Beware of heroes– men who claim that they will save you. They have found your weakness and you very well could become their prey.
And so it was with my second boyfriend. He told me most boys were bad . . . after just one thing, and that my family was low class– incapable of showing me the right ways to think and act.
“I want to save you from bad buys.” He said. “Stupid guys who only want to play. And your parents? They have not taken care of you!”
Less than two months after saying these words, my new boyfriend arrived on our doorstep with a big bag of condoms– an assortment of colors with varying textures capable of producing sensations that seemed inconsequential in the face of the love I desired. That spring, the last of my childhood, he would have me in our family car, in the back woods, and in my parent’s house as they slept.
After the big bag of candy was all but eaten, I thought, “I must be married”– as my mother always told me never to “do it” until after marriage. Conveniently I flipped the logic so as not to feel like trash and keep my hero noble. And, just as I was becoming convinced, that I was his princess, his wife, his treasure, he presented me with a strange gift . . . a Polaroid camera, tripod, and a trigger device. I immediately wondered why my hero chose these items given he was particular about cameras and photography in general.
“I want you take some pictures without clothes . . . outside in the natural light. Don’t look at the camera directly and keep your chin down. Send them to me.”
I protested. “I can’t do that! What if they get lost in the mail?”
Ultraman (Japan’s Superman) wasn’t concerned with my modesty and honor, and I, wanting to be accepted, did as instructed. This surrender, and the many that followed, would become the template for our relationship. For years I was beholden; at the mercy of my self-appointed savior.
Eventually though, becoming older and wiser I resented it all. I was no longer the cute little stray he “saved” but a reflection of his mother who pushed him to succeed and it triggered me to leave. In my absence, desperate to save again, the hero moved on, choosing a motherless child as his next rescue.
Girls and women don’t need heroes– male figures to come in and slay the monters in their lives. No different from boys and men, we are perfectly capable of holding our own given a bit of encouragement and a beacon of light to help us find our way. And while the encouragement piece may come from a member of the opposite sex, the light that leads us out of the darkness of this world will never come from a mere man in cape claiming superpowers, but from a savior with infinite knowledge and limitless love.