What are we gonna do? We love bad boys. We admire the rough tough athletes who push their way through the opposing team to run our touchdown. We love Harley riders who provide escort service for a veterans’ march on Washington. We love our highly trained elite military units who dare incredible odds in a rescue mission.
We don’t do so well handling our reactions for the same characters when they get rough with their wives and girlfriends, gather at bars in large groups, and have issues readjusting to civilian life and end up on the street.
We loved Cliff Huxtable and watched weekly as he provided a sense of a calm and loving parent. We admire words of laughter and others of wisdom Bill Cosby has given us over the decades. We hate the concept that he is being blamed for sexual abuse. We understand the casting couch may have been (may still be) de riguere in Hollywood and women balanced the forced favors with potential work. We understand that date rape by any person is horrible. We feel the conflict between the man and the character and are appalled. It is easy to jump at anger at the man, even if there is no proof.
I am equally appalled at the flip flop regarding Ray Rice. There we all SAW the tape of the man beating his fiancee. Her decision to marry him and not press charges is a sign of something we don’t admire in ourselves also: when do each of us draw the line between what we can “get” from a relationship and what we have to “give”?
With Bill Cosby we have lots and lots and lots of women reporting a horrendous problem. But no sureness. Not like the Ray Rice video.
Why do we want Ray Rice in our lives? What is it about THAT bad boy that we can accept? Is it merely we have no other expectations from him but roughness? What does that say about us?