By Nina Patel
The Internet rarely agrees on one thing. From diet culture and dating advice to fashion and well-being, there are a lot of conflicting opinions out there - but there’s a recent exception.
Women all over the world are swooning over Pedro Pascal. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of the Latino actor, his credits include Game of Thrones, Narcos, and The Last of Us - the most recent of which has garnered him a lot of attention. So, what is it about him that women can’t seem to get enough of? And why does he make us feel so safe?
He’s an LGBTQ+ Activist
Since the start of his career, Pascal has been outspoken about his support for members of the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, he is a close friend of actress Sarah Paulson who has been in a relationship with Holland Taylor since 2015, and he vehemently supports his sister, Lux Pascal, who came out as transgender in 2021.
Of course, in a perfect world, everyone would be so accepting. However, the unfortunate truth is that there are many perpetrators and enablers of sexual violence who exhibit anti-LGBTQ+ behaviours. A survey from 2019 showed that 70% of LGBTQ+ people have experienced sexual harassment at work, with 66% of this group feeling too afraid to report these incidents.
This stark reality is what many find so appealing about Pascal - his unconditional support for members of this community is a refreshing wave in a sea of intolerance, which is part of the reason why many of us would feel better around him than we would a match on Tinder.
He’s Emotionally Honest
We’ve all seen the video of Pascal taking a lie detector test with Vanity Fair (if you haven’t, then you definitely should.) When asked, he openly admitted to considering himself a ‘heartthrob’ and confessed to looking at Instagram accounts dedicated to him when he’s having a dip in his self-esteem. His vulnerable smile and laughter as he divulges this is what makes the viewer feel drawn to him - he knows it’s true, and isn’t afraid to tell us.
This transparency is something that a lot of us find so endearing, as the sad truth is that many others aren’t as honest. An article by Psychology Today explains how sexual predators often harness the power of social proof, whereby perpetrators will take the time to build up a trusted and respected reputation in order to mask their harmful behaviour.
Essentially, they lie to make people feel safe around them. This is all too common and an experience that an alarming number of us have had to endure. So, the honest contrast that Pascal provides is something that a lot of people hope to find in a partner of their own.
He Plays ‘Protective Masculine’ Roles
If you have paid close attention to Pascal’s career, you may have noticed that there’s a pattern to the type of man he often plays: Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones was quick-witted and passionate, challenging anyone who would dare to harm his family. Joel Miller is a hardened survivor who goes to great lengths to protect the ones he loves in The Last of Us. There are more examples, but going down the list would take far too long.
The thing that these characters have in common is the fact that they lead with protective masculine energy, as opposed to toxic masculinity. This is a quality that so many women are drawn to, as the majority of us have been made to feel unsafe in the presence of toxic masculine behaviour.
This is not to say that toxic masculinity is the root cause of sexual violence, as we know that it doesn’t act alone. But, it is an underlying factor in a lot of cases. This is why seeing someone play a string of protective men has made women fall in love with Pascal on the internet because it is shockingly rare.
Ultimately, Pascal isn’t a God amongst men. The truth is that he is just a man who has shown himself to be warm, inclusive, honest, and protective - the qualities we wish all men had. The reason why women gravitate towards him is that this combination is, unfortunately, not one that far too many of us have come across - particularly those who are the brave survivors of sexual violence.
If this is something you have struggled with, then a great way to heal is by talking. At Say It Loud, our support mentors are available to speak to via the Chat-line on our Instagram page. Alternatively, you can find helpful resources on our website.