“MGTOW” and Common Sense

For a Christian man, seeking Godly masculinity in a post-feminist world is a complicated affair.
 

Well, it is and it isn’t. The simplistic and liberating way to look at all things in this life is to obey God and keep His commandments, and imitate a solid number of Godly examples of men all throughout Scripture. I’ve written a lot about this already.

But then comes the matter of interacting with today’s society, law, and culture. With some glimpses of the conflicting schools of thought regarding some desperate attempts to reach for traditional masculinity and femininity versus feminism’s efforts to destroy them both, I fear a feedback loop, because flaws in the former led to the latter. Some of what I am about to illustrate, I hope, will clarify this statement. But the short of it is, the fact that men are perceived as stronger is, effectively, what makes them weaker.

How so? Well, a man is strong, and therefore he doesn’t need protecting. And when people are many times over more interested in protecting women from men than vice-versa, then that’s the irony at work: I am effectively dwarfed and defenseless before the sheer power of women, because of the fact that I’m expected to be stronger.

I don’t make promises in this regard, but you could say I’m a “MGTOW” because I err on the side of singlehood for this reason. Am I saying “all” women are dangerous to men? No. Not at all. I think many women today probably make wonderful wives while they pursue Christ wholeheartedly, albeit with their fair share of human error just like a man.

The following is a story about a man who was caught on camera defending himself from a woman who started attacking him with a stiletto: link

On the one hand, I was happy to see that his plea of self-defense was accepted and he was acquitted of charges of assault against the woman who attacked him. On the other hand, many people recognize the man by his jacket and he is subject to antagonizing. He was a very tall man who struck a woman who first attacked him. And many people simply won’t have it; a man is just not to hit a woman for any reason.

Why not? Well, because men are too strong to be allowed to hit women. And effectively, then, women become the most staggeringly dangerous adversary a man can possibly face, not DESPITE the fact that she’s seen as weaker, but BECAUSE of it. Feminists will scream “girl power” at the spectacle of a strong and (to them) imposing man being defeated in any and all capacities by the allegedly underdog and oppressed sex, and that is a beautiful thing to them. And then, traditionalists likewise don’t really offer an alternative, because likewise they see the man as stronger, and not needing protecting–since who needs to protect a big, strong man?–nor allowing him to protect himself.

As MGTOWs are very smart to figure out, traditionalists and feminists have a lot more in common than they like to admit. In both cases, the stronger men are, the weaker men are, effectively.

I repeat something to women, whom I love dearly, to hear me out, please: please see the difference between accusing ALL women of being monsters to men, and the accusation that men are truly in far too much danger simply to say, “ah forget the modern world, I’ll just be an old-school man’s man and settle down with a family.” We have a fight on our hands we didn’t ask for, and many of you (women) did not ask for the modern world either. We cannot pretend that it doesn’t exist. The other side of the coin of traditional masculinity/femininity is that women seeking traditional femininity don’t see protecting men as a “feminine” thing to do.

To that I would say, look at the Proverbs 31 woman: She opens her arms to the poor

    and extends her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:20)

 
Yes, women can rescue men. In fact, that is crucial for breaking today’s vicious feedback loop of traditionalism and feminism causing men to become weaker and weaker. How would women feel if:

*No Domestic Violence shelters existed for women?
*Women were deprived (effectively) from a basic human right to self-defense against men?
*You could scarcely find any writing advising you what sorts of men to seek and what sorts of men to avoid for marriage?
*You saw that men initiated 70% of divorces and women were subsequently destroyed by family court left and right?
*If you felt demands on you to be women of good character and to treat men well without any regard for the injuries you face emotionally and culturally as women?
*No spirit of gentleness and compassion, and respect for your situations, but only demands for your roles as women?
*A man could accuse you of a crime and he would be automatically believed unless blatant evidence (like a video recording) proved him wrong? And then, you were twice as likely to get convicted, and then destined for a sentence two to three times as harsh?

Would this cause you to think an extra ten times before going anywhere near any man? I’d think it would. If our culture were that resistant to protecting you, but only liked to put demands on you, that is an abusive lack of love. Would that be the same as accusing every last man of being a direct danger to women? Of course not. But I don’t see anyone pulling any punches when it comes to protecting women. And men need to learn to do the same, with women’s support. And this needs not to be mistaken–by anyone–of hating women as a gender.

On men’s side, we must abandon machismo. The manosphere is an explosion of anger to the blatant, untreated injuries of men in an otherwise total absence of a discussion regarding so many of those real situations.

Rather than gather in rage and anger over the hurts, why can’t men gather in the trenches with a mutually protective spirit all over again, with gentleness and compassion toward one another? Why not–rather than anger–we provide a safe place for one another to be honest about our pain and seek healing? I don’t mean to be misleading, because those avenues DO occur in the manosphere, but the remaining anger is a matter of machismo; we still fear the loss of our masculinity, like the realities of our vulnerabilities makes us unmanly. We don’t want to admit our hurting and disadvantaged state, which tends to be met with more contempt still in the mainstream culture of feminism/traditionalism which continuously demands that men be strong, productive, and less needy. However, if we fail to abandon machismo and embrace the realities of our vulnerabilities, we contribute the same poison into the world that caused our problems in the first place.

I want to focus on the positives in that regard: MANY good things are happening in the wake of men’s rights issues being exposed. Many women are demonstrating a genuine, unselfish sense of justice for men’s sake and supporting them in circles that are protective of men. More admirable still, many women are turning the other cheek to men who (inexcusably, in my opinion) demonstrate a retaliatory anger toward women in general when men’s indignation ought to be steadfastly aimed at an oppressive culture, not an oppressive gender; many women are showing understanding and patience for some of the awful, misguided bitterness of many men. Such women are absolutely crucial for the healing of the culture. A page called “Women Against Feminism” on Facebook caught the attention of Time magazine with a mere twenty-five thousand likes–many of those being men–as women who (in many cases) spoke out against feminism as a man-hating entity. The effect of women toward restoring the culture is huge and vital.

As I seek masculinity, personally, my reference is the Bible. Again, take King David, who was a King, a musician, and a ferocious warrior all at the same time, and did not have a single problem pouring out his deepest vulnerabilities to God. THAT is how we break the feedback loop that has caused men to be seen as too strong to need protection, too strong to admit to the reality that a woman can indeed harm a man. We need to reconcile what our current culture has had a total impasse at reconciling to break the cycle: acknowledging that vulnerability does not conflict with masculine strength. Quite the contrary, a lack of ability to acknowledge vulnerabilities is the worst enemy of our strength.

Modern traditionalists who oppose the ideals of post-feminist mainstream–if they really want to reach their destination–must understand the true nature of the dimensions of masculinity and femininity; it is just as important, on each side, to realize the ways men and women are alike as they are different. Read Proverbs 31: women must be strong too and be rescuers of others; read the story of Ruth and Boaz: yes, women can be pro-active pursuers (in a sense) too. On the other side of the coin, men can express vulnerabilities like any Godly man portrayed in Scripture, as such is crucial for their (or anyone’s) strength.

In the midst of the confusion of the world, speaking for myself, I find Scripture as my guide and standard through the tosses and turns of the culture.
Advertisements

The Wonders of Femininity

As a disclaimer up front, this is not much of a discussion on the marriage relationship, but on the individual.

Everybody is a sinner in need of grace. As sinners, we are corrupted forms of who we really are, and the wonderful, perfect design of God lies underneath it, ready to be restored and brought to life by the power of Christ.

 
I have no doubt that God made no mistakes when He designed men. And I have no doubt that He made no mistakes when He designed women. Among its innumerable flaws, Christian culture tends to describe masculinity and femininity–and especially, the interaction between the two–almost entirely in terms of marriage, although there’s so much more than that, for the simple reason that 99+% of Scripture is written equally toward male and female, describes the Body of Christ’s interactions without a pervasive addressing of gender; there are a couple, such as the issue of female authority, which actually helps imply that many other male/female interactions are to be expected. In fact:
 
1 Timothy 5:1-2
 

“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 

older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”
 
Jesus hung out with his family!
 
Matthew 12:46-50
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his lbrothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.1 48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
 
And promised that we could, too:
 
Matthew 10:29-30
 
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–along with persecutions–and in the age to come eternal life.

 

(The same promise is found in Matthew 19:29 and Luke 18:29-30)
 
Whereas, unfortunately, part of our horrific culture imparted to men includes a perception of women as prizes: another notch on the belt of James Bond or some other aspiring alpha male as part of our fight against one another to see who is the greatest. On women’s end–and this is another thing to beware–a man is often portrayed as a “Superman” who puts an end to all of a woman’s problems, whereas in reality any leader figure may well lead his wife/followers/family on a journey that may include new dangers, not unlike our journey in following the leadership of Christ. The reality is that men’s interactions with women, in every way, can be powerful and a vital element of the family of God, an excellent team within the Body of Christ, playing to the strength of God’s wonderful design for masculinity and femininity.
 
I have a tough time nailing down definitions beyond the fundamental differences between masculinity and femininity. The fundamental differences are derived from the directives of 1 Corinthians 11:3-14). But here is my simplistic, two-pronged description of the benefits of femininity within community–trite as can be! 😉
 
The cheerleader: She sees the good in others, and desires to amplify those good qualities. Her desire for the success in others is absolutely sincere, and loves to study intensely the unique path of success per individual–the unique strength, and the unique path that that person must conquer in whatever form. The expert cheerleader can see the strengths of others even as those strengths are but seeds, not yet even developed. In all that she does, she stimulates the desire in others to be useful, and the recipient of her blessings cannot wait to apply himself/herself and put his/her strengths to use for maximum effect in the world. The good cheerleader is not a coward who simply seeks out those who look the strongest to tag along but takes the side of the team who is truly in the right.
 
The nurse: She sees the flaws in others. The elements of a person that are weak, hurt, even sinful, but responds every time with a heart of gentle mercy, out of a desire to achieve healing on every single level. While the cheerleader brings out the beauty and effectiveness of an individual after seeking out the good, the nurse seeks out the flaws and the damage. She is a healing messenger that assures that all who hurt are worth healing. The nurse may not be quite like the surgeon and take on the more massive issues that afflict a person, but she is determined to care for every scratch, every bruise, and every source of discomfort–a HUGE number of details she studies to seek bringing those she blesses to a state of absolute comfort, whereupon the cheerleader dovetails with this healing and restores them to full effectiveness.
 
On the masculine end, benefits abound. Apart from the obvious, oftentimes what we find is that we, as men, are required for our strength at the same time–it can be such a tremendous blessing to get our minds off of ourselves and be a service to women; chances are, the cheerleader and nurse is not without her own needs.
 
I actually believe that the biggest problem with modern Western marriages (with all the trouble it has had) comes from expecting too much out of one person, versus the support of a larger community. In a marriage, two become one for the full daily grind, but we don’t stop being men and women as we mingle within communities and with all the potential good that can take place between us. Scripture puts the occasional parameters on male/female interactions, such as the issue of female authority (1 Timothy 2:12-14) which Paul understood from a quite logical standpoint with regards to male/female design.
 
(What we tend to get more from women in culture is the dark side of the nurse and the cheerleader; our strengths are downplayed, and our weaknesses, real or imagined, are amplified and discussed with anything but constructive intent. Feminine women are diamonds in the rough. To be sure, there’s no doubt that men put them to the test with our flaws and undeveloped strengths.)
 
1 Corinthians 11:9
“Man is not made for woman, but woman for man.” 
 
Now, of course, getting the image of Adam and Eve, we might simply get the image of God giving Adam a wife. But I believe God’s design for femininity stems, in principle, as a responder to people. Moreso than men, I find it clear that women require and seek out human leadership–oftentimes frustrated and embittered when the leadership available fails, and once again, this is not limited to marriage, but also other figures such as pastors who meet the needs of communities. Moreover, women can impart their feminine blessing to other women and men. Among the stories of godly people in the Bible, men who sought God without the guidance of human leadership far outnumbers women in my observation. Men and women both respond to leadership, to be sure, but God’s design of woman wove this deeply into Eve’s design to find her fulfillment in response to people. I do not see this as an “inferiority,” although it is potentially a distinct vulnerability. A married woman responds to her husband’s leadership for the daily grind as his helper, as the marriage is a fleshly, earthly covenant, but not necessarily for the spiritual–it is possible that he’s an unbeliever, after all–and ideally they are both disciples of Christ capable of responding to human leadership. Fundamentally, masculine and feminine amounts to the relationship of lead and follow.

(more…)