A Call for Heroes to Rise Up
By Rich Schaus
Director, Crisis Shelter for Women & Children
The storyline is a familiar one: The hero rushes in to protect and defend the beautiful damsel, a fair maiden who is in imminent peril at the hands of a nasty villain with diabolical plans. The hero will go through any trial, any challenge, to free the lady. He will do this without promise of reward and for no further purpose than to do the right thing.
We live in a world with a shortage of heroes. At the same time, we have more villains than ever before. We find ourselves in desperate times, a season that calls for the heroic heart to rise and change our world.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” Isaiah 5:20.
Real Men Don't Hit Girls
What is it like being a man on staff at a women’s shelter? For 12 years now, I have heard the tales of horrific men who failed to treat their wives and girlfriends with honor and dignity. I was raised by a real man. My father taught me to honor women and defend them with my last breath. No excuses. A few years ago, he shared this story about a time when he was tempted to change his tune. It seems the neighbor girls, who were older and bigger than I was, used to beat me up and I couldn’t defend myself because they were girls. Still, he continued to teach, “Men don’t hit girls.”
Unfortunately, this message about honoring women doesn’t seem to have gotten a lot of press in the world at large. The majority of the men we see around the Crisis Shelter look for opportunities to exploit and use women as property. This should not be. Many lounge around the Shelter waiting for their girlfriends to get housing instead of going out and looking for work. Recently, the boyfriend of one of our guests took his girlfriend to busy intersections to panhandle because he figured people would give more to a woman. He literally sat in his car and watched her collect money for him. This should not be.
Where Are the Real Men?
Men, I challenge you to treat women like royalty. The line from the movie, A Little Princess, is true: “All little girls are princesses.” Treat them like princesses they are and watch them blossom and begin to glow with beauty. There is nothing in the world more beautiful than a well-loved woman.
Women, demand to be treated well by the men who want to be with you. Expect him to treat you like a princess, and if he fails, let him go. If enough women will rise up and demand to be well treated, more men will rise up to be real men.
Read more blog posts in our series, The Crisis: a Troubling Reality.
- Homeless Women: Who Will Believe in Them?
- Women in Free Fall: the Missing Safety Net
- One Woman's Journey into Homelessness
- What Happens When a Homeless Shelter Feels Like Home