Friday, January 18, 2019
Toxic thoughts on toxic masculinity. . .
In reality, of course, there is no such things as toxic masculinity -- only males who behave as children and are not masculine at all. If anything, masculinity is not something pervading boys in their journey to maturity or our society as a whole. It is in short supply. We live in a woman's world in which women do not need men to support them, defend them, give them children, or even be friends. The only good man today is one who does not think like, speak like, or act like a man. Boys in school are treated with drugs and discipline for their failure to be like girls. Universities have become places where ideas too strong to face are relegated to a prison of thoughts and both men and women given safe places where they can find a refuge from things they find offensive. The media seems to suggest that most straight men are either homophobic or closeted gay and the only good men are those who are fully in touch with their feminine side.
Maybe it was a man's world and there were certainly many men behaving badly but masculinity is not the some toxic force that must be hidden away or treated as something dangerous. It is the gift, the gift of complementarity created by God, a gift not only needed because we see the wisdom of it all but the very design that under girds all of creation. The most dangerous things to our culture is not masculinity but a lack of it, in which men have no role or purpose or dignity to aspire to and to live out in concert with women.
If there is a problem with masculinity, could it be that too many homes have an absent father or never had one at all? Could it be that painting all of men as toxic, sexist, abusive, and threatening has consigned them to the fringes of our society where it is more likely for them to become toxic, sexist, abusive, or threatening? Could it be that some arenas of the church have actually adopted this idea and created a false Christianity in which the first sin men must confess is being a man?
As the father of two young men and a young woman and the grandfather of one young girl, I live in fear for a world in which gender is divorced from anatomy, questions replace statements in the values and the roles in which we work together for the common good, and one gender is presumed to be suspect at best or toxic at worst. The family is already under too much pressure to survive the generic condemnation of one its constituent parts. The church is a community already threatened by a loss of the divine reality with skepticism toward the Word of God now to blame God for the sins of some and to confuse His order with the infusion of prevailing politically correct ideas that contradict that Word.
So thank you but no, I refuse to confess that being masculine is toxic. I refuse not because of my self-esteem but purely out of my respect for God and His order, no matter how badly we have abused His gift or distorted His creative intent. I refuse to believe that to tell a boy to be a man is a bad thing.