I was watching one of those true crime shows that have lately been frequenting channels created for women, or channels with a mainly female demographic. Why is that? And what’s stranger, is that these channels for women broadcast shows about heinous crimes that are mainly committed by women. I would love to see the research behind the thought process there. Do women really enjoy seeing other women snap? Do women enjoy viewing men being murdered? And if so, what does that mean for the current societal gender roles? Am I thinking too much into this?
Anyway, I was watching one of these shows – which may answer my earlier questions – and a police woman investigating a case in which an older woman murdered her younger lover said something I found interesting. She said, “No one should die for love.” My instant reaction was to say, “You’re wrong.”
That may seem crazy, but hear me out.
Dying for love is an incredibly noble act. It has been said that man has no greater love than to lay down his life for his fellow-man. Indeed, that philosophy is the basis of a major religion. It also serves as somewhat of a moral code; sacrificing whatever one can to benefit those who are less fortunate, and the ultimate sacrifice is one’s life. I understand this idea has both inspired and been romanticized by writers, painters, musicians and lovers to thrill audiences. I also understand that there is truth to what the police woman said, because love can be dangerous, especially when used as a weapon of manipulation. My novel Her Beautiful Monster is based on that premise – love as a weapon is a major theme in the novel, and I would be among the first to argue that love has a darker side.
But word choice is critical.
I think the police woman should have said that no one should be murdered for love. Love is not a villain it would never take what was not willingly given. When someone dies for love, and makes the ultimate sacrifice, it is usually a conscious decision that is sometimes pondered over, and sometimes made instantly. The soldier who lays down his life for his country, or for his brother in arms, has likely known for some time that very action would be expected of him in his occupation. A mother that dives in front of a speeding car to save her son made an instant decision that the young life she created was more precious than her own. Love does not always have to be romantic, although that kind does seem most popular to discuss and write about. Love is love is love, and in my humble opinion, it’s always beautiful.
The only thing greater than love is life itself. Without life, there would be no love, and without love, there is no reason to live; there is nothing – nothing at all.
Murder is not an act of love – but sacrifice can be.
What do you think?