Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Knocking Heads With The Myths of Manhood

Manhood used to be a defined quantity, a recognizable set of traits that inhered in men. Nowadays, this definition is lost, eroded by the seas of feminist postmodernity. Over the next few days, I want to take on a few myths of modern manhood, and knock heads with 'em. Hopefully, some fruitful thought will result.

Myth One: Guys Should Never Use Aggression

As a young man taught in postmodern classrooms for all of my formative years, I can readily say that I have been taught that it is bad to use aggression. Men should never be aggressive, goes the line, and so an entire generation was neutered. Only men from the Stone Age use force and show adrenaline and speak directly. Men of today speak softly and never offend anyone and always resort to pacifying diplomacy to make their case. Assertions of any definite type must be accompanied and foresworn by at least three sentences of apology for the mere presence of any sentiment of personal will, and must beseech (in whimpering tones, if possible) the hearer to not misunderstand what is said. Men should never really say anything, basically. They certainly should never say it directly. Someone's feelings might get hurt.

Men also should never get upset. We in the Christian church have been taught a feminized Jesus. So much has His love and kindness been emphasized that His wrath and justice have been lost. If we would follow Jesus, goes the thinking, we'll never say a cross word, never hurt a feeling, never make a direct statement. We'll go around scattering rose petals and speaking diplomatically and give lots of people thirty-second hugs. Well, this image of Jesus is ridiculous. Jesus was a confronter. He told people that they were dogs and vipers. He spoke sentences charged with anger. So did Paul and Peter. So did everyone, it seems, except modern Christian men.

We have lost all sense of honest discourse today. We can't have conversations anymore. Someone's feelings get hurt in 2.4 seconds and it's all over. Disagreement to the modern mind is tantamount to hatred. This is also ridiculous. We should be able to speak honestly, to evaluate arguments, and to expect a reasonable response in return. Instead, if anyone actually says anything, people run around with their hands over their mouths, shocked at the act. What happened to debate? What happened to argumentation? "Well, for me, war is okay...I mean, just war is okay...but sorry if you disagree...I mean your opinion is totally valid..." Such statements are pure hogwash. Speak your mind, man! Believe in something enough to say it clearly, without fear. We're so afraid today. We're afraid in our classrooms and our living rooms and our battlefields. We can't fight wars anymore. We have to do diplomacy, which is the word "cowardice" in disguise. And our diplomats aren't strong. If I were a tyrant from the Middle East, I would laugh at American "diplomacy," seeing it for the weak-kneed sham it is, and laugh in amazement that a country full of so-called cowboys sends a woman in a purple dress to negotiate with me. Diplomacy indeed--and the hammer and the sickle march on.

Now, please read this all very carefully, and don't be offended. And please don't disagree. My feelings just won't recover. :)

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Owen,

Do you mean Condi shouldn't be Secretary of State? What about Margaret Thatcher, the iron lady? Maybe you should clarify that. No, I'll be manly: clarify that, Sir.

And hammer and sickle? Communism? Again, clarify that, Sir.

Other than that, good thoughts: its right to be frank and truthful in love--but that "in love" doesn't mean "with an air of uncertainty."

KC

9:55 AM  
Blogger Vanessa Brooks said...

Funny, I am researching for a paper in Parenting and Family Issues on raising masculine boys.... thanks for the post...

1:05 PM  
Blogger GloryandGrace said...

Owen,

Thank you for sharing this. My boyfriend, also a fellow student at Southern, so often stands out because he's not afraid to speak his convictions with earnestness and deepest sincerity. He does so in a godly manner, and yet, many of our male peers become awkward and don't know how to respond rather than an uncomfortable nod of the head. I desire to encourage him in being so noble, but I can imagine that there are days when he (and you, based on your feelings in this post) feels alone in the fight. Thanks again~

Grace and peace~

1:39 PM  
Anonymous H.Case said...

Not 2.4 seconds Owen-- .06 seconds ;)
Agree with you for the most part by the way, although perhaps it would be better for demonstration if I didn't. Hmmm...in that case. I think you are wrong. People should remain aware that in most cases the exchange of information in cases you are referring to are (or at least should be) subordinate to a goal. This goal is usually a desire for the other person to accept or genuinely examine the perspective you are expressing. Keeping this in mind, it would be best to craft your behaviors and words in a way so to have the highest probability of achieving your goal. More often than not, an argument turns into a battle of ego instead of an exchange of ideas. The very concept of "winning" an argument demonstrates this point. In my opinion, a person negatively taints their ideas or perspectives by bringing ego to the fight as often it only decreases the probability that the message they wish to share/defend will be accepted by the other party. You must be willing to sacrafice the allusion of masculinity for the genuine committment to a higher ideal.

8:26 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home