A Note to the reader- This article is written from my own perspective influenced by Bible teachings which I hold to be true and conservative narratives on the topic. It only deals with some aspects of the topic. It is not my intention to be one-sided. It is my aim, however, to add my voice to those who are speaking up for men who suffer in silence.
Feminism is the advocacy of women rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes- Oxford Dictionaries
Feminism started with a just call for equal rights for all, fairness and more opportunities for women to realize their potential. We are thankful for the efforts of those women and men who highlighted the poor treatment, and discrimination that girls and women faced. Today a countless number of females continue to benefit from strides made in these areas.
Feminism has many groups. Over time some of these groups having tasted victory but not quite satisfied have moved from away from the emphasis of social justice and equality for all and taken on new ideologies which have led many to wonder if there was a hidden agenda from the beginning. Today the most vocal voices of feminism bash males, have redefined who/what a good man even making claims that some of the natural attributes of masculinity inherent to biological males are anti-female and oppressive, while themselves encouraging women to adopt these masculine traits. It is becoming clear that these groups of feminists do not seek partnership with men but rulership of men.
These groups have promoted these new ideologies so fiercely, that they have become popular opinion in a dominant culture which encourages a genderless society or one where the individual can choose their preferred gender. Sadly, these ideas/views are now influencing school curriculum and all objections made against this new ‘progressive culture’ are labeled as coming from bigots and seen as hate speech.
Traditional roles are changing, they are becoming more confusing and pressure is being placed on men to take on more feminine qualities and roles. Masculinity is now being connoted with dominance, abuse, and violence. It is not, these are human behaviors of both sexes just more common in some men.
Being gentlemanly and extending courtesies and compliments to women does not mean sexual interest or some ulterior motive. Some men were raised to treat women gently and there are many women who still want to be treated that way. Therein lies the issue, some men sometimes feel clueless as to what women really want. Be a modern man they are told. Men who have no inclination nor desire to control women have to face scenarios their grandfathers never faced. They wonder whether to open the door for her or let her open it herself. He may not want to open it lest she sees this act as demeaning her, making her look weak and inferior. Then there some women who want to be treated like a queen. It becomes a trial and error. There is a decision to be made, he thinks maybe I should let her make it alone I don’t want her to think I am seeking to dominate her. Should I pursue her he wonders or let her pursue me. Many men have settled denying their hearts.
In a relationship a man might be intimidated by the woman's opinion of him, he wants her to see him as a good man but if she subscribes to the feminist definition he cannot be true to himself; so, he chooses to become passive and try to be what she wants according to her mood. He just goes along with everything.
Feminism tells women they don’t need men. But God made women to complement men. The fear of loneliness has trapped men in abusive and loveless relationships. Some men feel the odds are stacked against them, they are in a no-win situation. They think that this comes with being a man in a world that seems to suggest that some masculine qualities displayed by a man make him a beast and oppressor but when women adopt these same traits she is celebrated as being a strong, independent and assertive woman. There are men who have to tiptoe even around their wives trying not to offend her because when she snaps she uses words to belittle him. The battle of the sexes has reached into the homes. Mothers and other females must seek to make the right impact on young boys in their influence and teach their daughters to respect their male counterparts. Modern feminism seems to encourage girls to be cold and harsh towards boys. Men and boys can either become more insecure or more confident based on their interaction with females.
We are all leaders and followers in a sense. Leadership traits can be found in both males and females. However, by design men are more apt to lead. Whereas there is freedom to decide or war over boardroom access and board composition. A female chief executive officer who is also a wife is not the boss at home. In the home and family, God has given the leadership role to the man, her husband regardless of his job description. This role includes protecting, and providing for his family lovingly. Not autocratic leadership.
It is a fact that there are men who have perpetrated the worst forms of violence on girls and women. But we in the west must never forget the men who have contributed to the development of our societies, those who work hard and continue to make sacrifices for their families. Women who know good men, who have experienced love from good men, who deeply admire masculine men must not stay silent, in your own way say – do not bash my father, my husband, my brother, my uncle, my nephew, my cousins, my friend. Do not bash my good masculine man!
Masculinity is not about muscles, physical strength, roughness, tattoos, living it up. It is not a social construct to be tampered with. Research has shown that boys and men whose diet include lots of foods rich in estrogen (e.g. soy) experience a fall in the levels of their male hormone. Such an imbalance does not make a male feminine. The type of environment a boy is brought up in and experiences may affect how he expresses or suppress his masculinity.
Masculinity has to do with traits, mental approaches and those God-given natural tendencies and roles associated with boys and men. Fathers must teach their sons how to men.
I am not suggesting that bashing of masculine qualities and the feminization of boys and men is pervasive but it is a growing trend and a global agenda.
What would Jesus say to this current gender conflict?
Matthew 19:4 Jesus answered, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female'
By Tesse Wilson