It’s a mark of the indulgent times in which we live that to most women, myself included, the idea of a dangerous world is pretty foreign. On some level we understand that there is always a chance of an accident, being the victim of a crime, or some other largely unlikely occurrence that can put our safety at risk. However most of us live large portions of our lives without these as an ever present and immediate risk. This is because others- mainly men- have set up a civilized society in which we can move and live in relative safety.
For some of, our cocoon is so cozy and has been wrapped so tightly for so long, that it’s easy to forget the simple fact that the without the blood, sweat and tears of men, we wouldn’t be sitting quite so pretty.
Enter Ricardo Lockette, former Seattle Seahawk turned motivational speaker. He was recruited to speak at a high school assembly, presumably to motivate the students to a higher level of achievement and accountability. Instead, he motivated a teen feminist rebellion when he admonished young men to “stand up” and help protect the young women in their midst.
The speech, part of the school’s push to promote leadership among student athletes, caused a group to stand up and attempt a walkout after what some called sexist remarks by the former professional athlete.
“He was pretty much saying that women need men in their lives to be successful,” said Julia Olson, a junior volleyball player in the audience who protested his remarks.
That response followed the former receiver’s asking the students how they expect their dads to respond to someone harassing their mothers, emphasizing that the male figures should speak up. Olson then challenged Lockette, saying, “Why can’t women stand up for themselves?”
And women wonder why so few men express a protective nature to the women in their midst. They don’t want a man to help or protect them until they do. The problem with this is that it makes it difficult for men to know when their help would be appropriate and when it wouldn’t, so they don’t.
Fortunately, at least as far as I have been able to witness, there are still men out there who possess a protective instinct for those weaker and/or less fortunate than themselves in some way. I am thankful to have married such a man who has modeled this for our daughters. In fact, it is one of the short list of things I have advised them to look for in a mate.
One of the things any eligible man must possess is a protective instinct. If it’s not apparent after a certain period of time, they should probably be moving on to find someone who has it. This is not a minor, “nice to have” kind of requirement for a husband.
Despite the stupidity of our post modern culture as demonstrated at that high school assembly, women do need men. If not to be successful, we need them to be safe.
Edited to add: It tuns out that Scott at American Dad, recently touched on this very issue of everyone being strong enough to take care of themselves and needing no protection from anyone. Like the teenage girls who “don’t need a man”.