in reading the article on the war correspondent marie colvin one encounters the supposed notion that she was drawn to scenarios of catastrophe and cataclysm by something broken within her. some is mentioned about her unfruitful love affairs, her detachment to the civilian war, and her loyalty to the battlefield, the quality that eventually cost her everything. much is made, of course, of her femininity. I can’t help but wonder why we construct this narrative of instability for women who refuse traditional forms of labour to take on something that is not only (almost solely) precedented by men, but also undesired by people in general. what we construe as unusual and disarming brazenness and seeming disregard for the sanctity of safety is a trait contributed to people whose supposed strangeness stems from their inability to function in roles that do not provide constant spikes of adrenaline, because we tend to think our urge for self-preservation is a vital one for a complete checklist of mental sanity. yet it does not seem to me strange or the least bit inhuman that one like marie colvin would be willing to brave horrors for the moral agenda of anti-cruelty, and I do not find it a symptom of mental illness if she had valued this ideology to the point of disregarding her own safety. at times it occurs to me that if one values one’s own life more than their ideas or sense of ethics then one would only be a partially complete person. not to say that all anti-war activists must go to the extent that marie did, or even say, a fifth of that— I of course hold an anti-war position, and can find within myself (sadly? perhaps) no urge to witness the devastation at frontlines in the hopes that information, and greater depth of it, would eventually transmit a movement towards peace. yet I find myself moved, and indeed grateful, that people of such strength and resolve do exist, and I would be unwilling to categorize them as less mentally fit, because of that. our humanity takes multitudinous forms with plenty of space here and there to spare for inconsistencies and the extraordinary. we should be stunned that such extraordinariness, such as that found in marie colvin, is a manifestation of her humanity. 

shelly shan

hi, my name is shelly. I do a thing where I make words into unnecessarily emotional composites. I don't know why I'm allowed on the internet, but I like it here.