Monday, September 6, 2010

The Double Standard

“My husband’s so stubborn, thoughtless, and cruel!”1

“You throw a ball like a girl!”2

“You don’t deserve any credit. We’re going to reward a woman instead!”3

“If you do this, you’re going to look really stupid!”4

“You can’t perform as well as that other guy!”5

“Go cut yourself!”6

Shocking isn’t it? Open attacks on a man’s manliness. It brings tears to many women’s eyes as they muster up a defense. Others are outraged. And a message is heard across the Christian blogosphere: Commence the Great Remasculinization. Feminism has destroyed manhood, and it’s up to Christian women to help men regain it by promoting femininity.*

What follows is a whole new set of problems. Women are placing the blame on women, as man has done from the beginning of time (Genesis 3:12), socially alleviating men from all responsibility for their actions and inactions. Does a man feel insecure about his manliness? It must be because women aren’t wearing dresses. Does a man feel threatened by women’s abilities? It must be because women are going to college. Men are now victims, and our maternal instinct encourages us to coddle them so that they feel better about their diminished manhood. Heaven forbid that a woman might criticize a man, let alone say anything that might be construed as an insult to his manliness.

Insulting a woman’s femininity, however, is considered fair game. Women proudly – viciously! – tell each other when they fall short. There are thousands of articles, books, interviews, and surveys (courtesy of concerned males) devoted to this cause, instructing them on godly womanly behavior and begging them to stop causing men to sin. It seems that women will do whatever it takes to put dissenters in their proper place. No words are too harsh for members of the weaker sex to dole out on each other.

But why is it that way? Attacking a women’s femininity is supposed to encourage her to become more feminine? But the same doesn’t hold for men? Instead, shielding a man’s masculinity is deemed necessary lest his delicate ego be bruised. Does God care more for the feelings of the effeminate man than those of the masculine woman?

Manliness isn’t sacred, and men certainly are in no need of protection from women. If men avoid their duty, then they’re every bit as wrong as women avoiding theirs. Women who try to shelter men from criticism are preventing much-needed improvement. That’s not to say that we should insult them. But rather than ignore faults, we are called to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16) and correct in “gentleness” (2 Timothy 2:23-26). Favoritism has no place among us (James 2:9). When it comes to correcting our Christian brothers and sisters, equal respect is what’s required of us.

1Paraphrase of 1 Samuel 25:3, 25.
2Paraphrase of Nahum 3:13.
3Paraphrase of Judges 4:9.
4Paraphrase of 2 Samuel 13:12-13.
5Paraphrase of 1 Samuel 18:6-8.
6Paraphrase of Galatians 5:10-12.
*Ironically, women are expected to act feminine despite a dearth of masculinity, but men aren’t expected to reclaim their manhood unless a powerful infrastructure of femininity is in place. That is worth a blog post all by itself.


  1. Hammer meet nail. Really good article.

  2. Great job. Thanks for pointing out this dichotomy.

  3. Jenny, I'm not sure you will ever see this reply to your question on my book review of Original Sinners. However, I did not know any other way to communicate with you. First let me say that John Coats is extremely liberal and I am conservative. That should help direct you to our differences. I don't have time to write another kind of review just to answer your question but I will give one example and hope that you can see how that as he worked his way through the Bible these would keep multiplying. He says, "No, I don't believe there was a Garden of Eden, an Adam and Eve, a Cain and Abel, but I do believe in the metaphor--I live inside it, and so do you." He doesn't believe in this place and people. I do! I believe the Bible is true as written. He doesn't! There is much to like about this book but there is much that I do not agree with. I hope this helps answer your question without me writing another full (negative) review. Have a great day. Clif


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