MR. RIGHT: LOVE IS…?

 

In this day and age, love and romance can be uncomfortable and, oftentimes, difficult topics for men to broach.  It’s no wonder that that is the case, for we live in a patriarchal world that often mistakes misogyny for masculinity, and reviles acts of love and kindness as acts of weakness.

It takes a man to teach a man how to be a man.  And so, in this spirit, we’re pleased to showcase, in this special edition of “Mr. Right,” four men who dared to express and redefine love throughout history – on their own terms and in their own way.


LOVE IS PASSIONATE – GIACOMO CASSANOVA

 

Typically referred to as Casanova, only, Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer who was so famous for his amorous conquests that his name remains, centuries after his death, synonymous with seduction.  Born in Venice, Italy in 1725, Casanova was educated at the University of Padua and later embarked on a military career.

He approached his other career, lovemaking, with as much passion and vigor as that to which he brought to the battlefield.

He was quoted in his memoirs as saying, “Feeling that I was born for the sex opposite of mine, I have always loved [women] and done all that I could to make myself loved by [them].”

Casanova’s seduction weapons of choice were said to be attentiveness, flattery and, when necessary, acts of heroism – such as rescuing a damsel in distress from the captivity of a boring, unsatisfactory lover.

In addition to enjoying the pleasures of a woman’s body, Casanova admitted to his appreciation for intelligence in a woman, as well. He was quoted as saying, “After all, a beautiful woman without a mind of her own leaves her lover with no resource after he had physically enjoyed her charms.”

 

LOVE MAKES SACRIFICES - KING EDWARD VIII

 

Long before the divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana turned Buckingham Palace upside down, King Edward VIII caused a royal romantic scandal that the crown will probably never fully live down.

As a young man, Edward, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, served in the British Armed Forces during World War I.  It was a foregone conclusion that, upon the death of his father, King George V, Edward would ascend to the throne and become King of England.  When King George V died, duty called and Edward answered…at first.

Only a month into his reign as King Edward VIII, he shocked the Palace and the world by proposing marriage to his divorcee girlfriend – American socialite Wallis Simpson – who, at the time, had still not divorced her second husband.  Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin informed King Edward that his royal subjects would consider his marriage to a two-time divorcee morally unacceptable, as remarriage after divorce was opposed by the Church of England.  He advised the King that the people would never accept Wallis Simpson as their queen.

It is hard to imagine sacrificing duty, country and immeasurable wealth for the sake of amour, but when push came to shove, Edward actually chose love.  His younger brother would ascend to the throne – becoming King George VI – and Edward was demoted to the title of Duke of Windsor.  Upon their marriage, the title of Duchess of Windsor was bestowed upon Wallis Simpson.  The Duke and Duchess went on to live out their days in wedded bliss, primarily in France, until the Duke’s death in 1972.

 

LOVE IS FEARLESS – HARRY TYSON MOORE

 

Harry Tyson Moore was born on November 18, 1905 and, after graduating from Florida Memorial College 1925, he accepted a teaching job in Brevard County, Florida. There, he met an attractive teacher-turned insurance saleswoman named Harriette Vyda Sims.  They fell in love and were married a year later. Harriette gave birth to the couple’s first daughter in 1928, and a second daughter would follow in 1930.  Harriette also returned to teaching.


In 1934, Harry started the Brevard County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Harry and Harriette enjoyed a loving partnership in every sense of the word; and they soon began working side-by-side in the struggle for fair wages for their fellow African-American teachers, and, later, lobbying against lynchings and police brutality.  In 1946, both Harry and Harriette were fired from their own teaching jobs – a likely result of their freedom fighting activism.

The harassment against the couple only intensified when Harry took up the cause of four young black men who were accused of assaulting a White woman in the notorious 1949 Groveland rape case.  After Sheriff Willis McCall shot two of the suspects – killing one – while transporting them to a pre-trial hearing on November 6, 1951, Harry Moore, with Harriette’s support, began lobbying for the Sheriff’s suspension and indictment for murder.

Six weeks later, in a tragic twist of irony, a bomb, allegedly planted by the Ku Klux Klan, exploded from underneath their house on the night of their 25th wedding anniversary – December 25, 1951.  Harry died from the injuries he sustained on the way to the hospital that night.  His wife would succumb to her injuries nine days later.

Harry Tyson Moore and his wife, Harriette, are said to be the only husband and wife to lose their lives as martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement.

 

LOVE IS ETERNAL – SHAH JAHAN

Shah Jahan was the emperor of the Mughal Empire in the Indian Subcontinent from 1628 until 1658. In 1607, was betrothed to Arjumand Banu Begum – who was just 14 years old at the time.  They were married five years later.  Upon marrying her, Shah bestowed upon Arjumand the name “Mumtaz Mahal” – meaning “Jewel of the Palace.”

By all accounts, the couple was totally committed to each other as confidantes, lovers and constant companions.

Despite the fact that Shah had other wives, Mumtaz Mahal was widely regarded as the love of his life; and their loving, passionate marriage yielded 14 children.   Even with all of her pregnancies, Mumtaz was said to accompany Shah Jahan on his travels throughout their marriage.

Mumtaz Mahal died while giving birth to the couple’s 14th child in 1631.  A grief-stricken Shah commissioned the construction of a structure in her memory in 1632.  Completed in 1648, the building that was originally conceived as a testament to Shah’s love would ultimately become one of the wonders of the world – the Taj Mahal.

 

Do you have an example of a loving man that you’d like to share with us?  If so, please “Join the Conversation” on Facebook, or leave a comment below.

 

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