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Posts Tagged ‘cultural influence’

Christina Hoff Sommers is the author of The War Against Boys.  The Ph.D. scholar cites one example after another of how America’s academic, political, and cultural “elite” have maligned and tried to re-define masculinity.

Speaking on behalf of those cultural “elites,” Gloria Steinem said, “We need to raise boys like we raise girls.”  Bear in mind that such convoluted thinking followed the so-called “girlhood project” of the 70s:  Raise girls like boys.  Giving birth to a daughter instead of a son was, for some parents, somewhat of an embarrassment.

On campus and off, workshops, seminars, and projects exist with a sole focus of “transforming” boys.  A “boy’s masculinity” is seen by cultural “elites” as a “problem.”  Despising patriarchy, off-track feminists work feverishly to construct a new version of manhood.

Sommers asks, “How well do [these people] understand and like boys?  Who has authorized their mission?”

David Kupelian is the author of How Evil Works.  He asks, “Why would our culture so denigrate masculinity?  And why — this is the flip side of the same question — are we becoming so increasingly feminized as a society?”  He continues, “Today’s high level of gender confusion and role reversal, manifested most obviously in the dramatic upswing — and near celebration — of homosexuality, is one of the great cultural mysteries of our time.  The bending and sometimes breaking of traditional gender roles permeates our society in obvious and subtle ways.”

Sexual confusion abounds — in clothing, college dorms, and the workplace.   There is sexual confusion when girls “try out” lesbianism or bisexuality because it’s “chic.”   There is sexual confusion when girls wrestle boys and women are put on the front lines of war.

George Gilder is the author of Men and Marriage.  He writes, “To the sexual liberal, gender is a cage.  Behind cruel bars of custom and tradition, men and women for centuries have looked lovingly across forbidden spaces at one another and yearned to be free of sexual roles.”   Hmm.  Reminds me of a beautiful garden where a woman was tempted to reach for something that was not good for her to have.

I’m grateful that  my grandmother took one look at my newly born dad and knew, without a doubt, that she would raise him to be a boy.  More than that, she would allow him to be a boy.  When our sons were born, I didn’t argue with God or tell Him He’d made a mistake.  Nor did I force them to become more soft and sensitive.  There’s no denying that I had to walk a fine line.  They needed to be aware of how girls think and like to be treated, but also be allowed to drive go-carts at high speeds,  climb windmills, blaze a Yellowstone trail, and prefer science fiction to chick flicks and discussions of logic rather than emotion.

I’ll admit there have been (and continue to be) lots of times when I wish my husband better understood me as a woman.  I wish he could “read my mind.”  But, he’s not a woman.  Therefore, we do think, love, perceive, react, and communicate differently.  I’m glad my husband isn’t confused about his gender.  When the enemy is at the door, I will be eternally grateful when he steps in front of me to face evil.  That’s what my brother did one night when a deranged man was breaking in.  My brother did not send my sister-in-law to the door.  He engaged the enemy.  He protected the household.  He knew what his role was and he played it well.

I wonder.  Would Daniel Boone have aggressively tamed the wilderness if his mother had raised him to be “in touch with his feminine side”?  Would husbands and fathers have sacrificed their lives on a ship named Titanic if that culture would have despised chivalry?  And what if young men stayed home and tens upon thousands of young women of child-bearing age stormed the beaches of Normandy, Omaha, and Iwo Jima?

There is nothing wrong with boys.  Just because a boy fidgets doesn’t mean he needs some sort of drug.  There is nothing wrong with boys who want to roughhouse or jump in a muddy stream, but balk at the suggestion of shopping.  Instead of disfiguring distorting, or denying boyishness or girlishness, why don’t we stand in awe of the uniquely different male and female anatomy?  Appreciate the boundaries of male and female gender and grow a healthier, safer society because of them?   Celebrate the male and female eyes of the human race and be better for it?

A war against boys hurts girls, too.  Eventually, it weakens society.  Messing with creation is nasty business with hopeless consequences.

So, that’s why I called the parents of Joel Northrup to say “thank you.”  Joel took a stand as a gentleman and refused to dishonor or confuse a girl on a public wrestling mat.  He is not ashamed to be a boy, to be a male person.  He is  not ashamed to practice his faith which tells him to regard women as the weaker sex, not because they are less than him, but because he is called by God not to take advantage or abuse them.  In putting his faith into practice, Joel honored a created boundary that will serve him — and women — very, very well.

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My Grandmother Barhite died when I was 13.  I spent a lot of time with her.  She was a teacher, listener, encourager, friend, and faithful helper.  I learned about the gift of hospitality and service from both my mom and my dad’s mom.  Both taught me to serve others rather than self.  Sleep-overs with Grandma were more than fun, they were lessons in womanhood, family life and growing in faith.  When Grandma died, I lost a mentor.

Or did I?  In a box of Grandma’s photos, I discovered one of her girlhood books.  It is a keepsake.  Often, I quote from it during Titus 2 Retreats.  The book was published in 1898 by author Mary Wood-Allen, M.D.  Notable women of Dr. Allen’s day recommend the book.  They include Mrs. Lillian M.N. Stevens, President of National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union; Mrs. Helen Campbell, Dean of the Department of Household Economics in the Kansas State Agricultural College, and Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, noted Woman Suffragist, Lecturer, and Author.  The book is titled What a Young Woman Ought to Know from the “Purity and Truth: Self and Sex Series.”  In reading this book, I realize that Grandma is still mentoring me.  I also realize that Biblical womanhood (and  manhood) has been foundational for the benefit of society for a long, long time.

From time to time, I hope to share a few quotes from my grandma’s book.  Consider the Preface:

During a number of years it has been my privilege to be the confidante and counselor of a large number of young women of various stations in life and in all parts of the United States.

Hmmm.  I’m not a physician like Dr. Mary Wood-Allen, but I have been privileged to be taken into the confidence of a number of young women both far away and close to home.

These girls have talked freely with me concerning their plans, aspirations, fears and personal problems.  It has been a great revelation to me to note with what unanimity they ask certain questions concerning conduct — queries which perhaps might astonish the mothers of these same girls, as they, doubtless, take it for granted that their daughters intuitively understand these fundamental laws of propriety.

Hmmm.  Girls have also shared with me their hopes, dreams, and personal problems.  They ask many of the same questions about behavior and choices.  They express frustration about their identity, their bodies, and relationships.  Fewer mothers and grandmothers have tried to pass on ideas of Biblical womanhood so most of these girls have learned about being a woman from the culture.

The truth is that many girls who have been taught in the olgies of the schools, who have been trained in the conventionalities of society, have been left to pick up as they may their ideas upon personal conduct, and, coming face to face with puzzling problems, are at a loss, and perhaps are led into wrong ways of thinking and questionable ways of doing because no one has foreseen their dilemma and warned them how to meet it.

Hmmmm.  Today’s young women have been “oligized.”  But, far too many have little or no idea about their origin, purpose, or destination.  They have been taught how to “feel” but perhaps not how to think.

Life will be safer for the girl who understands her own nature and reverences her womanhood, who realizes her responsibility towards the human race and conducts herself in accordance with that realization . . . Life will be nobler and purer in its possession and its transmission if, from childhood onward to old age, the thoughts has been held that ‘Life is a gift of God and is divine.’

I am an ezerwoman.  A helper woman.  This is a vocation through which I can help younger women be safer, realize responsibility, and make choices that lead toward hope.  This begins with the confidence of identity: I am a creation of God and treasure of Jesus Christ.

Truth in 1898.  Truth in 2011.  Timeless.  Life-changing.  Rich with promise.

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