Before You Become A Bunny Boiler Like Alex From Fatal Attraction Stop & Think!

I re-watched the iconic film Fatal Attraction about two months ago on a Sunday afternoon. I’m assuming many of you reading this post have also seen it. You may wish to revisit this work, because it was brilliant yet very flawed. It would have never been made in today’s Hollywood. It is far too raw, edgy and out there. It would’ve been sanitized into oblivion.

This movie has always bothered me, but I don’t think I fully grasped why until now. Yes, it treated a serious issue (infidelity and betrayal) with a circus sideshow sensationalism that really glossed over a husband’s apathy towards his own family. I understand he took an opportunity for “easy” sex with another woman. It was his contempt for his wife (and by extension all women) that was never examined. The would-be home-wrecker had to display such a depraved level of psychosis in order to absolve the jerk in the eyes of the audience. This is why the original ending was reshot and the wife allowed to dispense “justice” so people wouldn’t have to think too critically or expect accountability. 

Alex appears to be sexy, confident and in control. 

Then Dan tells Alex they have no future. She goes from being the fun weekend distraction to a major problem. He never thought what seemed like an easy opportunity to color outside the fidelity lines would blow his life apart. Only he didn’t do any serious soul searching, he just wanted his ‘problem’ gone. The movie showed how a happily married man could still cheat because monogamy is a choice. It also exaggerated how low an emotionally compromised woman would go.

Considering the movie was released more than 20 years ago, what have women learned?

As I get older — and hopefully wiser — I see how choices have unintended consequences. I felt sorry for Alex up to a point. She used sexual tricks and an “I’m okay with whatever” attitude instead of setting boundaries and only focusing on available men. Since it didn’t yield the results she wanted, she employed scorched earth tactics.

“Because I won’t let you treat me like a slut you throw away in the garbage.”

She had a valid point, but she contributed to the mess expecting to emerge unscathed. Don’t ignore your needs, suddenly realize how ravenous you are and grab the first thing you get your hands on. You’re going to choose poorly.

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12 Replies to “Before You Become A Bunny Boiler Like Alex From Fatal Attraction Stop & Think!”

  1. To Chi

    Hi Chi, it's great to see your comment here. Thanks for thinking of me. Faith's article about examining and weighing the costs of our freedoms ties in well with the book I recommended for you. I can only hope that the book and the wonderful information has benefitted you and will continue to benefit you as you put the invaluable wisdom in the book into ACTION!!

    Take care

  2. Part 2
    It always baffled me as to why I was still single and a bookworm during those days..maybe the fact that I kept a hold of my senses and made it through undergrad years in the 80's and then finally came to terms with what it is I EXACTLY wanted and found the courage to place myself in the dating hemisphere to find the kind of man I wanted and ultimately needed for my particular life/journey, maybe that's why I was baffled by these women friends seemingly powerful "talk" of love'em and leave'em. But all the while I am watching them fall all to pieces.

    I can freely say that I am a woman with feelings, passion, compassion and depth. And also -- I respect men, and I also respect my feelings. I honor and cherish my feelings and will never allow someone to use my feelings against me, or to destroy me.
    Thanks Faith for pointing out in that quote that I used -- one of the greatest paradoxes of this movie. Good article, enlightening!!!

  3. Faith's article quote;"She used sexual tricks and an “I’m okay with whatever” attitude instead of setting boundaries and only focusing on available men. Since it didn’t yield the results she wanted, she employed scorched earth tactics"
    Just wanted to chime in and add my comment. The quote above from your piece was truly powerful. Seeing as how I am now an "older" woman..I can clearly remember this movie when it came out, and how all the single ladies I knew had this same exact "love'em and leave'em" attitude. But somehow none and I mean NONE of them seemed to stick to this attitude in the face of endorphins and the release of that "attachement" hormone when they inevitably got involved with men!!
    Part2 below

    1. Hello, Ms. Mellody!
      I’ve missed you since Evia’s Slice forum went into the ether! Hope things are well with you. I bought the book you recommended and have been making my way through it-very interesting ideas there. It would’ve been nice to discuss them with you.

      Faith, it’s very coincidental that you mentioned this film now because I am planning to watch it again when it comes on tv next wednesday. I’ve seen it only once before and I was too young then to glean anything meaningful from it apart from the fact that I wasn’t supposed to be watching due to the very adult content. Lol!
      It’ll be good to see it again, I think, and to analyse it now with your post (and accompanying comments) at the back of my mind.

      As a young woman still picking her way through the dating scene (or not at all, if I’m honest), I have always wondered why women/girls remain with men who have no intention of making an honest woman of them or being the kind of men that they want. The phenomenon of hoping/wishing he’ll suddenly change and do what they’ve always wanted has repeatedly struck me as magical thinking. Seems a very unfulfilling way of going through life. It often ends up with years down the drain with nothing to show for it at the except heartache.

  4. Part 3 (Last)

    I've never known a woman who appeared to genuinely prefer shacking up to marriage. I've never known a woman who rejected a marriage proposal (especially not one with an engagement ring being offered) and told the man that no, she'd rather shack up with him instead of getting married. Some of the shacked-up women I've known try to save face and pretend like they didn't settle for much less than what they wanted. But it's not like they can honestly say they've rejected marriage proposals and engagement rings that were offered to them.

    With the movie, I remember not liking the vibe at the end. I felt the husband definitely should have lost his marriage behind that mess. Also, I wasn't totally sympathetic to the wife character. Similar to the homewrecker woman, a wife who tolerates cheating is also emotionally compromised. The cheating husband in the movie was responsible for putting their child's LIFE in danger by hooking up with a nut. I felt that should been unforgivable for that wife.

    1. The director went on to helm "Unfaithful" which was far more titilating and even more morally ambiguous. The difference was clear: the husband killed the man who bedded his wife to reassert male dominance. Nor was the child directly threatened by the 3rd party. In "Fatal Attraction" all the women (including the child) paid a heavy price to indulge a wholly inadequate male. Like I said, the message of that film was subverted because movie-goers chose to look the other way. The audience didn't want reality, they wanted sensationalized revenge fantasies. It was still better written and acted than some of the derivative flicks that followed, like "Obsessed". Blech! I've always wondered what motivated Michael Douglas to do that film and "Basic Instinct".

  5. Part 2

    Back to scenario in the movie: As far as I'm concerned, despite whatever the homewrecker woman said about being "okay with whatever," most men know that such a woman is operating from a place of neediness and/or an agenda to eventually replace his wife.

    I would compare it to how most guys who sexually exploit underage girls really do know those girls are underage, even in those instances when the girl lies about her age. They can tell these girls are underage from either looking at them, or from their conversation. The similarities continue: In those situations in which underage girls are so-called "willing" participants in sexual activity with adult males, these males know that such girls are operating from a place of profound woundedness and deficits. [I say "so-called" because even mentally healthy underage children don't have the capacity to truly consent to certain types of activities.]

  6. Faith, you've raised some very interesting points with this post! I cosign what Oneika said. And I'll go further to say:

    Men aren't stupid; the vast majority of them know that most women want and prefer committed relationships and marriage. Men know this is true despite whatever "I understand that you're not ready for marriage" [translation = "I'll settle for whatever relationship scraps you throw me"] statements fearful/needy women make to appease them.

    Men know that when women make those types of statements, they're usually operating from some type of deficit. Whether that deficit takes the form of neediness, fearfulness, lack of confidence, or hopes of eventually upgrading to a "real" relationship. And despite whatever protestations of "the woman was okay with whatever," the men involved know that they're taking advantage of this deficit.

  7. This is a great post. Too many women are afraid to admit to the men that they love that they need more than something casual…. They figure down the line he will realize how great they are, so they continue playing the game by his rules in the hopes that he'll eventually feel the same way. It frequently ends in disaster and heartbreak.

    1. Thanks! This is why women shouldn’t sell themselves short. They don’t usually make it long enough for “love” to be reciprocated. A fractured attachment w/o stability for them -- yes. The “sex and being the wifey” tactic rarely works in securing a man long-term and doesn’t guarantee a quality relationship regardless. If the man hasn’t had to make any effort to get a woman because she offered herself on a silver platter, she is disposable. I had wanted to post specific scenes, but alas they were flagged and pulled on Youtube. Sometimes the visual has more impact than mere talking.

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