Jenny’s Blog: Am I Sexist Or Just Old School?
This is me… setting myself up to be called a sexist… because I believe in men who protect the women they love.
First, a true confession:
My husband and I watch the Fargo TV Series on the FX Network. The show contains violence, profanity and inappropriate behavior.
Fargo hits home with my husband and me because it centers on characters based in rural Minnesota — where my husband and I grew up. Fargo sardonically pokes fun at “Minnesota nice” and the pleasant, stoic, surface-talk of the average Minnesotan.
Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons in Fargo TV Series on FX Network
Recently, Fargo rolled out its season finale with a star-studded cast… and that is what inspired this blog. Fargo’s finale was inspiring because it was noticeably un-Hollywoodish; namely, it put a subtle stamp of approval on humble faith, marital commitment, men-in-uniform and… well… family values. What?! Really?!
Let me explain how it happened…
For the duration of Fargo’s season 2, we witness the slow demise of a small-town Minnesota couple, who unwittingly entangle themselves in a progressively brutal battle between a North Dakota “mob family” and its Kansas City rivals. The entanglement begins when the wife in the couple accidentally drives over one of the mob men, as he runs across a dark highway. This naive wife tries to hide her hit-and-run, but the mob pursues her and her husband, to murder them for killing one of their own. Two law men from Minnesota follow the resultant string of violence from Minnesota to North Dakota. In their dedicated pursuit, this highway patrolman and his father-in-law Sheriff work to find the fleeing couple, put an end to the mob violence and set things right again.
Ted Danson and Patrick Wilson in Fargo TV Series
The young patrolman exhibits quiet bravery in the face of very un-Minnesotan brutality. He faithfully checks in daily with his wife, whose been diagnosed with a deadly cancer — which she treats with refreshing humor and zero self-pity. This quick-witted and unassuming woman prefers to focus on serving her husband, her 6-year-old daughter and her widowed father (the Sheriff) before the cancer gets the best of her.
As the mob’s murderous spree comes to an end, the patrolman is making the interstate trek back home to be with his sickly wife. He is escorting the hit-and-run wife back to Minnesota in his patrol car. The modest law man is speaking to this wife about her deceased husband, who finally succumbed to the mob’s vendetta. He was shot while acting to protect his wife, paying the ultimate price for a crime he didn’t commit. This is how the patrolman sums up the husband’s sacrifice:
“Your husband, he said he was gonna protect his family, no matter what. And, I acted like I didn’t understand… but, I do. It’s the rock we all push — men. We call it ‘our burden,’ but it’s really… our privilege.”
And, THERE IT WAS. The truth for many a man. A truth that is no longer okay to utter out loud. Many men still feel responsible for and protective of the women they love. They will work at a job they don’t like, share a paycheck that they’ve earned, and pay the ultimate price — the loss of their life — for a woman.
And, that’s admirable, ladies and gentleman. That’s not sexist or misogynist or any other negative label we’ve conjured up in the last 50 years. I am, personally, honored to have a protective man who would sacrifice his life for me. It does not make me weak. It does not make me the “lesser sex.” It makes me cared for and loved. Not every woman feels the need for this, but I feel blessed to have it. That is family value.
Thank you, patrolman from Fargo, for reminding us that a man’s devotion to his wife, his family and the good of humanity is admirable.
By Jenny Dean Schmidt, Host of ChannelMom Radio, Podcast & WebTV and Executive Director of ChannelMom Media & Outreach
Blogger Note: Much of the most recent Fargo TV series was based in a 1970’s version of Luverne, Minnesota, where my Grandma lived at the beginning and end of her life.