Indy's Relationships with Women

By S.L. Nobrega (a.k.a Canyon)

"At least you haven't forgotten how to show a lady a good time!"

Whilst writing my first article The Popularity of Indiana Jones, I had an idea to write an article relating to Indiana Jones and his relationship with the opposite sex. Now, as many of you will know, Indiana is extremely popular with the ladies, and speaking from a woman’s point of view, I have always found this intriguing about the character. From a woman’s point of view it has to be said that Indy is not only very good looking but is also extremely attractive to women. Women like their men to be strong and intelligent, and they also like them to be able to take care of themselves, as well as being able to protect them, and Indy definitely qualifies in all of the above. I think that Indiana’s relationships with women are very complex and I think this has something to do with Indy’s mother. Indy lost his mom to Scarlet Fever in 1912 and as you can see in the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, they were both very close. Their relationship was a good one and helped to bridge the gap between him and his father, who was not always approving of Indy’s lifestyle. I can’t help but feel that if Indy’s mom were alive today, they would have a very close relationship, not to mention the fact that Anna would be more than a little concerned about her son jetting off to exotic locations and having dangerous adventures.

When Indy was in his mid twenties, whilst he was teaching in the States he began a relationship with one of his students, a lady by the name of Deirdre Campbell. Indy and Deirdre he got married on their way to Brazil, but unfortunately Indy wife died when she was trying to escape the Amazon jungles with Indy and Colonel Percy Fawcett. I believe that Indy’s relationship with women has a lot to do with losing his wife, as it seems to me that Indy feels that he cannot get too close to women, and because he lost someone very dear to him, he probably feels that if he were to marry again, the same thing could happen. Indy always seems to be involved with women in one way or another, and I think that this is largely to do with the loss of his mom at such a young age. I think that Indy is trying to somehow fill a part of his life that is missing, and this could possibly be subconscious. I also think that as he lost his mom when he was quite young, perhaps Indy never had a female role model in his life and is perhaps looking for a partner to fill a part of his life. I think that this makes sense, given the fact that Indy has not yet settled down. Of course, another large part of this could be due to the fact that his career constantly takes him around the world, thus making it very difficult for Indy to undertake a long-term relationship with a woman.

On one of the Indy message boards, I recently created a posted called ‘The Original concept of Indy’ and asked members if they liked the sound of the original concept of everyone’s favourite adventurer. As I understand it, Indy was originally going to be an alcoholic and a womaniser. For me, I personally feel that if they had kept Indy’s character like this, Indy would not be as popular as he is today and I also feel that he would not be as popular as he is with us ladies! I also think that if the character of Indy was kept as George Lucas originally thought of him, it would be a big turn off for female audiences. As it is, I believe that Indy is an extremely popular character for most female movie fans, and by this I’m not just talking about Indy from an attractive point of view, but his personality as well. In one of my posts on this particular thread, I stated that: “Why I think that Indy is such a hit with the ladies is because he almost has this modest, self-depreciating personality. Take for instance that scene in Raiders in the classroom where one of his female students flashes her ‘LOVE YOU’ eyes at Indy. Indy’s reaction is almost ‘Who me?’”

So what is it that makes women so drawn to the character of Indiana Jones? Well firstly, I am aware that most people on Indy message boards tend to be male, and therefore probably don’t understand what the fuss is all about. Well, firstly it’s not just because Indy is very handsome, it also has a lot to do with his reaction to women. For those of you who have read Max McCoy’s novel, Indiana Jones and the Hollow Earth will have found that not one, not two, but no less than three women showed a romantic interest in Dr. Jones. Indy’s reaction was one of surprise to all three and as I recall, in McCoy’s second book, The Dinosaur Eggs, when a certain lady made advances toward Indy, let’s just say that his reaction was one of astonishment to say the least! As I have said before, I feel that women’s reactions to Indy are not just because of the fact that he is extremely good looking, but it also has a lot to do with his personality. As I have said before, Indy can be quite self-depreciating, and I think women love that in a man. I think if woman were to tell Indy that he was attractive, his reaction would probably be bewilderment.

As for Indy’s presence in the classroom, I feel that maybe his students see him as somewhat mysterious and maybe even some of them wonder what he does outside of the classroom. I imagine that many of his female students are more than a little intrigued. I have always felt that Indy’s students have no idea that their softly spoken archaeology professor is also a rugged adventurer, tough and cool under pressure. It could be that there rumours circulate around the campus about Indy’s adventurous exploits and this in turn makes Indy more interesting to his female students.

I think another reason why Indiana is attractive to women is because he seems to get on very well with children and this can clearly be seen in Temple of Doom. Perhaps some women see Indy as a potential father, as our hero seems to bond effortlessly with children and this can especially be seen in the relationship between Indy and Short Round in Temple of Doom. Although Indy does not have any children of his own, I imagine that when he does, he will make a great father and I can occasionally picture what Indy would be like in the role of a father (but by this I do not mean that Indy should necessarily have children in his fourth screen adventure).

One thing that makes Indy’s character fascinating is that throughout his adventurous career, Indy seems to have a knack for not only getting himself into dangerous situations, but he almost has an amazing way of escaping them as well. Due to this, most of the time Indy tends to get hurt in one way or another and I think that this is possibly another reason why women like him, because women are generally caring and sympathetic, and believe me, I wouldn’t have any problem tending to Indy’s injuries! Seriously though, one of the most interesting things about Indy is that, even though he is a very strong character, he can also be quite vulnerable in certain situations and I think this also appeals to women. It shows at the end of the day, even though Indy is does great things and is heroic, he still gets hurt, and this was shown in the scene between Indy and Marion Ravenwood on the Bantu Wind in Raiders. We are so used to seeing Indy be this wonderfully heroic character who does amazing things, that sometimes we forget that he is only human, and by the time this scene comes around and things slow down a little, we begin to remember that Indy is just like the rest of us and is certainly no stranger to injury. As Steven Spielberg pointed out, in this scene, Indy is shown as a sensitive, vulnerable human being, who in some ways is just like the rest of us.

On the whole, I believe that Indy is a popular character, not just for women in the Indy community. He is also popular to the female audience, and also for women who exist in Indy’s universe. Indy is a very complex character and I think that his relationship with women still provides a great level of fascination for many Indy fans.

Part II>>