Ladies, Turn off Your Built-in Bastard Radar

Gabrielle Petito speaks with Moab City police officers after a domestic altercation with her boyfriend.

The recent story here on RedState by Jennifer Van Laar detailing the simultaneously ridiculous and heart-rending story of a single mom fighting not only to keep her daughter free from the clutches of an abusive ex-boyfriend but also trying to keep herself out of jail for committing the apparently heinous crime of picking up her daughter from school, came into sharp focus Thursday morning as I spent my early Thanksgiving hours writing a character reference letter for a beloved former coworker and cherished friend now embroiled in an increasingly bitter legal battle with her not-nearly-soon-enough ex. How bad is it? She obtained a restraining order a few weeks ago after he roughed her up.

Although I can think of many things in life for which I am decidedly less than thankful, such as working in retail in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am thankful my friend is surviving. I am grateful the young woman Jennifer wrote about has a robust public voice advocating on her behalf. Something I’d be even more thankful for would be if, from now on, all women did this one thing.

Ladies, please turn off your built-in bastard radar.

The term comes from a song recorded some years back by the English progressive rock band Marillion.

While the phrase is by nature tongue in cheek, one easily used by unchosen men when the woman of their dreams at best consigns them to the FriendZone, there is a darker side to the slogan. Men who are authentically nice guys are never the ones running around telling women they’re nice guys. That is a surefire sign they’re passive/aggressive third-rate manipulators, not nice guys. The primary signal of an authentic nice guy is how they treat women with proper respect; not in hopes of being rewarded sexually but because it’s what they’re supposed to do. They are looking for the long-term monogamous relationship that supposedly is desired by the fairer sex. And when they see ostensibly intelligent, emotionally stable women going for the latest poster boy from the Cretin Of The Month Club, they get upset.

What does this have to do with conservatism? Plenty. Assuming one is not of the mindset that conservatism is strictly a set of political/economic policies, instead believing it is also a reflection of Judeo/Christian beliefs regarding preferred human interaction, in raw roots form “do to others as you would have them do to you,” being an actual conservative means treating people right both in general and intimately. Knowledge is power. In addition to being versed in what the Constitution says and the fundamentals of how our government is supposed to work, plus knowing the works of Hayek, Hazlitt, and other conservative authors of note, conservatives need to seek out wisdom regarding the human condition and how to avoid entanglement with those devoted to dominating and destroying the ones who love them. Seeking affirmation or fulfillment in relationships alone is chasing after fool’s gold. Brushing others aside while dreaming of a Mr. or Miss Right who will fulfill your every fantasy is childish.

Indeed, those searching for a soulmate shouldn’t date everyone who asks. However, they also shouldn’t grab onto someone for whom they need to make excuses. If that is the case, get out now. You will not save that person from him or herself. You will wreck yourself trying.

We all make mistakes in relationships. We don’t have to repeat them.

Again: ladies, please turn off your built-in bastard radar.

PS: No, none of this stems from anything in my life. At least not in the past 38 years, which is how long I’ve been married.