Over a series of comments, Michael offers the conventional wisdom that women are attracted to bad boys because they lack self esteem:
…Girls are fragile and they want to be loved. If you would rather they do not desperately seek out male attention, any male attention then surround them with love, teach them healthy self esteem and equip them with the tools they need to say no to the jerks and users…
…The message is about surrounding your girls with love and regular reminders of their INHERENT self worth. Such a girl is a hard target for the jerks…
…the fool is reduced to mocking the notion that girls need a strong sense of self worth to fend of the manipulative jerks who prey on the big girls, the akward, the late bloomers, even the pretty ones with a bad case of ‘hate myself’. You are not man enough to to put aside your own bloated fragile ego nor intelligent enough to fathom what some girls need to epuip them for the losers, the cads, the jerk boys and the users…
This is of course the wisdom of our age. This belief varies slightly from the secular left to the religious right, but the fundamental message is the same. As Michael points out, the left and right disagree on the source of this all important self esteem:
Now as to your implication that girls have TOO MUCH self-esteem? I won’t mock you since you post was serious, misguided but serious. There is a difference between self-esteem and the sugary grill power black power gay power sap that is cooked by harveywood and the educrats. One is internal, lasting, and calibrated on real characteristics such as compassion, beauty, intelligence, and real accomplishments such as academic or athletic achievement. The former is empty and hollow and is typically based on identity alone I.e. you are worthwhile because you are black, or a girl, or a black lesbian girl. Those aren’t accomplishments nor are they characteristics which have any value in themselves. Yeah you are a girl, so what? But: I am a smart girl, or a pretty girl, or a kind and generous girl and I can afford to act like a lady while my friends compete in the slutstakes pageant and wait for a man who wants a virtuous girl rather than a slut. That’s the real deal self-esteem, with consequences of the good variety for those young ladies who have it.
The secular left teaches that self esteem should come from group membership. The secular right on the other hand teaches women that their value comes from their beauty, etc.
But modern Christians have everyone beat in this game, teaching women that they won’t be attracted to bad boys if they understand that they are the daughter of the King. The 700 Club’s Wendy Griffith explains that women (and not salvation) are what Christ was talking about in the parable of the pearl of great price:
Well you know “You are a prize to be won” it was a word that God spoke to me years ago, before I was even in that relationship. I guess I hadn’t been tested on it. Because I was even preaching it to other women “You are a prize to be won” and they were getting it like “Yeah!” But until I got into that relationship and I realized that I didn’t really know my value. I didn’t know that I had that value that God talks about in His word. And if we don’t know that, if we don’t know that we’re that pearl of great price. You know, that we’re royal daughters. If we don’t know that, again we’ll settle for much less.
Griffith teaches the very same conventional wisdom that Michael teaches in the preface to her book You Are a Prize to be Won!: Don’t Settle for Less Than God’s Best:
There are many reasons why we as women cannot properly gauge our worth. Whether we’ve been raised by parents or a parent who simply didn’t know how to nurture and raise an emotionally healthy child, whether we have allowed society, men or a man in our past (or present) to define who we are instead of what God says about us, or whether we have endured cheating, physical abuse or emotional abuse at the hands of a man we thought would always protect us, there are numerous reasons why women enter relationships with the wrong men. The bottom line is we begin to believe the lie that we’re really not worth that much, and we end up being attracted to men who can never truly love us the way we long and deserve to be loved.
Griffith closes the preface with a reminder to the women reading that they are the pearl of great price:
My sister, God has a special word for you that will change your life. You are a royal daughter of the Most High King, a princess in the palace, a pearl of great price and beautiful beyond measure. Your greatest love, the man of your dreams and the father of your children, is out there waiting for you, because you, my sister, are a prize to be won!
As a culture we are drenched in this kind of thinking, and it is flat out cruel to women and girls to teach them that if their heart desires something that isn’t good, the problem is they don’t have enough self esteem.