Women and “Bad Boys”

The wall in my office was recently donned with an original screen print of Kylo Ren in his helmet. I had to mount it behind me, because if it were anywhere I could stare directly at it, I would not get anything done in that space.

I gloated about this piece for weeks before I was able to pick it up. Not only would it go perfectly with my Stormtrooper action figure, lightsaber sounding doorbell, and Death Star cup and teapot, but… I also have a real love for Kylo Ren. My husband even calls him my “emo boyfriend,” and if you follow my Instagram, you might have noticed a picture of me with a ridiculous grin on my face, standing speechless as I look at his looming figure during a character interaction at Disney World. I’m slightly obsessed.

A dear coworker, who’s been at the company for 40 years, walked by my office and looked at the picture and contemplated a moment before posing a question to me, “Why are women attracted to bad boys?”

My first reaction was to think, “He’s not a “bad boy”!”, but I immediately had a PTSD flashback to a class at university where I dared to argue that the character of Chigurh in No Country for Old Men wasn’t evil, thus enticing a rain of fire and fury upon me from my classmates and a final, “And Bri, do you have anything to share?” from the professor at the end of every conversation henceforth.

But his question did make me contemplate the age-old archetype of women being attracted to the “bad boy.” The concept consumes story arcs again and again across all mediums – books, movies, plays, mythologies – ancient stories of women wanting the bad boy that will only cause her emotional harm when there was a safer, happier choice in a kinder, gentler man. If a woman knows the risk of emotional harm is high, why would she continue to pursue the one who poses the risk?

Let’s reflect on the elaborate and beautifully complex palace that is the woman psychology. We are the mothers of the world – actually having a child is not required. We are creators and comforters. We are the balance keepers – kissing boo-boos, healing wounds, and lifting spirits. We are lovers, and appreciators of the cycles of ups and downs that life brings. We experience that cycle through ourselves, innate within the biology of our bodies. We experience it through the deeply personal involvement of birth and death. This is not to say that men don’t experience and feel deeply about these life events – only that women experience it through the pain of the effort of the creation of it all.

With this understanding, it becomes natural for a woman to be attracted to what is perceived as the “bad boy” when that character often reflects the same cycle of ups and downs that we women operate in daily. We crave a companion who isn’t afraid of that journey, who will lift us to new heights within it, and who provide us with a deeper understanding as we travel through it.

To explore the perceived “opposite” option, there is also a time, personality, and even season when a woman desires an anchor that will serve as a beacon to calmer waters. But if the relationship is a healthy one, the “bad boy” can also be or become that calm beacon. Not to mention, those who present themselves as the “good guy” often have depths that can lead to unhealthy relationships (… hello Hans from Disney’s Frozen).

So, I encourage the Wild Women of this world to find their equal in their passions no matter the stigma. Explore the reasons behind your attraction, weigh the balance between health and adventure, and always know that you deserve the utmost respect as the Keeper of Life. Surround yourself with a tribe of wise supporters who will speak truths and help you along all of your journeys – and seek a life partner who complements you, raises you up, encourages your dreams, hears your voice, and desires your happiness.

I chose a “bad boy” in many ways as my life partner, but he is a “bad boy” in all the best of those ways – and we have had a healthy journey through the rest of it – on both sides.

So, cheers to the bad boys!

Photo Credit: Artwork by Justus Brozek (Instagram: @justusbrozek)

Processing

pexels-photo-1076503.jpeg

People keep asking me what my new project is about (the new “book” I’m writing) — I say it that way because I’m allowing it to become whatever it may become. It’s simply something I’ve been moved to write.

But when I lay out the subject, people tend to nod and provide opinion on it (which is always welcome), but I’ve had to smile because the already predisposed opinion of the subject has taken hold in their mind.

Coming into one scene today, I had to write this out in order to process it all properly, because I found myself trying to put it somewhere it didn’t belong. So, here it is. A little “jogging out the madness” so I can set my sights to the real inspiration.

___________________

“It’s amazing to me how the most sacred, beautiful, thing in this world has been torn apart. Strewn through the ages, mashed up, picked at – made an embarrassment, politicized, sterilized.

Women bleed.

Women create life through the bleeding.

Women go through loss in that bleeding.

Women sustain this world with that bleeding.

We bleed to renew our body to make way for the life to come. And it is to be hidden as much as possible. It is taken advantage of.

And when that cycle is interrupted in most celebratory of occasions – when life had been made – it is a “condition”. To be treated. Not educated. Not sustained.

We have forgotten the celebration.

We have forgotten miracle.

We have forgotten the blessing.

We have forgotten what it is.

And if you’re mind just went “Yes, that’s right! No one should ever abort….” You’ve been got. Because you’re forgetting one very precious, very important part of all of this in the blindness that the enemy has given us.

You forget the WOMAN.

She isn’t celebrated. She isn’t rejoiced. She isn’t educated. She has been told enough to allow her understanding to be manipulated about her own body and the process of the one she is making.

We grow up as girls hiding our menstruation, hiding our blood, hiding our bodies, hiding our purpose and then when the miracle of conception happens – we are asked the condition so we may judge or rejoice. And even in the rejoice there is the judgement. Even among ourselves! You’re not sick enough. You’re not big enough. You’re too big. You’re too weak. You’re too sad. Do this. Take this. Just you wait.

And then we wonder at the loss of life – both intentional and unintentional. And we shake our heads. And I shake my head – because we have forgotten. We’ve been manipulated to believe we’re having the conversation – when we have forgotten what the conversation is about.”