Richard Gere is not that man.

I can’t figure out why women find him attractive. Sure, he may be easy on the eyes, and he has that whole spiritual thing going on, but come on. Really? Is he the kind of man a woman would like to be with. He seems like the ultimate pretty boy … like a less crazy Warren Beatty.

I know a lot of women like Sean Connery. Maybe it’s his accent. Maybe it’s the Bond thing. Either way, I can at least understand it. Gere is an utter mystery, however, like folks who still watch “”Saturday Night Live” or vote Democrat or Republican.

Granted, I may be missing a lot of the appeal. I’m a heterosexual man who thinks the sight of a naked, confident woman is one of nature’s most splendid displays. So maybe I don’t see what makes Gere so damn attractive to far too many women. (And not just older women, either. I know plenty of twentysomethings who think he’s pretty hot, too.) I believe if I challenged Gere to a fight, he’d cry, and that’s no man for you. That’s eye candy, pure and simple.

The psych major made some good points, or so I think. Many women do want what she described — a gentleman who can still be a man in the most traditional sense. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. All those years of social programming had to have some effect on the populace, and it’s probably more than that, too. It comes down to survival instincts and the need to breed. You want strong qualities to pass on to offspring and to ensure you stay alive long enough to enjoy them. Not all women want that, but I’ve talked to so many who do that I can’t chalk it up to an anomaly.

Gere may be a gentleman (when he’s not kissing Indian women willy nilly on stage and offending large segments of an uptight country), but he’s not the kind of guy who would ever, to quote Nashville P***y, strut c**k. He doesn’t have that “”don’t f**k with me” swagger. Face it, if Gere were in prison, he’d be chattel. If a woman finds that attractive, more power to her.

As I write this, Paris Hilton is weeks away from jail. (It brings to mind something Henry Rollins once said about learning to eat p***y the hard way.) She is another person whose appeal I don’t understand. She, like Gere, may be pretty to look at, but she is hardly the ideal woman. She is weak, fairly moronic and seems to be lacking in the personality department. Yet she, like Gere, is held up as an ideal specimen of the gender due only to looks.

I do know one reason why women tend to be attracted to Gere: He’s non-threatening. Some women –not all — find the non-threatening male to be someone worth having around. More often than not, however, this man is the woman’s gay friend, the man who isn’t going to hit on her, who is going to tell her how nice she looks, and who is going to use “”good manners” when they go out on the town. I think for many women, Gere fills the role of the gay friend, though with the added bonus that he’s straight. (I’m going under an assumption here. I know there have been rumors about him, but I’ve never heard him admit he’s gay.) Since, for all intents and purposes, he is straight, women can feel free to use him as an object of sexual desire — safe sexual desire. Because of that, he’ll continue to be an icon and his romantic films will continue to attract a female audience. Men, however, will still see through the charade and will know him for what he is — a pretty, pampered boy who gets the ladies solely on the basis of looks, but who is nothing more than an older generation’s Hilton. The women out there who are more introspective will probably feel the same way.

If I’m wrong, so be it. I can still take him in a fight

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  1. orlando hdr says:

    I have to disagree on Hilton, very few men consider that Bimbo sexy or attractive, still if only 1% like Hilton that is millions but Billions do not.

  2. Professor Tom says:

    It’s just one of those things.

    Women are a mystery.

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