A Unique Sacrificial Manner

Posted on November 11, 2011 by

From a pop song not long ago:

I wanna man by my side
Not a boy who runs and hides
Are you gonna fight for me?
Die for me?
Live and breathe for me?
Do you care for me?
‘Cause if you don’t then just leave

A fairly common value in our society, particularly inside Christian circles but also without, is the expectation that men, the not-so-expendable expendable sex, are to be ready to risk their lives and sacrifice themselves for others around them, particularly for women and children, even if said women and children are not related to them.

So common is this value is that when men sacrifice themselves for others, say, by defending their families, intervening in a street brawl, or dashing into burning buildings to rescue complete strangers, actions such as these are so unremarkable as to maybe merit a brief mention in a news article or a nightly news broadcast. Conversely, the absence of this value is also noteworthy, as is when men elect to not intervene despite a stranger’s (usually a woman’s) cries for help.

But what about women? Is there not the expectation that they should sacrifice of themselves for others? Even their men? Sometimes not even their children?

Sadly, not much in this day and age.

Thus it is highly unusual to read of stories such as this:

In July, a CT scan revealed that she had head and neck cancer.

Now she had to choose between her life and her baby’s life. Phillips said she agonized only for a while before deciding against taking potentially lifesaving chemotherapy in hopes that she would soon hold a healthy baby in her arms.

Crimm collapsed at her home in Ryan and was rushed to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City on Aug. 16. Doctors said that the invasive tumor had begun wrapping around the brain stem, slowly squeezing the life out of Crimm.

At noon [2 days later], the baby’s heart rate plummeted. Then Crimm’s heart stopped 90 minutes later. With “code blue” issued, doctors and nurses rushed to resuscitate her and decided it was best to take the 2-pound, 1-ounce baby, Dottie Mae, by C-section.

When his sister regained consciousness later that day, Phillips asked what she thought about possibly seeing Dottie. Crimm’s eyes popped open and she raised her hands as if to ask where was her child. They placed the baby on her mother’s chest. Mother and child gazed into each other’s eyes for several minutes. She smiled at the baby who at last lay in her arms.

Stacie Crimm died three days later.

I suspect the usual response for those situated similarly to Ms. Crimm would be to sacrifice the baby in a last-ditch effort to save her own life. It would be easy, and few would have judge a woman poorly for it. But she didn’t take this route; she consciously made the choice to save the life of her child in exchange for sealing her own (very imperiled) fate.

For this act, I commend Ms. Crimm. She displayed an uncommon selflessness and acted positively to assure the life of her child, even when doing so took a probable death and made it all but certain.

Yet I am also troubled by Ms. Crimm’s action, not for the act itself, but in wondering why we do not hear of more incidents such as these. Is selflessness and self-sacrifice a virtue largely limited to the male sex? Why do we not hear of more women making exchanges such as these, let alone risking their lives to save strangers, or even their own husbands? Is it hypocritical to demand the ultimate sacrifice from another for one’s own benefit, while demurring when the same sort of cup passes by your own lips?

This brings me to my final point, and that is to exhort my fellow men to eschew relationships with unrepentant abortionettes. Let’s set aside for a moment issues of suitability for marriage for those women who have had previous abortions. Considering the woman who esteems herself so highly as to take an innocent life so she would not be inconvenienced, how is such a woman likely to treat the sacrifice that, like the musician queried in the quote at the beginning of this post, women routinely demand from men?  Will she treat it lightly, or worse, with a sense of entitlement? Or will she treasure it, with all the importance and gravity such a gift deserves? And even more importantly, is it reasonable to expect a woman who esteems herself in such a lofty manner to sacrifice of herself–money, time, her body, or even her life–in favor of her mate or her children if/when faced with dilemmas featuring such hard choices?