In the beautiful books by Diana Gabaldon, Jamie Fraser is an example of a man balanced in his strength and tenderness. In addition to the book series, Jamie is made even more famous in this fantasy tale popularized in the Netflix T.V. series. The main character, Claire travels back in time two hundred years into the mid 1700’s in Scotland. She meets Jamie, who is extraordinarily good-looking, sexy, brave, strong in leadership, and with the kind and tender heart that women dream of.
There are scenes that show his self-confidence, clarity of mind, humor, and authoritative way of being, commanding respect from other strong men around him. In combat, it is obvious how excellent his skills are. He needs his wits about him, and accomplished skill set when he rescues the damsel in distress as in the traditional hero stories. But there are just as many incidents of Claire heroically rescuing Jamie from death.
Claire comes from a different time where women enjoyed more rights than in the 1700’s, so is outspoken. But her personality, intelligence, self-esteem, and assertiveness would come through in any era. In the scenes where Claire and Jamie fight with each other, there is a tremendous respect for the personal power that each embodies. Any male impulse on Jamie’s part, to dominate or punish her, is quickly extinguished. He is intelligent enough to quickly ascertain that he cannot thrive unless his partner feels safe and respected by him in every way. Claire does not have to hold back her opinions, desires and preferences because she trusts that Jamie is strong enough to feel the full intensity of her being. She is free to be herself, a high priority for every woman.
The scenes that mean the most to me are those that display his tender heart. In one scene, unbeknownst to him, his sister Janet and wife Claire are leaning over the banister observing him holding his newborn niece, quietly cooing to her in Gaelic. We discover from Janet’s report to Claire that he offered to take the fretting baby to comfort her. He allowed his sister and her husband to get some rest during the challenging time of sleep loss that most frequently accompanies the addition to a new baby coming into a family. We admire his generosity to give what was most needed to his sister and her husband but observing the way he interacts with the baby deeply touches the heart.
There are other scenes where he cuddles his pregnant wife, caressing her rounded belly, talking to his unborn child, announcing how eagerly he is awaiting her arrival. And there are numerous blissful love scenes where he is attentive to his wife’s pleasure.
My favorite scene is in the episode The Wedding. Their wedding has been arranged so hastily that they hardly know each other. On their wedding night, Claire and Jamie talk for hours getting to know each other. Claire is hungry and Jamie goes downstairs to obtain some food left over from the wedding feast, where he encounters his uncle Dougal. Jamie’s uncle offers him unsolicited advice about how to relate to women. Dougal says, “You don’t want to appear too keen to return to your bride. You never want to let the woman see that you are too eager to please her. It gives her too much power.” Dougal wants Jamie to keep Claire in her place, not feeling too confident in her love for her. Jamie indulges his uncle’s lecture, listening about how to treat women. To Jamie’s credit, when he returns to their wedding chamber, he announces Dougal’s advice to his new wife. Jamie reports, “I am completely under your power and happy to be there.”
Some men may criticize the series, calling it Chick Porn. These men say that women complain that male porn gives men unrealistic expectations that their woman should be hot and ready at all times like the women in the pornographic videos. And that just like male porn sets the men up for disappointed expectations, these Outlander episodes set women up with preposterous expectations of a man being highly developed in the area of manly strength and also his tender heart. I say that dismissing the series ad Chick Porn is an unrealistic is a cop-out.
There is a great deal that men can learn from this archetypal tale. Just as humans have been learning from myths for thousands of years, there are profound teachings in this modern-day hero story, where both the woman and the man are heroes. There are lessons for our times about men and women sharing power, enjoying their sensual and sexual natures, mutually supporting each other’s goals, and creating an exalted love in the midst of challenges of all kinds.
Couples in our times are mastering heroic tasks every day. When they work together as a co-creative pair as Jamie and Claire do in the series, they attain the peak of their effectiveness and aliveness. So, it’s easy to understand why women all over the world are falling in love with Jamie Frazier. He is the embodiment of the ideal man that women long for, one who will protect and defend them, always be honest, worship their body, play and laugh, listen well, take influence from them, are strong enough to withstand their full power blazing out, be endlessly devoted, exquisitely tender hearted, and bring out the best in them. Let’s all pay attention to these powerful models, even if they are fiction.