Collectivism is Cancer

“Both ‘sides’ sucked.” – Caryn Ann Harlos

There is a cancer that is quite common to man. This cancer has plagued mankind since very shortly after we were removed from the Garden (or crawled out of the cesspool if you so prefer). This cancer goes by many names: communism, racism, nationalism, socialism, culturalism, tribalism, and so on. This cancer is collectivism. 

Google defines collectivism as: “the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it.” The nonsense going down in Charlottesville shows us two sides of the same collectivist coin. Both sides insist that their side is superior to the other side. Both sides are willing to resort to violence (aggression) against the other to gain dominance in the debate. 

“Us vs them” is a common theme in collectivism. “We” are superior to “them”, whatever or whomever “they” may be. Collectivists define themselves by their group’s characteristics, whether it be skin color, political ideology, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, or any number of easily or not-so-easily identifiable characteristics. 

Here’s a newsflash for all you Collectivists out there: your value as an individual is not determined by your outward or inward characteristics. Your value is not determined by your ideology or your sexuality, your color,  or your political party affiliation. Nothing you control determines your value. 

Collectivism (and its associated -isms) is a plague on this planet. We have forsaken the ideal that man is valuable because of his position in Creation. We have thrown off the concept of individual man made in God’s image and exchanged it with the belief that humanity is nothing more than an evolved super sludge from which some of “us” evolved more fully. 

Your value, dear Collectivists, comes from the One whose image you bear. Until you realize this, you will forever be fighting a pathetic battle against others who bear this same image. 

Of course, what gives the Collectivists most of their power is the belief that some people should have the monopoly of authority over others. The belief that aggression is the best way to keep people ordered and productive is vital to collectivism. The fact that we cling to things like democracy or oligarchy make the “Us” that we belong to very important. If we belong to the wrong collective we may end up on the wrong side of the gun. If an individual fails to identify with the right group (i.e. the one in power) he may find himself rounded up and thrown in prison, or worse. 

How does this relate to Charlottesville? Both sides suck. Both sides need to stop trying to get the upper hand on the other. Both sides need to stop valuing worthless characteristics and start seeing themselves and others as valuable individuals, worthy of dignity, respect, and rights. Both sides need to drop the “us vs them” tribal mentality that is keeping them locked into violent tendencies. 

End the cancer of collectivism. Start treating people like the individuals they are, respect them and love them. See them for what they are: individuals made in the image of God. 

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TBH, Daddy-Daughter Dates Have Nothing To Do With “The Patriarchy” 

By taking daughters out and treating them kindly you are teaching them to expect men to love, honor, and cherish them. You are teaching them to expect respect from men. This is anti-patriarchy. 

This RC Sproul quote was my first thought when I read the blog post in question.

Since today is Valentine’s Day,  and this story came across my feed recently, this seems an apt topic.  

Sunday morning I was greeted first thing with a blog about daddy-daughter dates. The author of this post has decided that treating your daughter with common decency is symptomatic  of “the patriarchy”. She contends that it is “creepy” to take your daughter out and treat her special. Somehow, in her mind, inspiring your daughter to expect respect from men is encouraging “rape culture”. 

First off, I contend that fathers should treat their daughters special just because their daughters are their daughters. This is a little person who loves you and needs your love in return. You’ve been entrusted with her care and with teaching her to be a decent human being in a big ugly world. Treat her special because she is special. 

Secondly, it’s not wrong or “creepy”  to treat your children with common respect. The author’s contention that pulling your child’s chair out for them,  picking out their outfit,  and basically treating them with kindness and love somehow promotes “rape culture” is ridiculous.

Please, stop insisting that a man holding the door for you is “rape”. You’ve destroyed all the meaning of that word and have disrespected every woman who has actually been raped. Rape culture is promoted mostly by teaching little girls that all men are creeps. Set their standards low and they will settle for any sleeze that tells them he loves them. After all, if all men are creeps, why waste time trying to get a good one?  

When a father takes his daughter out and treats her with respect, he’s not teaching her that she is unequal to men. He is teaching her what real love looks like from a man. Real love respects others and treats them not just as equals but, in many respects,  as superiors. Shouldn’t this be desired by modern feminists? Shouldn’t they want this?  

Why do modern feminists insist that equality is a zero-sum game and that we can’t treat people with kindness and also see them as equals? Not only do I open doors for women, I also open doors for men. Is it because I think they are weak, or below me, or not equal? No, it is because I respect them and I like to treat other people with kindness and love. 

Do these women think that men treat other men like dirt and therefore the only way to be equal with men is to be treated like dirt?  Instead of teaching men to stop treating their daughters with special love and care shouldn’t we instead call men to treat other men (and women) with respect?

Must men treat women like dirt in order to be considered up to date with modern feminist equality standards?

She also says that mother son dates aren’t a thing. Personally,  I hope women do take their sons out on dates. Parenting requires one-on-one time with your child. When you have 5 kids like we do it’s darn near impossible to get one-on-one time with each one. Being intentional about getting that time is to be commended. 

Thanks to Freud and the sexual Revolution, our culture is convinced that our sexuality is what defines us as people. Therefore, according to our culture, even showing affection to your kids is somehow sexual. This is just plain stupid. It is not sexual to show affection to your children. If it is every good parent should be in jail. (And if it does in fact become sexual, you deserve worse than jail.) 

It is perverted to suggest that somehow taking your daughter out for dinner, pulling her chair out, opening doors for her,  and calling her beautiful and a princess is somehow sexual. To claim such doesn’t just betray the insecurities of the author, it strongly condemns modern culture with its ridiculous sexual mores. 

Purity balls….

I’ll  give her that purity balls are a little creepy and weird.  Those actually do create a weird sexual tension between fathers and daughters. Yes, you should abstain from sexual activity until you are married, but pledging your purity to your father is a little awkward and kind of creepy. 

But taking your child out one-on-one for special time together is healthy, natural, and should be normal. 

Should we take our daughters out one on on? Yes. Should we also take our sons out one on one? Yes. Should we treat them with dignity and kindness and do kind things for them? Yes. This is teaching them common courtesy and how to treat others like human beings.  It is not teaching them to lay down and accept demeaning treatment.

It has been shown that girls often marry men like their fathers. They learn how men should treat women from how their father treats them and more importantly, their mother. Girls who are abused or watch their mothers be abused often pursue men who abuse. Is this what we want our daughters to do? 
Why do modern feminists want men to continue to marry jerks? Is it because they want to validate their idea that all men are jerks and that all men are part of “the patriarchy”? 

I’m not saying it’s patriarchy, but it’s patriarchy. Actually it isn’t…

Daddy-daughter dating is not patriarchy. Patriarchy is insisting that your daughter or your wife is less than you and that she does not deserve your respect. Patriarchy says that because of her sex she does not deserve honor. As a woman, she deserves nothing but to be under you as a slave or servant. 

Patriarchy views females as less than males. It does not honor them by opening doors, calling them wonderful names, or treating them with respect and dignity. Patriarchy puts women under men’s thumbs. By taking daughters out and treating them kindly, you are teaching them to expect men to love, honor, and cherish them. You are teaching them to expect respect from men. This is anti-patriarchy. 

I suggest to these feminists that if they want to end “the patriarchy” they should call on men to start treating their daughters with kindness and honor. They should encourage them to put their daughters on a pedestal and treat them as individuals worthy of great respect. This will teach their daughters to expect their husbands and all men to respect them and treat them with dignity. 

If daughters are treated like dirt by their father they will learn to accept that treatment by all men. They will continue to support the patriarchy by giving themselves to patriarchal jerk men. Let’s instead encourage them to expect more from men. 

End the patriarchy, and while we are at it, end third and fourth-wave feminism.

Modesty: An Unconventional Take

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Appearance can be accurate in its description, or it can be a lie. One of the most obvious and immediate aspects of our appearance is our clothing. What we wear or do not wear says a lot about us to those we meet. Clothing, makeup, and hygiene can accentuate one’s character, or they can grossly distort it.

In 1Timothy 2:9-10 Paul says,

“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”

There are innumerable blogs out there telling women what they can and cannot wear “biblically” . Nearly all of these blogs are concerned primarily with the sexual signals a woman’s clothing conveys. If she uncovers too much, or shows too much shape, or uncovers the wrong part, it is assumed she is giving notice to men about her sexual availability.

The dress-code writers often use the word “modest” to describe a woman “properly” covered up. However, “modesty” in these verses has little if anything to do with sexuality.

“Modesty” in these verses is concerned with the outward expression of the inward condition of the heart. That is a mouthful but it essentially means one can be modest wearing anything or nothing or anything in between. Despite what the Christian sub-culture in the West has decided to call “modest”, there is not a spelled out dress code in scripture. The closest we can find are explicit dress requirements given to OT priests, but those are commonly understood to be ceremonial in nature and applied to the priests, not necessarily to the lay people and most certainly not to those in the New Testament.

Christians should be willing to dress according to who we are reaching. Christians should be “all things to all people” meaning that we should dress down for the poor, dress up for the rich, and overall dress according to the culture one is preaching to. If we adopt the clothing (and manners for that matter) of the culture we are evangelizing, it projects a loving attitude towards those we are hoping to reach with the Gospel. If we choose to ignore their culture it can display to them a lack of charity and love. We should not change our character or violate our personal consciences or Scriptural commands, but we are allowed to conform to the acceptable outward appearance and customs of other cultures to reach them (Timothy and circumcision).

Modesty and decency differs according to culture, where nudity or near-nudity is the norm both are “modest”. In a culture where it would be considered improper to expose a head or a thigh, it would be immodest and indecent to do so.

Does that mean we go naked to reach the naked? Isaiah went naked to make his point. Other prophets did so as well. It would not necessarily be wrong to do so. Is it required or recommended? No. We should only expose what our conscience allows.

In a less dressed culture, one should be willing to dress down as far as they feel comfortable in their own conscience, and in a more dressed culture one should be willing to dress up as much as they need to in order to prevent offense. If the culture you are reaching insists on head coverings and long sleeves, we should have no reservations about adopting both, no matter what our personal liberty allows.

What about make-up, jewelry, and shaving for women? In the 1 Timothy passage above, Paul specifically mentions hair and jewelry and seems to imply that women should have none of it.

Right or wrong, our culture values the appearance of “put togetherness”. Many women shave and wear makeup to feel “put together”. Many women will not leave the house without doing either. Culture has convinced them that to neglect either one is at worst a sign of rebellion against the good order of society,  or at best an overt expression of slovenliness.

In our culture, when one neglects certain hygiene practices, such as shaving, it conveys a message of looseness and slobbishness. There is no doubt a double standard in this for males and females. Culture requires women to put a lot more thought into their appearance than men. I believe this has much to do with our over-sexualization of the (primarily female) body. Much of the “modesty” subculture actually increases the objectification of women by hyper-focusing on the sexual and nearly ignoring any other application of the word.

The male body is not nearly as critiqued as the female body. Men can get away with athletic wear or pajama pants where women are critiqued for it. Men can gain a beer belly and it is barely noticed. Men can also uncover more of their bodies and be socially acceptable.

Is it a lie for a woman to wear make-up or jewelry or to shave her body hair? Does it promote a false witness to others about who we really are? Again, as I said before, our outward appearance is an expression of the inward heart. If a woman feels beautiful inside I see nothing wrong with her expressing that beauty on the outside with the use of nice clothes, jewelry, or make up. The outward expression of her inward self can take many forms.

What does this say about the woman who does not do such things? It can tell us any number of things. Either she feels ugly and unkempt on the inside, or she feels that the normal cultural expressions of outward “beauty” are contrived and she can better demonstrate her inward condition through her smile or through her words or acts of kindness.

Sadly, because of feminism, many Christians would try to label her as a rebel against God. They assume she’s trying to push back against gender norms and trying to be male.

Maybe she is just a rebel against a godless culture which objectifies and over-emphasizes youth and sexuality in the female appearance.

Am I saying that all women who do such things are objectifying and over-emphasizing youth and sexuality in the female appearance? Not at all. They just value and prefer the culture’s preference for “put-togetherness” and do not want to give a false impression to others who may think by their appearance that they are internally wretched. They are presenting themselves externally to the world according to what they believe they are internally.

Many of us cover and hide our natural appearance with clothing and our scent with deodorant or perfume. Is this a lie? Or is it simply deference to culture? The culture should hate us for the Gospel, not for what we do or do not wear.

In 1 Timothy,  Paul was writing to culture filled with pagan practice. Hairstyles and jewelry worn by the temple priestesses had no place in the Christian church. We ought to be careful to make sure our church clothing honors God and does not cause others to stumble back into their pagan roots. We ought also to project an appearance of humility in church. We do not want to offend the poor by showing off our wealth, nor do we want to draw attention to ourselves at the expense of the Worship of God.

We ought to be modest in more than simply clothing or adornment, we ought to be modest in our attitudes and treatment of others. Our clothing should reflect our inward person and project a love towards others that cannot be rightly opposed. Our appearance can be accurate in its description, or it can be a lie.

Be careful not to distort reality with your appearance.

Appearance and False Witness

143. Which is the ninth commandment?

The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

144. What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?

The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbour, as well as our own; ….love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.

 

I was called out on my appearance a few months before I left my last job. I had worn torn pants (just around the cuffs) to an important political engagement. It was one of my lesser damaged pairs and I thought nothing of it. But my boss noticed.

I was incredulous at first. I thought, “All you care about is appearance? What about my work? What about results?” I had prided myself in not caring about appearance for appearance sake. My work should have been enough.

But then I cried.

I cried a lot. I realized that those torn pants represented the bad year I had been having. I was angry she had not questioned my home life. She had only assumed that I was a slob. She had assumed I was aloof and unkempt. It took me a month and a recitation on a Sunday morning to realize that she was somewhat correct.

According to the Westminster Larger Catechism, the ninth commandment requires the keeping of one’s good name. Further, among the sins forbidden are “all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbours, as well as our own… concealing the truth, ….and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves… such things as procure an ill name.”

We spend a lot of time telling our children not to “judge a book by its cover” and out the other side of our mouth telling them they must meet certain appearance standards to be acceptable in public.

Which is it?

The short answer is both. One of the other requirements of the ninth commandment is that we be unwilling to hear false or slanderous reports about others. When judged alone, apart from the whole person, one’s appearance can become a false report on his character or person.

But what about appearance standards? What was it about my torn pants that was giving a false report of my character?

One of the reasons I cried was that I realized that I had pridefully assumed I was not a slob. I had assumed that I was perfect in my work and that my clothing need not reflect that. But I had become a slob. With the distractions of life and my own vanity I had allowed myself to slip into slovenly appearance. I was not always a slob, but I had allowed myself to become one. At that time I was more upset that she didn’t question my descent and only questioned the symptom. As they say though, for every finger you point, there are three pointed back at you. My finger pointing at her faults revealed more of mine.

When I read that catechism question that one Sunday morning, I realized that I had both given a false report about myself (I am really not a slob, really) and had tried to cover up my new slobbishness with pride (just look at my results!).

Then I realized just how much of my appearance was lying about me. When I got home from church I was smacked in the face by a messy front yard, a leaf covered front porch, and a disgustingly dirty front door. This was the image of my family projected into the world. Immediately I set about remedying the front porch and the door (yes, I know, work on a Sunday, but I saw it as correcting a sin).

Appearance is not everything, and we should not be judging others for theirs. We should, however, be concerned about what our appearance says about us and about the God we serve. Our dress, our housekeeping, our demeanor, our speech, our habits, all of these things project our inward condition to the world. We are a reflection of God, having been made in His image. All of these things tell the world our opinions about our Image Maker.

Deeper still, I realized that what I was displaying was painfully accurate. I am a wretch. I am dirty. I am a slob and a wreck. The outward appearance is not completely inaccurate. I sometimes feel worthless and I project that in my image. Sometimes I am lazy, and it is easier to seek forgiveness from others than to put the right foot forward to begin with.

But I know that I am being sanctified. I know that I am being cleansed. And I need to work out my salvation with trembling and reflect that work in my appearance. I need to reflect the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification in my life. I need to display a love for God and for His image. I need to better steward my home and my possessions and not make a mess out of them.

I am grateful for the stinging words of a boss and the equally hard words of the Law.

Worthless and Worthwhile Words

What passes for civil discourse these days.

Words words words. It is an understatement to say modern political discourse has devolved into vulgarity and platitudes. Of course, politics are simply following culture. Our culture finds entertainment in sex and poop jokes. It thrives on pornography and degrading, dehumanizing violence. It is telling to me that the most viewed page of this blog so far has the word “butthole” in it. A lot of people entered that word and the word “wife” into Google to get to it. For the record, don’t actually do that…
This is nothing new really. All cultures display some level of their depravity in a public way. Unlike many commentators, I will not lament the downfall of our civilization. So many people, and sadly, many Christians, think that what our culture does is completely new and unheard of. This is laughable when one considers history. Our culture is no more depraved than the Romans or the Greeks. Our culture is merely showing signs of age. Cultural dementia typically sets in around the 200 year mark for advanced civilizations like ours.

However, it’s not just dementia for our culture, it’s schizophrenia. We are perfectly willing to accept depravity from certain people, but if someone not on the approved list shows the least bit it’s to the chopping block for them.

Language use is the most telling sign of this schizophrenia. We laugh, smile, and dance when certain people use certain words or phrases. When non-approved people use the same words or phrases our culture warriors call for their heads.

Now, do not think that I am squeamish when it comes to words. Firefighters swear worse than sailors most days. There are words and phrases used on the fire line that would make a sailor blush. I’m not one to get wound up about words. However, there is a difference between words used to make a strong point (as sailors and firefighters use them) and words used exclusively for shock value and offense.

It would be nice to see some words that are used exclusively for vulgar or profane purposes removed from our common vocabulary.

Certain words for female genitalia for example. I do not care if it is feminists or if it’s Trump, certain words are degrading and disrespectful to women no matter who uses them. Making a “cute” hat and giving it a vulgar name does not win people over to your opinion, it mainly makes you look like a jackass. And no, the word is not vulgar because genitalia are vulgar. It is vulgar because it has been used as a derogatory term for weak people for years. It used to describe a wimp (scaredy-cat basically) and eventually became a term for female reproductive organs. Using the term for your genitalia is essentially agreeing with those who call women weak and useless. If you want to reclaim your genitals, at least use correct terminology and proper names (i.e. stop calling the whole area your “vagina”; learn the correct words).

The “N” word. Can we either tell rappers to knock it off or allow white people to say it too? It’s a word reserved for a special group, and this is hardly fair (isn’t fairness what everyone wants today?). Throwing this word around does not make black culture respectable, it just sets it back several generations.

In fact, it seems there are a long list of words and phrases that are perfectly acceptable for some but not for others. Rappers, pop singers, movie stars, feminists, and certain politicians get a free pass to use many of these words. Anyone outside of these specific groups gets lynched (can I say that?) and demonized if they dare even hint at them. Either the words are offensive all the time and should be eliminated from use in civil company, or they are not and should be freely used by everyone. Don’t be hypocrites; either stop using these words entirely or stop demonizing the “unapproved” list of people when they use them.

By the way, your reckless use of words will lead to an even worse world than the one you were protesting. Continuously using degrading language cheapens you and those who you claim to support. When you make certain words a common part of your vocabulary, you make those words more acceptable to use by your enemies. If you think you are somehow winning a word back from bad people by making it more acceptable in common speech, you have to accept the fact that you are also making it more acceptable as a derogatory word. Eventually, when people become numb to hearing these words, harsher, more degrading words will be substituted in.

If you are going to use strong language, at least learn how to do it right. Screaming expletives or using vulgarity just to be shocking is not making your point; it’s making an ass of yourself. Using certain words as the only adjectives or metaphors in your vocabulary just makes you look ignorant or at the very least uncreative. Fighting vulgarity with even stronger vulgarity is an exercise in stupidity. Learn to use pointed words at the right time. Offend people with your ideas, not the vulgarity of your language or actions.

Also, if you are going to use “big” words, learn to use them correctly. Take out a dictionary before you start spouting off. For example, a “bigot” is someone who will not tolerate others having a different point of view. To tolerate means to allow. Most of the times I have heard the word “bigot” lately the only real bigots were the ones throwing the word around. People hopelessly ignorant of their meanings throw around terms like “Racist”, “Hate”, “Fascist”, and “Phobic” in the hopes that they will strike a chord somewhere. Listen, it helps your case if you know what your words actually mean. If you just go around using emotionally charged words because they sound scary or “intelligent”, your message will fizzle out and nothing you fought for will remain.

I expressed an opinion on Facebook answering a post about abortion. I was very quickly called a misogynist, a jerk, and all kinds of unsavory words. I’m not sure where this got the woman who slung these insults at me. She knew nothing more than a script. “If someone disagrees with you, throw these terms at them”. I asked her to be civil; she called me a Nazi. This kind of rhetoric makes words meaningless. I eventually walked away from the conversation because there was no reasoning with that kind of crazy.

If you protest, choose your words for effect, choose them for meaning, and choose them wisely. Offend people with the radicalness of your ideas, not the vulgarity of your language. Most of all be kind. There is no sense in being a bully to others to make your point. If you can’t win them over with rational, sane, simple kindness, you’re probably not going to win them over anyway.

The Transgender Illusion 

I don’t believe transgenderism is anything more than a delusion. A man cannot “feel like” a woman, he has no objective understanding of what it feels like to be a woman. 

​Just a few more thoughts about the Ryland post. I don’t believe transgenderism is anything more than a delusion. A man cannot “feel like” a woman, he has no objective understanding of what it feels like to be a woman. 

Ryland does not know what it feels like to be a boy. She has never been a boy, she has no true concept of what it feels like to be a boy. She knows she has preferences and desires that match what culture tells her a boy would have. She knows that she fits the stereotype of a boy more than the stereotype of a girl.

Given that there is no objective meaning to the term “gender”, how can we tell someone who’s struggling with gender disphoria that they are actually the opposite of their genetic sex? 

We should be telling them “no, you are what you are. Accept reality and make it the best you can.” We should not mutilate and manipulate the physical reality to make it match their delusion. That is cruel and inhumane. 

We wouldn’t tell a person with multiple personality disorder that they are in fact multiple people and then go about creating identities (driver’s licenses for each identity, families for each character, separate lives for each etc.) for them in the physical world just so they don’t have to confront their delusions. 

This is exactly what we have decided to do for the gender confused. We would rather not hurt feelings so we let them live a lie and we try to mold the physical world to fit those lies. Rylands parents would rather not hurt her feelings, so instead of saying “No Ryland you really are a girl, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy ‘boy’ things.” they bend over backwards to make the physical reality match her delusion. 

This is perhaps one of the worst symptoms of the empty philosophies of the postmodern movement in the 20th century. If there is no such thing as objective truth, who are we to tell people what reality is? 

Reality is whatever one wants it to be. If I want to be a female, despite my biology, I can just declare myself one. If we can create surgeries and pulls that can make me phenotypically one, great! 

It’s only a matter of time before “doctors” attempt to create a surgery to turn children into whatever animal they are currently pretending to be. Call this an exaggeration if you want, but some are already calling for doctors to amputate limbs to “help” those who “feel they are disabled.” It’s not much of a stretch to say that self identified “cats” will want tails installed. 

In all seriousness, telling children that their feelings dictate reality is a cruel joke. These children need help, or at the very least they need parents who will allow them to go through their phases without encouraging them to embrace whatever “reality”  they are creating in their developing minds. If your kid said he was a dinosaur would you say “oh yes, you are a dinosaur. God made a mistake and trapped you in a child’s body.”? No, the healthy thing to say is “Dinosaurs are cool. Do you want to look up dinosaur videos on YouTube?” 

If your boy says he is a girl, ask him why he feels that way. If it’s because he likes pink or wants to paint his nails, explain to him that those don’t have to be “girl things.” Offer a compromise if you’re embarrassed to be out with a son with painted nails. Maybe paint one nail, or paint them at home. Chances are it’s a novelty that will wear off pretty quickly. 

If he insists that he is in fact a girl, then I believe the humane thing to do is to get him counseling to correct his wrong thoughts. We should be treating gender disphoria as we treat any other mental illness. This is not popular in today’s “feels” driven culture, but it is right. 

 

Stop Implying That My Wife Isn’t A Real Woman

All you need to know one’s gender is what’s between their legs. 

Now that I got through my sidetrack about marriage, we can return to the previous discussion about gender norms and the nonsense views so many folks seem to have about them (though that marriage theme is far from being fully explored).

Previously I talked about how gender is not a spectrum. One is either a male or a female, behavior, tastes, preferences, or personality traits do not determine gender. We live in a culture that wants to make a big deal about these things. We no longer accept that tomboys are female or (insert word for the male equivalent of a tomboy)’s are male. In our world, they must be somewhere in the middle or are in fact the other gender. 

This woman perfectly describes this change in our culture. She grew up a tomboy, rough and tumble, doing “boy” things. Her parents didn’t read into it anymore than they had to. They didn’t lash out and push her into a more “girlish” mold. They accepted her as herself and let her eventually grow up to be (surprise surprise) a well adjusted and clearly female woman. 

It’s funny to me that she specifically points out her preference for being unshod. When growing up I didn’t know any men who enjoyed being barefoot, only females, so my preference for it led me to think I was slightly girly. 

Which leads me to this point: even our stereotypes are different depending on the family we grew up in. Those who grew up in more “conservative” homes are going to define the genders a bit more black and white than those who grew up in less strict atmospheres. 

Unfortunately those conservatives are the ones who write the Christian mommy/homemaker blogs. Those blogs tend to make women who don’t fit the mold feel marginalized and a bit less of a woman. “You mean you don’t worship your perfect kids or make your husband feel like royalty?” “You have an interest in deep theological matters and think rationally rather than living by emotions?” “You’re not a multitasker who can handle cooking a big meal and hosting a dozen other women once or thrice a week, and then cleaning up after them, all while homeschooling your eight beautiful children and ensuring that your husband’s bedroom needs and laundry requirements are met to a ‘T’?” “What do you mean, you don’t really like spending all your time with your loinfruits?” “You don’t shave? You don’t like makeup? You’d rather not get dressed up to go shopping? You don’t like shopping?!!”

Even when these aren’t explicitly stated, when one reads enough (and I have) one begins to sense a trend. If you (or your wife) doesn’t live up to these perfect women’s standards, perhaps they aren’t women at all. Perhaps God made a mistake, He made them with the wrong parts. These women are describing “Biblical womanhood” are they not? 

It’s not just women who get fed this steady stream of “if you’re not like this you aren’t Godly”. Men too have to endure the world of “Wild at Heart” and are always the subject of conferences pushing them all to be bold leaders and macho men of God. I personally get whacked with these stereotypes all the time. 

Often it comes in the form of “men do x, while women do y”. Roughly 75% of the time in my marriage we are completely the opposite. The most recent example I heard was a description of how men and women pack for trips. Men pack only what they need. Women… Well. They pack for every possibility.  I’m not saying the generality doesn’t fit the rest of the world. I’m saying we need to stop making those outside the generalities feel like sinners for being a little different. I am not trying to be a woman because I tend to overpack any more than my wife is trying to be a man when she leaves for a week with a Walmart bag of clothes and probably no toiletries. 

I tend to be emotional, my wife rational. I tend to be social and extroverted, my wife is very much an introvert and has social phobias. Neither of us are too keen on shopping though she is probably more of a shopper just because I am a miser. We both hate sports. She is a bit more mechanically inclined than I am. I clean better, cooking is a draw, and she’s the disciplinarian of the children. She likes video games and cards, me not so much. Her mind is much more focused and she tends to be the one sucked into a screen or a book while I am panicked over the kids. 

She hates makeup. She doesn’t shave. She does knit and crochet She hates cooking, but loves baking. She likes lifting heavy things. She likes spiders and reptiles. She is not a fan of mice but does not panic about them. She keeps a cool calm head under pressure and is quick to jump into leadership when a group is faltering. She often craves sex more than I do. She likes to work on cars. She detests the idea that a woman serves no other function than be a pretty decoration on a man’s arm, completely dependent on him and always concerned with appearance above all else. 

Looking around the internet at most of the Christian blogs one gets the impression that all Christian women are monolithic. There is just not a variety out there, at least not when it comes to Reformed women or women that write blogs. And those who don’t fit the mold end up being the odd woman out so to speak. 

I’m going to put this out there. My wife is all woman. Just because she doesn’t fit some cultural idea of how a woman should be doesn’t mean she is not a woman. And just because I don’t fit the typical male described on these sites does not mean I am not a man. 

Watch your implications, folks. Those who write, don’t imply that you are the definition of a godly woman. Those who read,  don’t let those implications  make you feel less like a godly woman. You are a woman. Your non-stereotypical husband is in fact a man. 

All you need to know one’s gender is what’s between their legs.