Fear Of Whales

Tales of a reluctant minister

Gender Identity

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One of the key obsessions of out modern Christian environment is gender identity.

“Biblical Manliness” is a buzzword in our churches and youth ministries. Small Groups gather to read and discuss books like “Wild at Heart” and “No more Christian Nice Guy” Men’s groups are encouraged to do manly things with men to mend the mentality of mendacity that has long prevented men from doing the manly things men love!… For Jesus!

This is understandable. Boys in today’s societies are raised primarily by women. They spend all day with their mothers, their fathers returning from work at 5. Authority figures in schools are mostly female, Sunday school teachers, nurses, and even specialists like child psychologists and social workers tend to be female. Stereotypically Masculine impulses like fighting, cursing, exploring and getting dirty are discouraged and in instead they are asked to sit still and play nice.

This is frustrating. A backlash was only to be expected.

Girls on the other hand are being raised in the wake of the feminist movement. They are being taught to be onmicapable warrior women who can do anything they set their minds to, they mature more quickly than boys, and by the time they make it into the business sector they find it populated by a bunch of sissy boys.

So to review” we have boys that act like girls, and to make up for that men now act like boys, fighting and getting dirty. In response girls act like women, and develop into women who act like men.

And did I mention the social and political conflicts at work here?  Looming large over this whole scenario is the debate over Egalitarianism V Complementarianism all of this creates a perfect storm for angst which can in turn be channeled into consumerism by people who sell books and write blogs.

Here’s the problem though, It’s not an ignorance issue.

It would be great if there were a simple proscribed set of gender attributes enumerated in scripture but there just aren’t. We would have to insert our own experiences into scripture to find those. And to make matters worse God made all sorts of different kinds of people, including macho men and girly girls and effeminate men and tomboys. he even made some people that defy out categories entirely like androgen insensitive men and hermaphrodites which, if taken seriously, should cause us to question any unilateral statements we make about a specific gender.

I don’t have the answers. I only have more questions and the willingness to ask them somewhat loudly. I’ll let you know here if I come up with anything. and if you have any answers, by all means sound off in the comments.


Written by RyanGaffney

June 23, 2012 at 3:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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