Archive for March, 2014

Anything For Love? Really? A Thought Born of The Bachelor

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 18, 2014 by michaelcogdill

I admire the one Juan Pablo rejected.  Clare Crawley turned resolute after all.  Stood for her womanhood, not a famous bachelor’s feminine ideal.

Yet something troubles me. Clare told the TV audience when she loves, she loves 1,000% and would do ANYTHING for that love.

Anything? Really? In the fullest defining of the word “anything?”

That anything rattles awake my voice as an advocate for female sovereignty against domestic violence. It shakes me at my core as a man advocating for women to see their individual strength, apart from men.

In the helicopter, Juan Pablo (and there’s no evidence he’s violent at all, by the way) said something that troubled Clare deeply. He hit a trip wire of her intuition. Yet the bomb of self-protection didn’t go off. She showed up the next day to get a proposal from that same man. The one she told off with brilliant power moments after he rejected her.

And in that angry repudiation of him, her intuition was showing. She revealed that there was much she didn’t even like about the man, much less love.

I believe in that moment, Clare learned something about the deceitfulness of the cultural undertow that yanks far too many strong women down to drown in the folly of absolute devotion to being a princess bride. I hope many women learned it. Women AND men.

Last night, as I keynoted an event about domestic violence, I had the chance to talk directly to some very young women in the audience. They’re early to mid teenager — the age when so many women begin to feel the pressure to scan the horizons of their lives for a wedding cake. To pair off. To get validated by their peers with the very idea that they have a man in their lives. For them, likely a boy masquerading as a man.

To the entire audience, with focus on the very young, I said something I’ll echo here: You are a sovereign woman in the making. Ever evolving. A singular human being adored by God. You need NO man to validate that. No man to impress your girlfriends with your capacity to catch a dude. You are a life to get celebrated and lived daringly, with courage and independence. NEVER sacrifice this in the name of pleasing, or catching, a man.

You know this, of course. Deep within. Men who set off that intuition about your sovereign womanhood call you to speak up, to walk away, to seek your relationship fortune elsewhere. Seek it apart from the bravado of boys. Demand of your relationship only the most caring machinery of real men.

Real men celebrate and cherish the sovereignty of womanhood. They are never threatened by it. Anyone who slings around the Philistine notions of male dominant machismo is a threat to this truth. Oppose that threat by leaving it in the dust of your fast feet. Those who wave the scriptural codes of “submit to your husband” abuse holy writing. This is narrowness, ignorance running amok, and a contributor to abusive relationships everywhere. Run. Flee for you life. Your life is waiting. Split it wide open with your great self.

Now, before the hell raising starts about me as an opponent of marriage, know this: I’m a celebrant of relationships that are forged in mutual respect, adoration, the highest embrace of the sovereignty of the individual. There’s beautiful, authentic love in such weddings of the spirit. On the other hand, there is no God who will ever love your relationship more than God loves you. God never wants you absorbed into one that wounds. That stifles the real you.

Okay, reader, by now the song is surely an ear worm. Yeah, that one. That Meatloafian idea of “I would do ANYTHING for love.” Remember the whole of the lyrics? The song says “But I won’t do that” after all.

So ladies, ponder what that means to you. Under your personal rubric of “I won’t do that” for love, list for yourself what you won’t tolerate. Write down and settle up on the abuses you will never take. List how many ways you refuse to get yanked down by that undertow of romantic idealism that says “If you don’t have a man, you’re less a woman.”

And men, this is a calling to us all. Real men never abuse women. Not in ANY way. Our hands, our words, and our mindsets ought never resemble some Sasquatchian cad. If yours do, shave that bad boy Yeti off yourself. Let the fur fly. There’s a real, truly strong and gentle man under there somewhere. But the discovery of him? That’s your work to do.

Not hers.