Thoughts From an Inlander

  
I just finished watching the second half of the Outlander series the other night. If you are male and reading this post, I apologize for any unpleasantness that might conjure for you, particularly if you happened to watch the final episode.

The novels themselves hold a very dear place in my heart and I have been trying to figure out why, of late. Truthfully, I think it is because they were the first somewhat smutty romance books I ever read without wanting to gag, but the reality is probably more that I was in love with James Frasier. I just don’t want to admit that fact to myself or to anyone else. 

What is it about that character, James Frasier, that is so appealing to women? Well. Aside from the obvious facts that he can speak Gaelic, looks good in a kilt, and can wield a large *dirk* like nobody’s business? How can another man compete with that?

Many women (myself included, apparently) dream of being protected, cared for even at risk of life and limb. You want to run someone through to protect my honor? Yep. That is sexy. There is nothing quite so romantic as that sort of man, and it occurred to me how modern society makes this difficult for men nowadays.

How do you demonstrate physical and emotional strength when possessing such characteristics is no longer necessary for survival or even considered desirable by the general public? Impaling someone with a sword is rather frowned upon, honor or not.

These are the thoughts I have on a Friday morning whilst in the shower…

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82 thoughts on “Thoughts From an Inlander

  1. I am so happy to have read your post, it was such an amazing read, one which I enjoyed very much! I have had time to check out your blog and I have to say I loved it! So keep writing so I can keep looking forward to reading your work! (:

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  2. OH. MY. GAWD! OUTLANDER FANS ON WP! My heart seriously stopped then sped up double time! “Blood of my blood, bone of my bone” And I want a man to call me Sassanach!! I can’t WAIT to see how they are depicting Dragonfly in Amber!! EEEEEEEEEEE. I’ve seriously died of happiness and excitement!

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  3. It gets a little cool when the wind blows if you’re wearing a kilt. It sounds like you’re looking for the old fashioned type of chivalry. You don’t need to run someone through to protect your honour. If you are a man – just stand when a woman enters the room. Those old courtesies that seem to be overlooked or forgotten could really make a hit with a woman.
    Leslie

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  4. Slaying dragons and running dishonorable men through with swords still occurs in this day and age. In a metaphorical way. But sometimes we men get tired of the constant combat, and just wish our women would learn how to stay out of trouble, or maybe slay a few dragons of their own, from time to time.

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  5. Perhaps chivalry (or at least the expectation thereof) is not quite dead?

    You are quite right, Victo! Men are in a bit of a rough spot, these days. On one hand, we’re obviously still expected to risk life and limb for the furtherance of all that is “right” and “good”–including the protection of innocents. When expected to meet force with force however, we’re often perceived as being brutish. On the other hand, if we wipe our eyes whilst witnessing the abuse of an innocent animal or the birth of a child, we’re sometimes perceived as being weak.

    Every human being (having come from both a male and a female parent) has a masculine and a feminine side. While I’ve come to balance and appreciate BOTH such aspects of self, society (in general) has a long way to go in doing the same. We should really make more of an effort to get past the stereotypes of gender and begin to respect every individual as a unique expression of self, no matter what their outside appearance may be.

    Me? I consider myself a gentle protector. I can go from passive to A-hole in an instant when forced into a defensive posture, but I can well up with tears at the drop of a hat–especially when exposed to those precious moments that tug at everyone’s heartstrings.

    That may make me less of a man in some people’s eyes, but that’s OK. I know differently.

    With Love,

    Stargazer

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  6. Deep thoughts oh doctorly one. ha! I liked the first few Outlander books but didn’t get as attached to the TV show. The books were deeper – more detail and better character development. I found the TV shows bounced from large explosion to kidnapping to internal strife, etc, constantly – I couldn’t always keep up – like special effects were driving the production.

    The question of how men go about their masculinity in this day and age – I trucked. I’m sure that Freud would have said (as he did about all things) that the big hood sticking out in front with all the power inside was a metaphor for a penis. In some ways he would have been right. And just like the real thing,,you have to learn how to use it for greater good – it can easily take the lead away from you if you let it – and that could spell death. When I did the MBA, the professional males – all had degrees some as high as PhD’s – would show their masculinity either by an overt use of their power to impress or by objectifying women – not healthy in either situation. They would talk about which airlines provided the stewardesses with the biggest breasts or about their “conquests” while away on business. The various world societies monetized this by providing what they wanted for money. For instance, the Marriott Courtyard in Beijing was a franchise owned by an astute Chinese businessman. He made one floor just for Western tourists, including all the service staff and lounges. That floor had much higher prices and would provide what ever service you liked. The women were chosen for their breast size and English skills. The drink p[rices were astronomical so I bought a 26 ouncer of Canadian Club whiskey for $120 USD because it was cheaper than by the ounce. Mind you the service was addictive, as was the attention.

    We were doing an assessment of the business environment to report back on the feasibility of establishing a nuclear medicine manufacturing plant in China. One of my assigned areas was culture. Anyway, we had procured the services of a local taxi driver who owned a half dozen cabs and he drove us everywhere – and he spoke reasonable English. So, one night we hired him to take us clubbing and we all piled into 3 cabs, paid for the night and away we went. The night was growing late when he asked if we wanted some “company” – curious, I agreed. Four team members came along and two went back to the hotel. He took us through back roads and I was worried if he left we would never find our way back – Beijing is unreal huge – bigger than NYC. We came to an after hours club that was in an industrial area and very well hidden with guards. Anyway, we paid the owner to talk to some of the women and our cab driver translated. We asked about the type of customers – many Germans and American businessmen. After a chat of about an hour, we left and when I asked the driver how far back to the hotel he just grinned, turned the corner and there was the glitzy tourist street with our hotel in sight. The Chinese were providing the European and Western”men”with the ability to express their masculinity. To sail to far shores and conquer.

    Anyway, the really funny part was that we apparently impressed the club owner so much that when we were ready to move to Shanghai later in the week, he and about 5 of his women showed up at the Marriott to wave good-bye and wish us a safe trip. Bwahahaha! I thought the concierge was going to go apoplectic. Ah, how wonderful to be a man. πŸ˜€

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  7. I was on the train from London to Edinburgh last month, sitting next to three women from Colorado who were doing their own outlander trip. They loved the books so much! Sadly, my Scottish husband refuses to wear a kilt, so I have to make do with my Jamie fantasy as well.

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  9. Ah more books to add to my to read list. I too dream of the era when woman wore their hair long and and dressed in robes and men wore skirts. We still have those things, my being pink and fuzzy with food stains and cat fur on it…..and my dear friend John is often sporting the latest female fashion…..lololo
    Bu we did this to ourselves, with being liberated and all. Can’t have it both ways……and this to me is the beginning of a blog for me…

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  10. I also love the Outlander series, although not the tv adaption. I also love Jamie. I have reread the books countless times simply because I couldn’t find anything better out there. Even on the fourth or fifth time around, they continue to immerse me. I do think the series has gone on at least two books too many. I think Gabaldon should have stopped after four. That’s where the stories became repetitive and a bit boring to me. I mean, honestly, does every main character have to be raped? And I find Gabaldon herself to be arrogant. She moans about her readers’ demands for more books. Most people would kill to be in her position. Don’t chastise your readers, Diana. Write the damn books, or end the series and move on. Oh, you can’t do that because then you would no longer be famous? I get it now.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

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    • I stopped reading after four. When I was searching Amazon to repurchase Outlander, I was shocked to see there were so many in the series now. I was wondering if I should read them. You just answered my question! πŸ™‚

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  11. Well, of course, I have a crush on Jamie too. Here’s my take. The kilt and good looks, aside…I think it’s not actually the fighting to protect his love that makes us fall for Jamie. I think it’s the depth and innocence of his love. He is guileless and vulnerable when it comes to his relationship with Claire without sacrificing his masculinity. I think all of us would like to be loved so completely, I would and sometimes I am. πŸ™‚

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  12. So….you were thinking about my book boyfriend in the shower eh? Just kidding, everybody wants what’s under that kilt….you read the books so you know. I haven’t finished the second part yet but I hope to this weekend.

    I am the farthest thing from a cheerleader for the male gender, as you know…but men in this day in age don’t have a chance in hell. First off we live in a throw a way society where both sides are selfish, and secondly I have said too much and will stop now. πŸ™‚

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  13. How would you have actually responded though, if such a thing really happened before your eyes? And not in this century either, when such things are frowned upon but a couple of centuries earlier? Someone gasping and coughing up blood and dying slowly because he insulted you in some way? Was there ever a time when women, in large numbers fell for such men? Some do, of course, but the larger proportion? I wonder…..

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  14. I loved the book series, and I love a lot of things about the show – I think they get a lot of things right as far as character portrayal and most of the mission-critical plot points. I think show Jamie is much more boyish than I pictured him while reading the books, but I’m warming up to him. And I do think they sucked the soul out of Jamie’s recovery from Randall’s torture, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.

    Anyway, what I love about the series is the portrayal of life-long love: how it changes you and how it doesn’t change you. Both Jamie and Claire grow as characters, and in many ways they grow together because of their mutual, continual choice to love each other, but neither of them LOSE anything that makes them themselves. Neither one are perfect, and sometimes they both ROYALLY fuck up, but through it all they choose to love each other, which is a source of great joy. Hardship, too, but also joy.

    I love the way the author wove these characters together, and it’s the first example I always give regarding a good portrayal of love in literature / other media. Because there are unfortunately so very few.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am on the same page with you about the boyishness of the show Jamie. That took some getting used to. It has been long enough since my last read of the books that I can enjoy the video series without fixating on the errors. And you are absolutely right about the portrayal of love generally lacking in much of literature/media.

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  15. Love me some Jamie! I discovered the series after the first 4 books had been written. I have read the entire series multiple times, with the exception of the last book, which I haven’t cracked yet, which is sacrilege, I know πŸ˜‰ But that series saved me, in that, I had lost my daughter and reading about Jamie and Claire had given me a brief reprieve from the gnawing grief. And yes, it’s his care of and for Claire that is so appealing. I think modern men can still do that just in other ways, if they would but put themselves out there a little. I am fortunate in my husband, I must say. Great post honey! xx Paris

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  16. This has to stop! Take this from someone brought up in Scotland – Outlander is a ‘verra verra’ bad book. The dialect makes us all squirm since it was written by an Albuquerque professor who doesn’t have the slightest knowledge of Scottish geography or language. It’s bloody Braveheart all over again. William Wallace never wore any blue woad on his face and certainly didn’t marry a French princess!!’ If you need to read British smut then stick to Jackie Collins…:)

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  17. I’m sorry, I sound like a deranged Highlander. I don’t know why I am complaining because I get lower estimates, marriage proposals, and frankly, drooling, just because I have a Scottish accent. Just throwing shade…:)

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  18. Well, the truth is I don’t think I have any Scottish heritage to protect (60% Irish) but I do understand. My colleagues told me that I completely ignored some ordinary dude at the airport but went all gaga over a light eyed Arabic gentleman, flirting in both Arabic and English. Apparently, I slithered like a snake across the desk until we were nose to nose. He liked it too….:)

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