This post is all about...THE HOMEWRECKER!
Obviously men can be homewreckers too, but melodramatic convention requires that we see it from the female victim's point of view, which requires a female villain.
From that point of view a sweet, June Allyson-type housewife is targeted by a ruthless wicked city woman and a morality play of epoch scale ensues. My knowledge about this sort of thing comes from movies and novels, which I'll assume are unassailable.
Maybe that view of the predator was best articulated by H. G. Wells in the opening of his sci-fi novel, "War of the Worlds."
"No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own..."
"...that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the creatures in a drop of water."
"With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter."
"No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. "
"Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."
Wow! Wells nailed it!
Wow! Wells nailed it!
I know what you're thinking. Surely all men value the rock-steady qualities possessed by a wholesome, loving woman.
Surely, you're thinking, men have disdain for the ultra-worldly woman who wears fox furs with paws on them and who sucks on cigarette stubs all day.
But you'd be wrong. Men are, well... easily confused.
We men are vulnerable to the obvious temptation...
...and we're especially vulnerable to women who laugh at our jokes. It's not only fun to talk to someone who thinks you're funny, you feel you're in the presence of female greatness because she has the amazing intellect necessary to perceive your own wonderfulness when the rest of the world ignores you.
No doubt there's a wonderful honeymoon when the offending innocent wife or girlfriend is removed and the vamp moves in.
But...(Gulp!)...the day surely arrives when, out of the corner of your eye...you notice...that you're being observed with all your flaws and imperfections visible. All the books are agreed on what happens next. The first glance only lasts for a moment but you feel the chill of being regarded with what Wells called, "cool and unsympathetic" eyes.
Yikes and Double Yikes!