Monday, June 9, 2008

Death of Masculinity?

With the recent release of a secular article titled, Death of the Masculine Man and this month's topic celebrating masculinity, I felt led to very briefly examine from a biblical perspective what it is that has left today’s man feeling as though he has lost his masculinity. The article was the result of "a study of the male psyche in Britain" and makes its observation over a span of 80 years. The results are very interesting in light of when women first began to protest for their right to vote, straight down to the feminist movement and modern day. As the article states;

"An average young bloke in the 1920's and 40's considered himself to be masculine and was at ease with his role as stoic provider and protector"

Even as late as the 40's men still considered themselves masculine. So what went wrong? In a nutshell ... man has gradually been robbed of his masculinity.

Biblical Manhood

It is interesting to note, at this point, that the article we are looking at is an observation from a secular point of view. As we begin to look at what it is to be a man from the biblical perspective, we can clearly see what it is that has robbed men of their masculinity. Referring, again, to Piper's book, interestingly and appropriately titled Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood , I will use his words to view one facet of the meaning of masculinity in order to paint a clear picture. Piper encapsulates biblical masculinity beautifully:

"At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man's differing relationships".

He goes on to say;

"I use the word "sense" because to be masculine a man must not only be responsible, but sense or feel that he is. If he does not "sense" or "feel" and "affirm" his responsibility, he is not mature in his masculinity."

This is the issue modern man is facing. They (according to the article) "have steadily lost touch with their instinctual masculinity". Why? I firmly believe it is because since the feminist movement women are now leading, providing and protecting themselves (some feminists would say they are protecting themselves from the "bondage and slavery of submission to man"). Therefore with those roles now taken from them, men instinctively desire to fulfil their roles but cannot. And worse still, they are given roles they were not created to instinctively fulfill.

When the women involved in feminism thought they were liberating themselves they were in fact bringing women into real bondage. In her book The essence of Feminism, Kirsten Birkett points out;

"Feminism is a selfish movement, with no sustainable philosophy, a fabricated history, and an incoherent morality. It does not bring freedom and fulfilment for women, and it will not right injustices."

I want to look at this issue of true freedom in more depth in another post, but for now i just wanted to show that what has happened has not only brought women into true bondage but it has also selfishly robbed the man of what he was created to be. Not the man only but also the woman. Therefore we will with each successive generation reap the consequences.

If it wasn't bad enough that man has been robbed of the very reason for his instincts (to lovingly lavish upon the mature feminine woman), other sinful, options have become more easily, legally and openly accessible. Homosexuality is now considered the norm in our society and it is even being taught to each generation that it is "normal" to have instinctive feelings towards the same sex. The article also states:

"A bloke's masculinity used to come effortlessly and his place in the world was clear cut. Nowadays women are confident and men are confused."

Could it be that the reason men are confused is because his natural inclinations and instincts are more or less told to be questioned by what woman is today and even given alternatives? Men have at some point surrendered. Women were given the roles man were created to fulfill and as the article states, men have
crossed the line from just "changing with the times" to "committing gender surrender".Over the years man has not only been robbed of his masculinity but also of his 'help-meet' and women of freely exercising her right to truly be a woman.
The article makes another interesting point that really has been on my heart for some time which I'll write in the next post. But I want to end this one by saying that as we women on the margins of today's society (and even within the church), recover and become what it is to truly be a woman we can nurture and affirm man's true masculinity. Not that only but we have the opportunity teach the next generation and to even teach today's woman biblical manhood and womanhood. We women are unique in that we were created to be to man what no other of God's creation could (Gen. 2:18). Over the years man has not only been robbed of his masculinity but also of his "help-meet" and women of freely exercising her right to truly be a woman.

This article came from observation and recent study in biblical manhood and womanhood. I do not claim to be an expert. I am only a woman whose heart's desire is to please God and to discover and fulfill her role in God's creation. As one dear friend said to me, "Today’s secular view of the feminine role is so way, way off the biblical, that there’s a lot for new, and not so new, believers to take on board, even basic principles." So true!

5 comments:

Rob Hughes said...

Great post Geraldine! Keep it coming sis.

Jennifer said...

Who killed the masculine man? Why the masculine woman, of course! Great post, Geraldine!

Geraldine said...

Thanks Rob! Great to see you on here.
Jen , Thats so true!!!

Anonymous said...

So your telling me that you don't believe women should have rights? That we should just stay at home, bare children and have no options and let the man do the job even if he is a lousy breadwinner?

Jennifer said...

Hello, Anonymous. I apologize for the delayed response. I know this question was directed at Geraldine's post, but I have written a response to your question here.

Hope this helps!