Friday, April 29, 2011

Gender 101: Father Love

By Connie Chastain*

By now, news of the devastating, late-April storm system that strafed the southeast United States with over 100 tornadoes has reached around the globe. As of this writing, the death toll has risen to 280.

Professional and amateur videos of funnel clouds whirling with debris have been uploaded to YouTube and garnered hundreds of thousands of views. The monster tornado, more than a mile wide, that tore through Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama like a giant chainsaw, is chilling to watch, even on a small computer screen from the safety of home well outside Tornado Alley.

Inevitably, after such disasters occur, they are followed by stories of incredible heroism, and the deadly tornadoes of April 2011 are no exception. Very likely, most of the stories, and the heroes, will remain unknown to the public. But some of them simply had to be told.

Following the tornado coverage comes the report from Covington, Louisiana of Police Lt. Wade Sharp, whose heroism saved his young daughter's life, but at the cost of his own.

They were camping in Mississippi, north of Jackson, when the tornadoes ripped through the campsite. Sharp threw himself over his daughter to protect her moments berfore a tree fell on their campsite, hitting his head and killing him instantly. The New Orleans Times-Picayune's website, NOLA.com, carried the full story here: Covington police lieutenant killed saving daughter in Mississippi storm

Mothers, too, are moved to feats of heroism, sometimes fatal to themselves, to save or protect their children. Less than two months before the April tornadoes, on March 5, Jalisa Granger sheltered her 15-month-old son with her own body when a tornado leveled their home in Rayne, Louisiana. Granger was killed by a falling tree, but her son survived. CBS News told her story here: Mom sheltering child dies in La. tornado.

Stories of fathers saving their children abound on the Internet. Google "father saves daughter" and see what I mean. Fortunately, not all these fathers were killed in the process of saving their daughters or sons from danger. Moreover, men will jump in to save strangers in peril, often heedless of the danger to themselves. Lt. Sharp's history included saving a man from a burning structure, and suffering smoke inhalation. He was a good, honorable and heroic man, risking his life for others, on a cop's salary.

This is not surprising, though it is awe-inspiring, to people who live in the real world, outside the feminist bubble where demonizing men as the oppressors of women and children is the order of the day. I bring it up because I know feminists read this blog, and I like the idea of waving the reality of male nobility and heroism before their jaundiced eyes and hardened hearts.

Covington police lieutenant killed saving daughter in Mississippi storm: http://www.nola.com/weather/index.ssf/2011/04/covington_police_lieutenant_ki.html

Mom sheltering child dies in La. tornado: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/06/national/main20039836.shtml

*Connie is an FRS contributor. Her personal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/