Real Men are not Bullies: Let’s Talk about the Church’s View of Masculinity

by | Mar 30, 2022 | Men's Corner | 106 comments

Evangelicalism and Toxic Masculinity

Every now and then my husband has something he really needs to get off of his chest, and this is one of those days!

So I’m going to turn the blog over to him today, because he’d like to talk about masculinity.

We’ll be talking about this on tomorrow’s Bare Marriage podcast, too, so tune in to that as well!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Time for me to go on rampage about “Biblical” manhood and womanhood again.

Today, I had planned to write an inspirational post about how we as men can make a big difference by speaking up about the things Sheila has found in her studies. God willing, I might get to that by the end of the post. But Sheila knocked me off course (and got my blood pressure up a bit) by sending me a link to an article called “The Masculinity of Christ in the Face of Effeminate Christianity” by someone named Dale Partridge.

The article is the same old, tired rant.

Apparently men are deserting the church because we have feminized it and we must realize that “Christianity is not an egalitarian religion” and get back to patriarchy as soon as possible if we are to have any hope for the future.

It instantly reminded me of a similar article published a couple of years ago on the Desiring God website called “The Future of Masculinity” by Greg Morse. Both articles are permeated with the idea that men are supposed to be “in charge”, dangerous and a little bit scary. Anything less is not a true man.

In Morse’s article he mourns the fact that “today’s ‘virtuous man’ is depicted as much more virtue than man”, while Partridge similarly opines that “any form of masculinity that doesn’t adhere to the world’s standard is deemed “toxic.” Both then try to show how Jesus should not be seen the way “effeminate culture” wants to portray Him, but as truly masculine (i.e. the narrow way they see masculinity).

But here’s the problem: Forget masculine or feminine; we know that Jesus was good.

If your view of masculinity sets it in opposition to virtue, it is by definition in opposition to Jesus. Men who write articles like this are usually the first to accuse people who disagree with them of reading their preconceived notions into the text of the Bible. How do they not see they are doing the exact same thing here? They seem to have a great need to project their preconceived view of masculinity onto Jesus rather than letting Jesus inform their masculinity (and in the process maybe learn how to be a man and not be toxic).

Partridge (in a superscript) references the Wikipedia page on “Toxic Masculinity”, giving an example of what the “world’s standard” is vis-a-vis masculinity – you know, the one we must avoid. The Wiki article clearly states which of the elements of traditional masculinity are considered toxic – “stereotypes of men as socially dominant, along with…misogyny and homophobia”. And it also explains why: “due in part to their promotion of violence, including sexual assault and domestic violence”.

So which of “social dominance, misogyny, homophobia, sexual assault and domestic violence” are the non-negotiables these men are advocating for us to endorse?

Morse describes the pitiable watered-down non-toxic man this way: “He is compliant, deferential, and soft. He is nice. He works his job, pays his taxes, keeps his head down, and avoids scandal and, by all means, anything that could be called “abuse.”

Consider what Morse is saying – if a man is nice, works his job and pays his taxes he is not really a man.

No, to be a real man, he has to be dangerous, even to the point of crossing the line to things ‘that could be called “abuse”’. The Wiki article Partridge references grants that “traditionally masculine traits such as devotion to work, pride in excelling at sports, and providing for one’s family, are not considered to be toxic”.

Unfortunately, that is simply not enough for the kind of men who write these articles. No, to them real men must be “alpha males” who control and dominate. And we men who don’t feel that need? Well, my friend, we are all relegated to “beta male” status. I have a couple of problems with this. First, the alpha/beta male thing is total nonsense (as this humorous video shows)

But even worse, by their own definition the sort of men who clamour for female submission are clearly much less manly than the men who don’t do so.

To me, men who need to make women small in order to feel like a man actually have no idea what it means to be a man. If being a man means having courage, taking responsibility and doing what needs to be done then we regular males are out-pacing all you “alpha males” by a large margin. If you want to be courageous, try living in a world where you don’t get any freebies by being a man, where you are judged by the merits of your contribution rather than by the fact that you were born with a penis.  We – the majority of men – have been doing that for some time now without really finding it to be an issue.

Only weak men fear and shame women for being strong.

This was shown scientifically in a study from 2015 of players of the video game HALO.  The study found that male players who did poorly became increasingly hostile to female players who were more successful than they were. But the men with the skills? They had no problem with the women being allowed on the field!

 

Men Being Small

The kind of men who write articles like this reveal their insecurity in their need to “genderize” virtue in the first place.

Partridge makes a huge point that Jesus displayed masculinity by His great courage in saying “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem.”  In saying this was courageous, I agree with Partridge completely. Given that Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him, the unflinching resolve He displayed is a tremendous inspiration to us all, male and female alike.  But Partridge’s claim that “of all the statements demonstrating the raw masculinity recorded in human history, there is none remotely more courageous” falls on deaf ears to me. How was this a uniquely masculine act?

Can women not resolve to do things that require courage?

What about the women at Christianity Today who got up and went to work every morning for years knowing their boss was likely going to sexually harass them, but also knowing the head of HR was his golfing buddy so there was nowhere to turn for help?  What about Eileen Gray, who steeled herself to go before Rev. John MacArthur and the men on the church elder’s board to seek help from her abusive husband? I am sure she feared what would happen if they didn’t listen. (And in fact, MacArthur publicly shamed and excommunicated her for not taking her abuser back!)

To me, these examples of courage have more in common with Jesus’ utterance of “Behold we are going up to Jerusalem” than anything I have seen coming out of the bastions of male dominance lately. But, shamefully, men like Partridge and Morse are too busy telling women how much Jesus is not like them that they miss it entirely when Jesus shows Himself in them.

Simply put, men who are confident in their masculinity don’t feel like women are “treading on our turf” when they are courageous, too.

We don’t feel it necessary to distinguish how she was brave or strong or virtuous in a feminine way, but the way we were brave or strong or virtuous was particularly masculine. Maybe it is high time for us to let these authors know that when they talk like that, they just come across as silly and frankly a bit pathetic.

So, I guess this is my inspirational call to men who are reading this:

Most of us are not toxic and don’t particularly find that a hardship. Most of us are not ashamed to be like the One who called Himself “gentle and humble of heart”, the One who said “turn the other cheek”, the One who said “not so among you” about ruling over others.  Most of us are confident in our masculinity without needing to make women feel small or afraid or that somehow they are less like Jesus than we are. Most of us think that being a bully is the opposite of being a man.

Let’s stop letting these bullies claim they speak for Jesus.

Let’s stop letting people who have told us they need an uneven playing field or they will take their ball and go home to think they can give lessons in masculinity. And most of all, let’s stand up for our sisters if we ever see these bullies try to pick on them again.

Evangelicalism and Toxic Masculinity

What do you think? Where has evangelicalism veered off course with masculinity? How can we bring it back? And is there a difference between “feminine” courage and “masculine” courage? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Blog and Podcast Contributor, Co-Author with Sheila of two upcoming marriage books

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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106 Comments

  1. CMT

    “too busy telling women how much Jesus is not like them that they miss it entirely when Jesus shows Himself in them”

    Nailed it.

    Looking around it seems like the evangelical culture I grew up in is intent on rebuilding the very boundaries Jesus came to tear down – between women and men, low social status and high, weak and powerful, spiritual “outsiders” and spiritual “insiders.” It’s really depressing.

    Reply
    • Keith Gregoire

      Yes. it is depressing that it go to that point.
      But isn’t it encouraging to see the ground swell of people returning to what Jesus was trying to do?
      Despite a massive Evangelical Industrial Complex trying to railroad us into their way of thinking, despite their protestations that if we disagree we are no longer Christian, despite the fact that they have all the machinery that SHOULD be able to control the narrative (and they are desperately trying to do so), people are simply reading the gospels, seeing Jesus and going, “Wait! This doesn’t look like what I have been taught in the evangelical church….”

      Reply
      • CMT

        It is encouraging, yes. But I guess I’m pretty jaded. The last couple years have been pretty terrible for being both a Christian and a healthcare worker, especially here in the US. We had a chance to love our neighbors when it really mattered. But good luck getting my “church community” to hear that, especially from a woman. They just doubled down on tribalism and stuck their heads in the sand instead. Sorry if this sounds bitter or this comment derails the conversation. I guess I’m saying I only see a “groundswell” in online spaces and books. I wish I knew where to find it IRL.

        Reply
  2. Codec

    Overall great post.

    That Adam Ruins Everything video is really cringy.

    You know what all of this reminds me of? The show Cobra Kai and how that show deals with this topic.

    Reply
  3. D

    This is a great article. When I read articles such as the ones you linked I am never clear how the authors themselves are using their masculinity in a productive way—-besides simply writing about it.

    I’m a former Roman Catholic—-but I am never impressed when authors such as Partridge can’t make their statements without an unnecessary dig—talking about the “soft-smiled Roman Catholic paintings” of Jesus.

    I grew up with several priests who devoted their lives to making the world a better place. One would get arrested protesting war, another made a ministry of supporting Hispanic immigrants, and another had a daily ministry of feeding the hungry.

    What do the Partridges and Morses of the world do to make the world a better place, besides showing us they really don’t understand masculinity and femininity, and that their goal seems to be to promote misunderstanding instead of love.

    Reply
    • CMT

      Right!! Like do they think the guy who said “let the little children come to me” couldn’t smile gently?? Cheap shots at the RCC by evangelicals are just residents of glass houses throwing stones.

      Re the obsession with “masculinity” over making positive change in the world: I really like how this post explains the cultural reasons why it made sense for Jesus to be male https://margmowczko.com/is-god-male-or-masculine/
      In essence, a man preaching love, reaching out to the lowly, and humbly suffering was striking precisely because it subverted that culture’s expectations for masculinity, not because it reinforced them.

      Reply
      • Keith Gregoire

        Absolutely! I cannot see how the people who espouse the “hypermasculine Jesus” reconcile it with the Jesus we actually see in the gospels, particularly the fact that His own self-description was that He was “gentle and humble in heart”.
        The artists who created those paintings Partridge mocks portrayed Him the way they do because they were trying to make sense of what they saw in the Gospels.
        But a Jesus who is gentle, humble, compassionate, caring is an embarrassment to them.
        It’s so sad.

        Reply
  4. Jane Eyre

    “If you want to be courageous, try living in a world where you don’t get any freebies by being a man, where you are judged by the merits of your contribution rather than by the fact that you were born with a penis.”

    That belongs on a pillow or a mug.

    I’ve found that men who are confident in their abilities and contributions aren’t threatened by me in the slightest. This wasn’t true in my twenties – a huge number of men wanted to build themselves up by tearing down women. It’s an immature way to live life.

    Mary demonstrated tremendous courage. It irks me when people try to shove her courage into a “feminine” box, because we are all called upon to be courageous like her and align our will to God’s like she did. She faced condemnation, scandal, intense physical pain, and then was one of the few people to be with her son at the foot of the cross. Seems like that’s everyone’s job, when asked.

    Reply
  5. Meredith

    I am very thankful for Keith’s voice. There are a lot of men who believe the same things as he does, but so few of them are willing to speak up. Thank you!

    Reply
  6. R

    I want to thank you for giving me someone new to read by linking to his article. I agree with him. I disagree with you. But more importantly the Bible agrees with him and disagrees with you. Even as feminized as the church is you still have the majority of it in the west and almost all of it outside the west telling you guys you are wrong. You are harming the Kingdom. Stop.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      You must not be reading the same Bible as the rest of us, because no it doesn’t, Bro. Certainly it’s not God’s Kingdom she’s HURTING, or Keith. That’s a pretty ridiculous statement. LOL

      Reply
    • Owen

      You refer to “the Bible” as if it were a person. It isn’t. It’s a book that must be read. Everyone who reads it, must read it with a humble heart and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. What you meant was “my interpretation of the Bible agrees with them.”
      Why are you patriarchy types so insistent that masculinity comes from the submission of women? I don’t get you. You complain about egalitarianism, and how men who believe in it are effeminate, and then in the next breath you complain how little sex you get! Can’t you see that your inability to treat your wife as an equal is what creates mistrust, and then a lack of intimacy? And how is suggesting that all humans are equal “hurting the kingdom?” It’s like you’ve hardened your hearts to the point that you can’t even see Christ revealed in all of scripture. If you weren’t doing so much harm to the kingdom, I’d think it was sad.

      Reply
    • CMT

      “You are harming the Kingdom” That’s a heavy charge. What do you see here that is harmful? I see encouragement to men and women alike to act more like Jesus.

      Reply
      • S

        I’ve never understood why it’s an insult or a bad thing for the Church, the Bride of Christ to be feminine. Unless you have a problem with things that are feminine, or understand feminine things as being “less than” ideal…is that perhaps the case?

        But hey, nothing screams “I am a confident, secure man” like whining about things being “feminized”. So pound your chest like the manly man you are and make it louder for the betas in
        back.

        Reply
      • Anon

        You claim Sheila and Keith are “harming the Kingdom.” How? By rightly pointing out that a real man doesn’t act like a bully, an abuser, and a letch? You also claim the Bible says they’re wrong. Let’s take a look at the evidence.

        Jacob manipulated his brother Esau into selling him his birthright, and tricked Isaac into making him the heir, again stealing what was his brother’s. Jacob also ignored his first wife Leah in favor of the favored (and supposedly prettier) wife Rachel. Does that make him a “real man?” Did he glorify the Kingdom by his actions?

        David lusted after another man’s wife and took her for himself, and had her husband murdered. Does that make him a “real man?” Did his actions glorify the Kingdom?

        David’s son Amnon lusted after his half-sister Tamar, manipulated her into coming alone into his room, and raped her when he couldn’t get what he wanted. Does that make him a “real man?” Did his actions glorify the Kingdom?

        Ananias decided to trick God by keeping tithe money for himself and coerced his wife Sapphira into going along with it. Does that make him a “real man?” Did his actions glorify the Kingdom?

        I’ll wait for your answer.

        Reply
    • Keith Gregoire

      So apparently telling men to stop being bullies is harming the Kingdom, everyone. Thanks for the FYI, R.

      Reply
    • Marian

      “… the majority… telling you guys you are wrong.”
      Sigh. When you mistake culture established by fallen, patriarchal culture for truth and Jesus, it’s a pretty ugly look.
      What’s “harming the Kingdom” are those who offer the world the “good news” of their sinful-human-culture-driven interpretations that engender entitlement, entitlement, and abuse, and call it “Jesus” and God’s Kingdom.

      Reply
    • EOF

      So, being a misogynist abuser is the call of a Christian man?

      Can you point to any verses in the Bible where Jesus taught that? Where Jesus treated women like that? I’ve never read those verses. The only people Jesus was harsh with were the religious leaders — all men, mind you. Men who thought they knew better than God himself.

      Jesus came to set the captives and the oppressed FREE!! (Luke 4:18-19)

      …from people like YOU.

      Reply
    • JONATHAN BLEEKER

      Kiddo, if your masculinity is so fragile that virtue can shatter it then it ain’t much to speak of.

      Reply
  7. Jo R

    Men on average have probably always been larger, heavier, and stronger than most women. It is therefore not in the least surprising that men have used that innate advantage to dominate women societally, politically, and in pretty much every other way all throughout history.

    What is surprising is that “Christian” men think that that behavior is somehow ordained by God rather than being a consequence of the typical physical differences between the sexes. It’s as though the Bible was written to men, women are of little or no account, and women must simply make do with the scraps and crumbs that men deign to give them.

    Once one has learned about the first-century Greco-Roman world that elevated free men well above free women and both male and female slaves, one cannot imagine a more complete reversal of societal roles than the way Ephesians 5 is written. Husbands were to treat their wives the way they would treat men with the highest social standing. Husbands were also to put themselves in the societal place of female slaves, who would have been responsible for lowly tasks like providing food and clean clothing to their master’s family (“feeding” and “without spot or wrinkle”).

    The passages that deal with spiritual gifts do not have any male bias whatsoever, which is all the more surprising once one understands that Greek is a grammatically gendered language, exactly the way modern Spanish and French are. So for example, in Spanish there are two third-person plural pronouns, “ellos” and “ellas,” whereas English has just the neuter word “they.” If a group is all females, you use “ellas,” the feminine form. As soon as just one male is added to the group, you’re supposed to switch to “ellos.” Same exact thing in French with “ils” and “elles.”

    But the spiritual gift passages use grammatically neuter terms that can best be translated with the English words like “anyone” or “one,” yet too many English translations litter the teaching and leading gifts with definitely masculine words like “he” and “him.” I wonder why that is? Because, as suggested above, it’s a man’s world, and men get to decide these things.

    In the Old Testament, think of all the verses in Joshua, Judges, and 1 Chronicles that talk about “men of valor” and “valiant men.” Compare those mental images with the ones you get about the Proverbs 31 “virtuous woman” and Ruth being a “virtuous woman” (3:11). The English words “valor,” “valiant,” and “virtuous” all translate THE SAME HEBREW WORD. So why the sex-based spin? Imagine how differently we would understand those passages if they were about “men of virtue” and “virtuous men” and “valiant woman.”

    Things that make you go “Hmmmm.”

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I didn’t know that about valor/virtue in Hebrew! So interesting!

      Reply
      • Jo R

        https://www.studylight.org/lexicons/eng/hebrew/02428.html

        Scroll down to “Frequency Lists” and tap “Book” if Bible versions aren’t already showing, then tap a translation.

        Then you can tap each Bible book in turn to see its usage of the word in the “Verse Results” section.

        I did not discover this on my own (more’s the pity) but from the book “Valiant or Virtuous” by Suzanne McCarthy, via the elsewhere mentioned margmowczko.com.

        Reply
        • Lisa

          I looked at that list, so interesting! One of the newest Swedish Bible translations actually describes the Proverbs 31 woman as “enterprising” or “driven”, which would be a bit closer to “able” and “strong”.

          Recently I quit my email subscription to a semi-popular American Christian relationship blog, because the author said that men don’t think that a woman being driven is a positive thing. He didn’t say it was a negative trait though, only neutral, but that men prioritize agreeableness in a woman. Both me and my fiance (male, driven AND agreeable) thought it was weird and extra-biblical. I mean, how can one read Proverbs 31 and not see a woman who is extremely driven – and whose husband praises her for it?

          Just to run off on a tangent, I think it speaks of privilege to say that men don’t really care about finding a driven woman. The way I see it, you can only say that if you belong to a societal class where you live comfortably off one income or if society as a whole is built for single income households. What about the working class or poorer countries? I would assume the majority of Christian men in the world (or at least a large minority) literally can’t afford to marry someone who isn’t driven and just waits for her husband to take the lead in all household matters.

          Reply
        • Anon

          I think it’s interesting how the “valiant” part can also apply to women – consider how Lucy, the youngest of the Pevensie children in the Narnia stories, was titled Queen Lucy the Valiant, because she was the strongest in faith and a defender of her kingdom (in “The Horse and His Boy,” we learn that Lucy is the one who rides to the battles and participates as a warrior).

          Reply
      • Keith Gregoire

        Interesting. In The Chosen, they quote Proverbs 31 as “A woman of valor, who can find?” I remember thinking at the time we were watching how interesting it was that they used the word “valor”, but I guess I kept my thoughts to myself.

        Reply
      • Cynthia

        Yup – “chayil” is the word used in both places.

        Reply
    • Marie

      Thank you for bringing that up!! More people should know that (and every time I hear a pastor say the Proverbs 31 woman was virtuous, inside my head I scream “woman of VALOR- say it right!”).

      Reply
      • Jo R

        Makes one wonder what the men are so afraid of. 🤔🤔🤔

        Just one more thing for my mental list of things to challenge right in the middle of the sermon as we try to find a church that preaches the Bible rather than patriarchy.

        Reply
  8. Laura

    “Simply put, men who are confident in their masculinity don’t feel like women are “treading on our turf” when they are courageous, too.” Love this and definitely tweet-able!

    Interesting how this topic was brought up today especially since the Oscars’ incident a few days ago. There are “Christian” men I know who applauded Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock because that’s what manly men do. They slap another man for insulting their wife. Men who don’t do that are considered sissies is their line of thinking. I guess these men (the ones who applauded this behavior) forgot that Jesus said to turn the other cheek.

    It took a lot for me not to chime in on the comments of these men’s posts. One of my male Facebook friends posted something along these lines: For the women who don’t like that kind of behavior (what Will Smith did to defend his wife), they are really the men of their house.

    If the evangelical brand of “Christian masculinity” or “Biblical manhood” is what Christian men are supposed to live up to, then it’s no wonder that I would rather remain single or marry a man who is not a devout Christian. As long as he believes in God and Jesus but doesn’t attend church, that’s fine with me.

    I’ve been in relationships with “Christian” men who reeked of toxic masculinity. They believed in “protecting” which really meant controlling, smothering, and dominating me. Of course, if I’m in physical danger, then protect me. Just don’t hit another person who insulted me.

    Reply
  9. Nathan

    Reply to post from “R” above,

    I’m not sure what you mean. Are you saying that in order to be truly masculine, you have to be controlling, dangerous and abusive?

    Reply
    • Anon

      He probably watched “Beauty and the Beast” and thought Gaston was a hero instead of a villain.

      Reply
  10. Angharad

    In a way, I’m thankful that these guys keep writing these articles – because it’s a great way of spotting the men who aren’t to be trusted.

    And it’s always interesting to see how they prove their point by cherry-picking: “Yes, there is Deborah and Rahab and Esther who demonstrated great courage, but they are far outnumbered by the courageous examples of men…” Which is ridiculous, because the Bible features more stories about men than women full stop. So if you’re going to argue that bravery is a male characteristic simply because the Bible gives more examples of male bravery than female bravery, presumably, you should also argue that men are more evil than women, because the Bible mentions more men doing evil in the sight of the Lord than women…

    And it’s ludicrous to take the fact that men have advantages in sporting contests through having greater muscle mass and stronger bones and extrapolate that into ‘proof’ that men have greater resolve in the face of death. Partridge uses Christ’s example of ‘walking ahead’ as proof of masculine courage (although, since Christ lived a perfect, sinless life, one cannot take his actions as proof of how ‘all’ men behave, since all other men are sinful). Yet he neglects to point out that when Jesus was betrayed, NONE of his MALE followers stayed with him – they all betrayed him. Hardly proof of men’s ‘great resolve in the face of death’!

    Thank you, Keith, for continuing to call out this rubbish for what it is – and for demonstrating that real men don’t need to belittle women to hang on to their ‘manliness’!

    Reply
    • Noel Lokaychuk

      Not only did Christ’s male followers desert Him, but his female followers followed Him to the cross. And went to the tomb to care for Him, despite the strictures of the government.

      Reply
      • Anon

        Noel, thank you for pointing this out! The disciples deserted him (except John), Judas betrayed him, and Peter denied him three times. However, the women – including his own mother – stayed with Jesus until the end. And Jesus first appeared to a woman – Mary Magdalene – after his resurrection and chose her to tell the good news to his disciples.

        Reply
      • Angela

        We have to be careful not to overstate the case–the women were probably at much less risk of being arrested. And they didn’t believe He would rise either–they only went to the tomb to anoint the body. It’s probably a bigger deal that John was at the cross, bearing whatever risk that may have entailed. However, the women do demonstrate faithfulness and love, and Jesus honors that by appearing to them first.

        Reply
        • Courtney

          Considering the fact that women were also arrested, tortured and killed for following Christ (Junia comes to mind but there are mainly extra biblical historical accounts), I don’t really agree with what you’re saying. There also isn’t really any reason to believe the male disciples would’ve been arrested considering the Roman soldiers had no interest in arresting them when they collected Jesus in the first place. They were caught red-handed as his disciples (cue the ear-cutting).

          Reply
    • Keith Gregoire

      I didn’t have the opportunity to go into this in the blogpost, but another completely inane point that Partridge makes is “We must admit that the resolve of Christ was, in part, made possible by His biological body”
      The implication is that Christ’s physical strength (since He was male) was part of the reason for His courage; He could handle the crucifixion better than a woman. This certainly lines up with the narrative that they are so desperately trying to prove – that men are superior to women and closer to God . Unfortunately, implying or believing that Jesus came as a man rather than a woman so that He could handle crucifixion is patently ridiculous.
      They are trying to make Jesus sound like a tough guy because He endured the cross, but if that was even a tiny part of the message God wanted to portray, then why was Jesus unable to even carry His own cross (Mark 15:21)? Why do the gospels tell us that Pilate was surprised he had died so quickly (Mark 15:44)?
      In fact, the crucifixion was not a display of a man’s strength but of our God’s power. And God’s power as the apostle Paul says is “made perfect in weakness”, something these men would do well to remember.
      But I get the impression these men – if they were face to face with Him – would be ashamed of a Jesus who can’t even carry His own cross and then dies so quickly just as they would be ashamed of a Jesus who would turn His other cheek to someone who slapped Him.
      Thinking that and remembering Luke 9:26 gives me compassion for them despite how many people they are hurting.

      Reply
      • Jane Eyre

        That doesn’t even make any sense. If you’re going to be crucified, you’re going to die – no matter how strong you are. In fact, strength makes it worse because the actual cause of death is suffocation; your muscles give out and you can no longer breathe.

        Reply
        • CMT

          Yeah K

          Reply
      • Bre

        This is what makes me sad. As someone who was aggressively bullied as a child for being autistic, Jesus’s love is what got through to me and attracted me to him as a 5th grader. I largely came to faith on my own; my adopted grandparents took me to church and I figured out many things on my own. Feeling know and accepted by someone was what got me to love God. Just the idea that people are trying to take out a big part of who Jesus was to remake God in their cultural image…it’s just sad. I also just hate the argument about strength and muscles being a gender role. There was an article a few years back from TGC or CBMW about how a muscular, athletic woman kills her husbands sexual desire and leads to marrige problems because that” isn’t how women are supposed to be”. I just can’t stop thinking about one of my good friends from my schools pro life club. She’s a catholic woman who’s highly intelligent and morally strong. She is one of the most loving people I’ve met and has helped me through some awful times. She has literally verbally smacked down politicians with logic, is now a requested guest writer for news sites all over the spectrum and is a psychologist. She’s just…so accomplished and amazing and I’m truly blessed to be her friend. But Apparently she isn’t godly enough because of all things, she decided she needed to have yet another hobby in her insane schedule and became a bodybuilder…for fun. She’s amazing😂. But she’s very outspoken and athletic and has a very quiet, non-fit boyfriend…so are they not godly enough? I can think of so many other men and women who are the most loving and amazing people I know who fit in Jesus’ paradigm more than these “great teachers”. It makes me sad how much we kill the spirit of God by creating our own ideas and hiarchies and slapping a selected Bible verse or two on it. We’re keeping so many people from the freedom of God by preaching our faulty human ideas😢the world is hurting enough, it doesn’t need the follows of Christ adding to it.

        Reply
      • Katy Didd

        Keith, in Catholic theology, Mary suffered greatly when Christ was crucified. When she presented Christ at the temple as a baby the prophet told her that her heart would be pierced. No, she wasn’t beaten and crucified (though MANY female martyrs were) but she endured tremendous sorrow and pain.

        I have a feeling that when we get to heaven and our eyes are opened we will see that the pillars of the church weren’t the great speakers, the beauties, the strong men, but rather the little old ladies who pray faithfully in their pews and wash dishes after fellowship, the broken ones who cry out, the ones who get made fun of.

        Reply
      • Aleassa

        That’s hilarious because well-documented studies actually show that women have a higher pain tolerance than men. Childbirth, anyone? And what about the fact that Jesus had to have an “alpha male” carry his cross for him? How does that stand up to “biblical manhood?”

        These guys are really telling on themselves.

        Reply
      • Jonathan Bleeker

        Adam was definitely decidedly emasculated by their standards then post fall. He was willing to sacrifice Eve to try and save his own skin by shifting the blame to her.

        Reply
      • E

        You are such a clear thinker and writer, Keith! Thank you for these insights. Very true!

        Reply
      • Angela

        Plenty of people have been crucified, and worse things. Including women. Lots of Christian matyrs of both sexes have died horrible deaths that they might have been able to escape by renouncing their faith. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that gives that kind of courage, and Jesus needed the Holy Spirit too. He relied on His Father for strength, not his human physique or masculinity.

        Reply
  11. Nathan

    I was going to say something like “truly strong people aren’t threatened by the strength of others”, but Keith already said it in the article.

    Reply
    • Keith Gregoire

      It bears repeating and rephrasing, brother!

      Reply
  12. Noel Lokaychuk

    Did you look at who the author of the first article is? I did, because in his bio it says he is located in Sedona, which is only 40 minutes from me. I was curious because it’s a small area and I’ve never heard of his “church”. Apparently, he and some friends have created a network of home churches, according to the “biblical ” model they have created, with their own personal seminary and ordination. The website specifically states that they do not encourage inviting random people to services, which explains why I’ve never heard of it. It’s interesting to see that again, we are looking at reactions, rather than actions. (No, I have no plans to drop in on his service!)

    Reply
    • Jo R

      Thank you for researching and sharing.

      Reply
    • Laura

      Sounds to me like he has a cult.

      Reply
      • Laura

        Noel,

        Your brief commentary about this author piqued my curiosity so I had to click on the link. I won’t read the article because I know I’ll be fuming all the way through. I did scroll to the bottom where there were more links to his other posts. I think he’s a Calvinist because one of his posts talks about “Predestination” which I just don’t agree with. He sounds like someone who’s in the same class as Doug Wilson, Doug Phillips (Vision Forum founder), and Voddie Baucham who believe in home churches and male patriarchy. Wilson may not have a house church, but he certainly has a cult.

        Reply
        • Noel Lokaychuk

          Reading further on the website for the seminary, one of the academic advisors is Ben Merkle- Doug Wilson’s son-in-law. That fills out the picture. Quite a few of the men involved are also graduates of John Macarthur’s The Master’s Seminary; that fills out another side of the picture.

          Reply
          • Lisa M

            The neo-reformed movement is truly scary.

    • Owen

      We have a name for that kind of “church.” It’s called “a cult.”

      Reply
    • A2bbethany

      That’s similar to creating your own mini country within your country. Pointless and you’ll nev grow… simply figh progress constantly. From all directions…. because a micro nation is not really reality….it’s playing pretend.

      Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Interesting! I didn’t know that about him. I hope his wife is okay!

      Reply
      • Noel Lokaychuk

        I have no idea, but they also have a marriage course available online, citing their ten years of marriage and three kids as a recommendation, and a course for defeating porn. There were quite a few interesting moments on their website, but I don’t want to flood your comments.

        Reply
      • Noel Lokaychuk

        I’m not sure anyone is following this anymore, but I have an answer to your question. It turns out I actually know his wife- I just didn’t know that’s who she was. She is part of a moms’ discussion group I go to. She doesn’t come regularly, but I’ve seen her a couple times. I can’t speak to her relationship with her husband, but she seems uptight, and stressed in general, and angsty about her kids. And she has never mentioned their church or multiple ministries at all. She said that her husband works remotely, and they had to get out of their RV and rent a house because he was so frustrated by the kids being loud when he was on the phone for work. She did mention coming from a rough background and wanting to do things “right” for her kids. It was interesting to realize actually- I do “know” them, and she is one of those people whom I’ve thought of befriending because she seems lonely, but she kind of scares me at the same time.

        Reply
    • EOF

      That’s certainly eye opening. Not surprising, though.

      Reply
  13. Nathan

    > > he is located in Sedona, which is only 40 minutes from me.

    Maybe about 2 hours from me here in Phoenix.

    > > specifically states that they do not encourage inviting random people to services

    Odd, since Jesus reached out to EVERYBDOY. On the other hand, I have heard of some churches that don’t really encourage new members, other than birth by existing members.

    Reply
  14. Nathan

    On churches and cults…

    I seem to remember a poster a while back on this very site talking about how she and her family joined a new church. They were very cold, distant and unfriendly. While they never directly told them “get out”, they were very clear (if indirect) that her family was not and never would be in the “inner circle”. They then went to a new church that was very friendly and welcoming.

    Reply
    • A2bbethany

      That’s similar to our experience with my first church. 15-17yrs of faithful attendance…. nobody ever talked to us. Except for a few set families, and my dad talked to everybody(to some degree).
      Because almost every other family, either was related or sent their kids to the church school. Once my family left and I was trying to decide if I went with them, or followed one of my brothers. It was strange how everyone actually tried to talk to me! But then my yet, un-outed abuser moved to the area permanently and I hightailed it. Probably 7ish yrs later when I randomly named him on social media, I learned he’d been selected for replacing the current pastor. And was about to start seminary. I wrecked that plan…divine intervention! They’re good people, but caught up on impractical doctrine that prevents a lot of ministry.
      The women’s excepted ministry? Prayer group. I didn’t know it existed until my mom was invited to try it, because my parents were on the verge of leaving.
      They left and I don’t think they regret it at all! My mom now gets plenty of practical service opportunities.

      Reply
    • Bre

      This is so sad and mreminds me of my youth pastor talking
      about his experience in a southern church as a child. His family was a missionary family abs they were everywhere. To this day his parents love and serve everyone they met…they are the sweetest old couple! This “church”literally wouldn’t let his mom help at a church picnic; she was yelled at for trying to help mix the lemon aid! They were just so nasty and marginalizing to them all for no reason. And the kids were just as bad; his older sister could only get the other kids to be nice to her and hang out if she begged their parents got money took it and bribed the kids with buying them candy! I just…why do these people even claim to follow Jesus if they can’t find it in themselves to treat their literal neighbors well? It’s bad enough that churches hide their toxicity but for any of them to be that blatant and bold about their meanness and exclusivity! Oh Lordy!

      Reply
  15. Marian

    Bravo, Keith. Thank you.
    “If you want to be courageous, try living in a world where you don’t get any freebies by being a man…” Seriously, the rabid, grasping response from patriarchal men who feel any part of their patriarchal power slipping screams a pathetic fear of what they might face without the automatic positioning to which they feel entitled.

    (Or… is the fear actually a godly one, of ruining God’s Plan for “social dominance, misogyny, homophobia, sexual assault and domestic violence”…? I mean, wouldn’t want to “harm God’s Kingdom”, right?)

    Reply
  16. Mara R

    R in a comment above concerning Keith’s blog post: “But more importantly the Bible agrees with him and disagrees with you.”

    It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich (privileged) man to enter the kingdom of God.

    Because the rich and privileged tried to bring their riches and privileges into the kingdom of God where they don’t belong.
    Because they want to be in the kingdom WITH their riches and privileges they misinterpret the Bible using their male-biased-colored glasses and make false doctrines concerning manhood and womanhood.

    Reply
  17. Nessie

    *Mordecai and many other Jewish men throughout the bible tore their garments in public shows of their emotional distresses.
    *David wrote psalm after psalm about sorrow, fear, anguish, appreciation, joy, etc.
    *Books of the bible include Lamentations and Song of Solomon. No emotion in either, right? That would be ungodly which is, of course, synonymous with un-masculine or effeminate.

    *Deborah’s husband was deeply embarrassed to have such a respected wife, right?
    *Esther was a meek and submissive female when she defied the king…?
    *Jael exuded femininity when she hammered that tent peg through a man’s skull.
    *How dare Rahab impinge on men’s masculinity by hiding Joshua’s scouts- they were effeminate men because they needed to be hidden by a female, right?
    *Mary “knew her place” when she defied convention and sat at Jesus’ feet to learn from Him in mixed company while Martha served- yet Mary was the one praised.
    *Oh yeah- Jesus wept.

    The closest I would come to isolating courage as “feminine” is for childbirth simply because a man is incapable of that… but I still wouldn’t call it “feminine” courage.

    Reply
  18. E B Darcy

    This is what Jesus says about Himself:
    “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:29

    Interesting how it sounds NOTHING like how these misogynistic wackos describe what they call Biblical masculinity…..

    Reply
  19. Angela

    I immediately thought of Esther, who is often lauded for her courage, and quoted, “If I perish, I perish!”

    Reply
  20. Mara R

    Finally got around to the “Adam Ruins Everything” YouTube link.

    Loved it!

    Thanks!

    Reply
  21. Lidia

    Wonderful post. Men like Morse and partridge remind me of the pharisees to whom Jesus greatly opposed. They had the letter of the law but lacked the spirit of love. Jesus was the perfect man. He did not come to espouse masculinity or femininity as the world describes it, but to show humankind how to live as a people indwelt by the Spirit of God that the world may be drawn to them. And I believe the greatest of these virtues were love , respect, honor…..which to toxic masculinity might be deemed as being effeminate. Lord have mercy.

    Reply
  22. Jim

    I know that I am not what is considered masculine.

    – I have never been athletic, I’ve actually struggled with weight my entire life.

    – My wife as made more money then me for our entire 20 year relationship.

    – I do the majority of the house work like cleaning and we split the cooking.

    – I have been a stay at home dad during periods that I was unemployed.

    I often wonder if that is why my wife does not seem attracted to me.

    Reply
    • JoB

      It’s hard to know how to read your last statement about your wife’s attraction to you, but all I can say is that I personally am learning that, similar to what they say about getting old, midlife ain’t for sissies… it’s very challenging.

      I am sure that your wife really values your taking responsibility for sharing household duties, if there are challenges in your relationship, I am sure sharing the chores is helping you, not hurting you. And I hope that you feel gratitude that your wife is able to earn a good income and let her know that you are proud of her for being a hard worker. Sometimes it’s easy to feel like, “I do all this good stuff and I’m not experiencing the good life I want to get in return,” but that doesn’t mean we should give up on the good stuff, just that we need to keep exploring what we could try in order to keep growing.

      Reply
      • Jim

        Easiest way to put it is that she does not put effort into our relationship.

        She puts most of her energy into our kids.
        By the time we put the kids to bed, she has nothing left for us.
        I am doing everything that I can to give her breaks and ‘share the load’ but she seems intent on giving all of herself to our kids.

        I’ve told her that some day they will be gone and I don’t want us to look at each other on that day and ask, ‘Who are you?’

        Reply
  23. Sarah

    Late to the party, but finally read Dale’s article (haven’t yet got to Greg’s, I can only take so much of this kinda thing per day). Came across a quote that made me chuckle:

    “The feminism movement of the 21st century is not about noble female valuation, it’s about male domination.”

    I think I know what he meant to say – that modern feminism is about women seeking domination over men. But what he actually said is that modern feminism is about male domination, which … yes, in a way. Ending male domination over women is one of the goals of feminism, so it could be said to be ‘about’ that. I’d elucidate ‘noble female validation’ to simply ‘treating women like humans’ though.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Sarah,

      I believe that your quote is referring to the change of feminism from striving for equal rights of women to women dominating men.

      You are seeing this in our culture in a number of ways.

      – Women graduating from college at higher rates then men.

      – Women earning graduate level and higher degrees at even higher rates then men.

      – More men and women are deciding to not get married and/or have children in the West. This has led birth rates to drop to such a degree that many European countries are not having enough kids to maintain the native population.

      These are just a few places where current day feminism has gone beyond asking for equality and has been creating detrimental effects on Western countries.

      Reply
      • Jo R

        What are the detrimental effects of women getting undergraduate and graduate degrees?

        Reply
        • Jim

          Jo R,

          The issue is not women getting degrees, the issue is that men are not getting them to a similar extent. This exasperates the gulf between men and women.

          For instance, women that are college educated are less likely to date/marry a man that is not. If less men are getting degrees and more women are, then that would decrease the pool of men that women would pursue relationships with. This would also apply since, statistically, a college degree holder is more likely to make more than one who only has a high school degree. Women are less likely to pursue a relationship with a man who makes less than they do.

          See how the snow ball gets bigger?

          Reply
          • Jo R

            So then it would be bad for college-educated women to maybe remain unmarried, if they can’t find men with certain traits they want in their husbands?

            Or is it that men can’t bear that their wives might have talents, skills, and abilities that the men don’t have?

            Or that men want nice, compliant wives who will roll over and do without question whatever the husbands want, and such women are less likely to have completed college?

            Why should a husband be threatened by his wife’s ability to earn an income higher than his?

          • Jim

            Jo R,

            One issue is that women, by and large, are becoming more entitled and picky. Men who do not meet their list of criteria are invisible to them. Even if they would make good husbands. But if they do not have certain outward characteristics, they are discounted without being given a chance.

            Does being college educated and/or being a high earner mean that they are good husband material?

            Not necessarily.

            And to answer your question about men being intimated by women that are high earners, yes, there are men that would be because society and history has taught us that men should be the providers, and many women still act that way.

            It is a concept called hypergamy. Women, by and large, are attracted to men that are higher on the social/economic ladder than they are. If a women has a undergrad, they will more likely be attracted to men who have at least an undergrad or higher. Same for income. If a women is making a certain amount, she will be more than likely be attracted to men who make significantly more.

            I have felt inadequate because my wife has always made more than me. I feel that I am a failure because I can’t contribute on the same level, even though I have a graduate degree and she only has an undergrad. It has been especially bad when I have been unemployed. I have been forced to be a stay at home dad during those times and it amplifies those feelings. I love my kids, but it was not my choice.

          • Jo R

            Has it been okay for women to have it thrown in their faces that they don’t provide as much value to society due to their “contribution” to their family being less valued by society?

            Funny how if you deny people education and opportunities, they have a hard time achieving as much as those who did receive those things.

            What characteristics have men traditionally looked for in a wife? And how many women have been looked over because they weren’t ___________ enough for a man?

            Why is putting women in the same position that men have held since, well, forever, so horrible? Maybe the current situation is a good opportunity for growth by both men and women.

          • Jo R

            “I love my kids, but it was not my choice.”

            How many women through history have felt the same way but didn’t actually have a choice, because society didn’t allow them a choice?

            Lots of women want nothing more than to be a mom, but there’s a sizeable fraction that don’t, beyond those who wind up in an infertile marriage.

          • Jo R

            I guess it’s either funny or sad that you’re complaining about some men being reduced to the equivalent position that essentially all women have had forced on them through nearly all of history.

            You seem to object to women now having opportunities and choices. Has it been wrong for all these centuries that only men have had so much freedom?

          • Jim

            Jo R,

            I do not object to women having opportunities. I think that it is great that women are being given the ability to get out there and chose how they want to live their lives.

            I am pointing out that those opportunities and choices will have effects elsewhere in society. And those opportunities and choices have been limited for most men as well. Only those that were born into wealth had much choice up until the last 2 or 3 centuries.

            But your argument seems to keep coming back to historic wrongs and trying to correct them.

            Your position seems to be ‘Why not let men today suffer because of the wrongs that other men have done in the past?’

            I feel sorry for you because it seems like you have such a low opinion of men that you think that it is ok to knock down men to lift up women.

            I thought that we wanted equality?

          • Jo R

            Nope, not suggesting at all that men should be knocked down. But allowing women to have the freedoms that men have taken for granted throughout all of history seems to be a problem, sometimes quite a large one, for what seems like large swaths of people.

            I just find that ironic. It’s as though recognizing that women are more than one-dimensional human beings capable of being more than their reproductive organs is some huge shock.

            Try to imagine millennia of being told that since you’re just a man, your entire value is simply, and only, in being a sperm provider to your very societally important wife. And make sure you smile about it, honey, because what else could you possibly do, since you’re not an obviously superior woman?

          • Jo R

            “it seems like you have such a low opinion of men that you think that it is ok to knock down men to lift up women.”

            Shall we flip this around to what it’s been historically been? “It seems like [men] have such a low opinion of [women] that it is ok to knock down women to lift up men.”

            How accurate is that reversal as a commonly held sentiment for the last umpteen centuries?

          • Jim

            I think that you are looking at only one part of history.

            You seem to think that just because one is a man that their life is better than a woman. As I said before, only those that were born into wealth real choices until the last few centuries.

            Do you know what the lot in life for many men historically was?

            If there was a war, men would be drafted to fight and die by the thousands for the ambitions of the wealthy and powerful. I had to register for the draft and it could have happened to me and my sons will have to do the same. If we ever have a daughter, she will not.

            Historically, if you lived in a place that there was an invasion or raid, the men and boys would often be killed.

            Historically, women’s lives have been considered more valuable then men. Men’s lives have been considered disposable. Look at any account of war.

            Think of when a ship is sinking, ‘Women and children first.’

            Look at Ukraine right now. Who is being allowed to leave? Women and children. Men, of all ages, are being drafted to fight. Women can chose to stay and fight, but they have the choice.

          • Jo R

            Yes, partly because the limitation for population restoration is the number of women, not the number of men.

            It’s the same reason most male calves, lambs, and chicks are slaughtered, because one male can be used to produce offspring via many females.

            Now granted, that’s kind of icky when we’re talking about human beings. No analogy is perfect. (And think about the effects occurring in some cultures TODAY where female babies are aborted or left to die after they’re born because females aren’t societally valuable. The sex ratios of adults are so skewed there aren’t nearly enough women for many men to be able to marry.)

            As far as the disposability of lives goes, childbirth has been a leading cause of women’s death until quite recently (and still is in far too much of the world). And the efforts by some physicians to stop, for example, childbed fever were met with great ridicule for well over a century, in spite of evidence that handwashing could virtually eliminate such deaths. Why? If I were cynical, I’d say it’s because it was “just women” who were dying because (male) physicians would not believe they were causing harm. If men died of childbed fever, I bet there would have been a lot more work to discover why and try to minimize it. But I’d have to be super cynical to believe something that terrible.

            As far as societal changes, why is it so bad if both men and women have to adjust their ideas and expectations because women are finally able to at least have the opportunity to be self-sufficient? Maybe both sexes would be encouraged to dig a little deeper in themselves and not be so superficial towards others.

          • Jim

            How have women tried to change their expectations for men? I haven’t seen any.

            All I have seen here and, pretty much everywhere else, is that men need to change. It seems like most of the emphasis for societal change is being shoved down men’s throats.

          • Jo R

            Any chance women have spent centuries biting their tongues and putting up with whatever their husbands deigned to allow the wives to do?

            Kinda stinks to have the tables turned just one degree away from men having almost total control, I guess.

          • Jim

            You do realize that history and relationships are not as black and white as you present it. But I guess that you can’t admit that if you want to continue to push this victimhood mentality.

          • Jo R

            Of course I’m generalizing. Certain places, times, and cultures afforded some freedom for the some women, but surely you won’t deny that women overall have had less choice and say over their own lives than men?

          • Jim

            I would not agree with that.

            Have women had limitations with what they could do?

            Yes.

            However, men have had limitations as well. Different types of limitations from women, but men have had to live up to expectations and often had more dire results if they failed.

            Examples today are that the majority of those that are homeless and commit suicide are men.

            Society and culture has been more generous to women than men.

          • Jo R

            Hmmm.

            Women who have sex before marriage are called all sorts of unpleasant names, but for men, well, it’s just normal and even expected. Wink, wink.

            Women still get the shaft from the medical community, being told “it’s all in your head, dear” when it’s sometimes kidney failure, cardiomyopathy, PCOS, etc. Even the highly publicized symptoms of heart attacks are not the ones women tend to experience.

            Who gets traded in for a new younger model because of the bodily realities of bearing children?

            If women have developed techniques for overcoming the societal biases we’ve dealt with in the overwhelming number of patriarchal societies we’ve been forced to live in, well, can you blame us for trying to protect ourselves? If a bullied kid learns karate and decks a bully, why blame the bullied kid for “taking advantage” instead of the bully?

          • Jim

            Objection! Strawman arguments.

            Address my points. Otherwise, I am done with this conversation.

          • Jo R

            I thought I was demonstrating some fairly significant areas where society is not generous to women.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Maybe men do need to change, though, Jim. That’s what John Gottman, the premier most marriage researcher in the world, also says. The biggest thing holding back marital satisfaction and happiness, and indeed human happiness, is men’s relative lack of emotional awareness and health. Women are simply more emotionally mature. But that’s not genetic; it’s not something inherent in being female. It just is. And countless studies have also shown this–women outperform men on emotional awareness and intelligence.

            If men want to be happy and have fulfilling relationships (and bring that suicide rate down), then raising boys with emotional intelligence is the next big thing we have to do. There is no reason for men to not be as emotionally intelligent as women. So let’s get on that.

          • JoB

            I’m not sure how you would measure women becoming “more entitled and picky”, although I think that maybe you could say that as a society we are moving in that direction— the more we have (and the more we think we see that others have), the less satisfied we are.

            I would contend that what you are criticizing is superficiality— if someone values a degree over intelligence, or income over work ethic, or good looks over good character— that person is the poorer for it.

            As for your situation, I just hope I can encourage you that our value is NOT found in how much money we make. Jesus said that the woman who offered a couple of pennies at the temple, “everything she had,” gave more than those who put in large amounts. I am sure that your time at home with your kids and your faithfulness in caring for them is of great worth to God.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Yes, exactly. Currently about 2/3 or 3/4 of med students are female. Why is that detrimental, but it wasn’t detrimental when 2/3 or 3/4 of med students were male?

          I agree that there are major issues with public schooling, and that boys especially are often left behind (this is a well established fact). And there are problems with the uneducated falling behind in an increasingly knowledge driven world. But the answer is not to hold women back so men have superiority again; it is to figure out how to get guys to enjoy reading and communications and the things that give them skills in a knowledge based society, which often includes teaching emotional intelligence and emotional regulation.

          Reply
          • Jim

            Sheila, read what I actually wrote, not what you interpret. I said nothing about keeping women from being able to get an education. What I have said is that it has side effects.

            Specifically, men and boys are falling behind in education and relationships. Boys are treated like defective girls since our education system favors the way that girls learn. And from your comment, you seem to agree.

            In relationships, women pursue men that are in the same or higher social/economic level that they are. It is unlikely that a women will consider a man without a degree is she has one.

            It’s not that women having degrees is in and of it self a problem. The issue is that many women remove men who do not from consideration. Re-read my comments if you don’t believe me.

          • Jo R

            So expecting more out of men and boys is a bad thing?

            And women having higher expectations out of potential mates is a bad thing?

            What, exactly, have been men’s go-to preferred traits in prospective brides been over the centuries? Let’s see… Historically, there were the high dowries, and more recently it’s been a pretty face, big breasts, and a total willingness to put up, put out, and shut up for the rest of her life. I was never in possession of the first or third, had a passable face, and the whole put up–put out–shut up thing has completely blown up in my face over thirty-five years of marriage.

            Will there be side effects to women being able to survive—and even thrive—in the world if they never get married? Assuredly. The bigger question and issue is why would anyone want to remain in the kind of society you seem to prefer?

            I suppose if men can eliminate women from contention in areas like college admissions and high-paying jobs, it increases men’s own chances of success since the number of competitors is automatically decreased by half. I suppose such stacking of the deck would have its attractions. And I can definitely see it would be disheartening for a man to have to compete against twice the number of people as he expected to. But again, is selling daughters off in arranged marriages so wonderful? Are women really to be thought of as nothing more than a pretty face atop a vagina life-support system? Are wives to be nothing more than housekeeping prostitutes in their own homes? Really? This is better?

            Because when I read your comments carefully, that’s what it sounds like you’re saying.

          • Jim

            Jo R,

            The only reason that you have come to that conclusion is because that is what you want to see. You want to continue to see women as victims.

            As I have said the issue is that as women are gaining in higher education and in the workplace, which I applaud and am glad that women are given these opportunities, that the pool of men that women would consider for marriage will decrease. This is being increased since more men are being de-incentivized by our culture and educational system.

            The divide between men and women is being increased due to a number of factors. One thing that could help would be for men and boys to be encouraged to pursue education and have the educational system work with boys as well as girls. I have seen this first hand with my oldest son who is only in elementary school. He has learned more from my wife and I at home than at school. We switched him to private school and he is thriving.

            Different people learn in various ways. Our educational system uses one method, auditory (listening), as the primary method. This method seems to work well of girls by and large.

            There is also visual (seeing) and kinesthetic (physically doing). These methods seem to work more for boys, especially the kinesthetic.

          • Jo R

            Have you ever read the Anne of Green Gables books? Public education has been run on the lines you describe (auditory over kinesthetic) for a century and a half. What’s your theory for why it seems to have stopped working for boys?

      • JoB

        But if a man doesn’t get a college degree, that’s not caused by a woman’s pursuit of education. If my brother decides to skip college and go into a trade, or join the military, or bum off my parents and spend his time playing video games— that isn’t determined by whether his sister gets a college degree or an advanced degree or not. He has the same choices and upbringing as me, it’s up to him what he chooses to do with them.

        Reply
  24. Martina

    This one hit home for me!! I am SO thankful to be married to a great, gentle guy who is celebrating me as a woman and encouraging his daughters to be strong woman. And I trust my little boy will be as great as him with an example like that.
    There are safe men out there, and I am planning to raise one!

    Reply

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