Ted Bundy. Not many people may be familiar with the name. But if you were a young, attractive woman with straight hair parted in middle, in USA in the 1970s, you will probably regret crossing paths with him. While handsome, charismatic to these young women, he exploited these traits to lure them, rape and kill them in cold blood.
As sociopathic serial killers go, none was ever so shrewder, manipulative as Bundy. A rapist, a kidnapper - and reprehensibly, a necrophile - he attacked and murdered numerous young women that some sources have put the figure as high as 100, before he was arrested. He would behead some of his victims and keep the heads of the victims as souvenirs. Often, he broke into the houses of the victims and cudgel them as they slept. He once called himself the “the most cold-hearted son of a b*#ch you’ll ever meet.” He was evil.
But it is what he wrote to his long-term girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, that caught my eye recently. He wrote, “I have known people who ... radiate vulnerability. Their facial expressions say ‘I am afraid of you’. These people invite abuse ... By expecting to be hurt, do they subtly encourage it?”
While many dismissed that as an excuse to push the blame to his victims, I can attest that there are women who act desperate and vulnerable and end up inviting abuse from men. While many men are not necessarily evil as Bundy, there are ‘cold-hearted sons of b*#ches out here. Men who scarcely care about feelings of women. Such men are so self-centred that they totally lack any sense of empathy. You know the men who impregnate the woman and disappear and will never, ever care to know anything about the baby, even from a purely human aspect.
Today, let me chastise women who act too willing to go to bed with another man without even doing some background check on the man. Save for the commercial sex worker, whose job is frequently fraught with risk and occasionally they run into an ‘Onyancha’, there are women who don’t take time to scrutinise a man’s character. If the man is handsome and rich, the woman will simply agree with the man as long as her material needs are met.
Which is wrong, because as men we may be dumb, but we certainly know when a woman is falling in love with our looks, money or anything but us. And we hate it. Sometimes, we play along but can abandon the woman before she knows what hit her. And there is a class of women who need some counselling if not education.
Maybe they were born shy. Maybe they were abused as children. Maybe they feel they are not pretty enough. And they are under immense pressure to conform to certain pressures that women mostly heap on themselves. Too much make-up, bleaching, extremely short miniskirts, backbreaking high-heels among other things, when overdone point to a certain class of vulnerability. And men like Brundy can smell a vulnerable woman miles off.
Vulnerable women are ever so willing to jump into bed with men, like they are seeking some form of validation. Equally, they reveal so much about themselves in so short a time encouraging men to use, abuse and dump them.
I urge women to be confident regardless of what life has thrown at them. We don’t elect to the stations we end up in life. But we can elect the circumstances under which we live. Wide readership of good stuff can liberate a woman. Blind worship of fashion and what other women are doing can be catastrophic. Learn to accept yourself first and know that sometimes, it is not all about looks and money. Life can be richer once anyone discards the superficial standards we set on ourselves.