“All Women Really Want Is To Be Rescued” – C. York

During my holiday break, I watched a total of 4 movies (I Am Legend, Walk Hard, Juno and Enchanted) in about a week. (Yikes! I know…) Enchanted was really cute and much better than I expected – I can’t seem to get the catchy and cheesy songs from the movie out of my head!

The movie touches on the concepts of romance and marriage. In one scene, Patrick Dempsey tells the main character, Amy Adams, about the concept of dating, which was totally new to her since she had been waiting for her Prince Charming to come get her to live happily ever after.


Then it got me thinking of that SATC line by Charlotte that “all women really want is to be rescued.” Her 3 very independent and career ambitious friends don’t deny this.

Growing up, we learn so much about how women should be strong, and at the same time we’re told fairy tales about being a princess waiting for her prince. All we need to do is wait for him… and maybe brush our hair and use eye cream in the meantime.

As much as I would love to argue about how ridiculous I think that rescued comment is, I can’t shrug it off entirely without being completely honest with myself. There have been plenty of times in the past when I wished for someone to take away my jaded view of men and renew my faith with one wildly romantic gesture. And that, to me, might be my version of “being rescued.”

I feel as though the modern version of women being rescued would mean getting married. Going off of fairy tales alone, it always seems like the woman is fully content and feels “rescued” when the fairy tale ends with marriage. And for the men? Their goal is to rescue the woman! (This must be a toughie for men in the real world, since I can imagine most women saying things like “I don’t need to be rescued! I make more money than you!”)

What do you think about the concept of “being rescued”? Do you agree, as hard as it may be to admit, that in some way women really just want to be rescued?


Mrs. Caramel

Los Angeles
Wedding Date:
October 2007
I Heart A Good, Clean Shave
Franklin Covey Would NOT Approve!
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Linda, Guest @ 1:53 pm

    I don’t think of getting married as being rescued. I do enjoy having someone to take care of me. My FI takes good care of me. He makes sure I have what I need-emotionally and physically. But I take care of him too. I think that’s an important part of our relationship.
    I think a lot of people (men and women) want to be saved from their single life. Unfortunately I think that means that don’t always make the right choices in partners.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    tracy, Guest @ 2:31 pm

    i just watched enchanted last night…loved it!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    L-bug, Guest @ 2:34 pm

    There’s a great book called “I do but I don’t: why the way we marry matters” by Kamy Wicoff which talks about reconciling feminist ideals with the traditional images of brides and weddings. Very much in the vein of “rescue” vs. “personal strength” :)

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Cara, Guest @ 2:36 pm

    I agree that women have a feeling of wanting to be “rescued” I think that marriage isn’t necessarily “THE rescuing”

    The rescuing (to me) is being having someone by me to “rescue” me from having to carry all the groceries up the stairs, or to “rescue” me from having to deal with trying to make time to bring in the car to be clean from the trip to the snow this weekend when I have to work the next day and he doesn’t. I also rescue him when he forgets to order his prescription, and I call it in a pick it up for him.

    I believe Julie Roberts says it best in Pretty Woman when Richard Gere asks her (after climbing the fire escape to “rescue her” “What does the princess do after he rescues her ? She says “she rescues her right back”

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    rzblna, Guest @ 3:26 pm

    Ditto cara (although I hated how Pretty Woman ended). It’s all in how you phrase it. I’m “rescuing” him from a lifetime of loneliness and unwashed socks.

  6. corn Member
    corn 1130 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:16 pm

    Honestly, I think Romantic Comedies are to women as porn is to men; unrealistic expectations of reality. I know so many women who are waiting for a man to rescue them and are frustrated when it doesn’t happen. I fully believe you need to rescue yourself before you can be in a place to be in a mature relationship.

  7. Member
    Angel 1263 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:54 pm

    I think this topic is similar to the “you complete me” discussion….people going into marriage being their own person and being able to stand on their own two feet. What’s that line from Sleepless in Seattle?

    “Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it.”

    I remember getting mixed signals growing up: Independant Woman vs. Someday My Prince Will Come. I always had this fasciation with Cinderella. Here she is busting her butt and not letting outside influences change who she is and in the end she’s rewarded because she stayed true to herself. I’m sure there’s a rescue in there somewhere, but I always liked my version better. :)

  8. Member
    birdiebride 10 posts, Newbee @ 10:31 pm

    Mrs. Corn I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s not that I wanted to be rescued, but that I would find an equal, a partner. Rescuing is for fairytales.

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    misss_e, Guest @ 10:58 pm

    I have always been outwardly optimistic as it relates to love and romance. But on the inside, after having been let down a few times, I really feared that I would end up alone. I was dubbed a “hopeless romantic”…but I had this voice in my head that always said “PREPARE FOR THE WORST”. But I didnt want to, I wanted to be hopeful and naive and foolish. I wanted to love without restraint…I did not want to have to be sooo strong. When my pooh bear came along…he rescued me from having to be anything other than what I was. I always say he “let my soul take a seat”…he freed me to be the woman I wanted to be. I depended on a man and didnt care if others perceived that to be weak. In my “weakness” I am humbled and I feel so strong. He rescued me and delivered me to another type of strength. Because unconditional love and trust takes an extraordinary amount of strength. Maybe Im rambling…but good questions take you there. Whats wrong with the fairytale. The fairytale doesnt show that bad…but isnt out problem that we dont remember enough of the good!

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    misss_e, Guest @ 11:05 pm

    And who says that because you are being “rescued” you aren’t an equal. I think thats all in how you perceive yourself and how you interpret your reality. I dont care what anyone says…that feeling I have when I come home to the one I love and who loves me is way better than the one I feel when I came home to myself. Not that I wasn’t happy…it was my life I took it for what it was. I really think everyones experience and opinion should be different because we all come from such different spaces.

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    wsukarebear, Guest @ 2:37 pm

    Mrs. Corn’s about right in my book! I have a couple friends who CRY because they think they’ll die alone! Although I believe that Charlotte was right traditionally, I think realistically we want companionship and love–not so much a rescue. Does that make sense?

    I just watched Mona Lisa Smile, which is a movie I LOVE and is all about the idea of being rescued (somewhat) and the early 50’s expectation that women marry men to be taken care of, and the little woman will go home and set up house and raise children and be the wifey that the husband needs–in which case it’s almost like the man is rescued, right? 😉

    I am a semi-believer in the whole idea. Nothing wrong with believeing the fairy tale, but probably because as a married woman I feel that I’ve lived the fairy tale a little. I worry about my friends, however, who believe and expect to be rescued. Maybe they *will* be “rescued” and it’ll be their dreams come true! But as long as they continue hoping and wishing, I worry it’s somewhat a false expectation.

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    wsukarebear, Guest @ 2:39 pm

    I like what Misss_e is saying! It is all about your reality. I may consider myself to be rescued because I come home to my “prince” and there’s romance, etc. But, I don’t think I was rescued any more than perhaps he was rescued, and certainly not because I was waiting for a prince to come along–we’re very equal, and just happy.

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    janie, Guest @ 6:32 pm

    Totally! I know we’re in the age where women have the privilege to exercise control and power over their own lives without the support of a male significant other but nothing shadows the beauty of romance and chivalry. I consider myself a pretty independent gal (my BF calls it my stubborn streak. Eh. Same thing), but I can’t help but swoon when my BF surprises me at work just to help me smile again after a really rotten day at work. So maybe I won’t be sitting around idly with my forest animal friends and singing tunes about my Prince Charming, but it doesn’t mean I’m any less thrilled when he finally does come around to my rescue.

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Some Guy, Guest @ 12:09 am

    Most women have a knight offering her a hand, and are just too ignorant to notice. In reality, the thing that works best to get a girl attracted to a guy is the passive aggressive insult *aka* nagging.
    The guys that would always be there for you, and care for you. Too many of you turn away from you with the “I only see you as a friend” line. You may be scared to loose what you already consider a good friend, but that’ll only convince him to leave for his own good.
    As advise. Take them on their offer. At least give them a try, before they give up on being a white knight, and join the team that doesn’t lose.

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