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Sherlock Holmes is a MAN but not a MANsch

by Orit Arfa

December 23, 2009 | 3:56 am

Just went to a screening of the Sherlock Holmes movie and there were moments in the movie when I wanted Robert Downey, Jr. He did a great job mixing his acting genius with his drug-addict past to give the character a nice mixture of being troubled and brilliant. Oh, and the part where he’s boxing topless—NICE!  I heard a lady next to me say, “he’s hot.”

His character definitely exhibited a lot of manly qualities: he thought quick on his feet; no one could ruffle his feathers; he displayed ingenuity, heroism, and wit; he was an apt warrior; and he saw through people. I loved the seen when he analyzed Watson’s girlfriend, Mary, based on clues in her appearance. Women eat that stuff up; they love it when the guy can see into her soul and be right on target. Mary was enthralled with his analysis—until he insulted her.

Holmes also had some despicable qualities: poor grooming and hygiene, bad drinking habits, too much arrogance and such. He wasn’t a “mensch”, at least not like John Watson (Jude Law), Holmes’ sidekick, who TRIED to be nice to his girlfriend and who always sought to save the day from the goodness of his heart. Watson was definitely more of a beta-male compared to Holmes. (Although I’m sure Holmes, as played by Downey, had major insecurities and emotional issues; he was somewhat of a social derelict.)

But Holmes’ alpha qualities totally made Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) crazy for him, and, at the end of the day, Watson was crazy for him as well. People are always attracted to alpha males who save the day with calm, ingenuity, and control. Holmes, however, didn’t always seem motivated by goodness, more by an intellectual challenge. But I can tell you most women in the audience were probably not lusting after the more menschly Watson, but the manly Holmes. Holmes, however, was not a MANsch most of the time.

As a side note, I wonder what’s going through Madonna’s mind now that her ex-hubby, Guy Richie, has directed such a blockbuster. While I have mixed feelings about the movie, it definitely took a lot of alpha-male qualities to get such an ambitious project off the ground.

Check out Orit’s website on the art of seduction, MANsch, and read her new eBook on the subtle, subconscious ways women test man for their MANschliness.

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By Orit Arfa

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