I came across this link a while back during the whole controversy involving the boy scouts and homosexuality – A Boy’s Life with Unisex Scouts. I really liked it. It was really well written and pleasant to read, and just had a nice poetry to it. But it surprised me that I liked it. It surprised me because the essay stresses the differences between boys and girls, between men and women. If you’ve read my other posts you know that I struggle with emphasizing the differences between men and women too much. I think unhelpful gender stereotypes have caused much of the emotional gender distress and sexual confusion in our culture.
But this essay was a very helpful counter to my tendency to make men and women too much the same. We are different. We have different bodies, and therefore somewhat different identities. And there are general differences between men and women that go beyond just having different genitals. I think this essay beautifully articulates some of those differences, while at the same time, most of the traditional stupid gender stereotypes are not brought up. For example, the boy learns what it means to be a man from the modeling of his father, and there is no mention of the boy needing to know a lot about cars or needing to shut down his emotions. Those harmful stereotypes are not there.
As men, we are different from women. We do need to teach the next generation of boys and girls what it means to be men and women. We need to fight against the gender confusion in our society. I don’t mean we need to fight against people. People who are struggling with gender confusion should be loved and cared for, and helped through their struggles. But we need to fight intellectually against the irrationality of our current culture that says, “It doesn’t matter what your DNA is, it does not matter what your body looks like, you can be whatever you want, even if that means changing your sex someday, or being a boy who likes to pretend he is a girl.”
It’s almost as if the Gnosticism of the ancient world is back in full force in our culture. As in that day, the material world is degraded and undervalued. A subjective feeling inside a person becomes more important than common sense and biological objective reality. Rather than our body contributing something to our identity and who we are, it has become something to be manipulated however we see fit in order to try to match subjective feelings. And so we have men trying to become women, healthy bodied people trying to get doctors to amputate their limbs, and people saying they are part animal,. There is no need to make a “slippery slope” argument here. Every time I think of something more illogical for people to do along these lines, I see a news article about people already doing it. I’m actually surprised that our culture is still against cutting, other types of self-harm, and suicide. The arguments for suicide actually make more logical sense to me than for transsexualism. Okay, I’m ranting, time to stop.