Saturday, August 17, 2013

Crisis of Masculinity: "hapless fellas trying to figure out how to project authority in homes and relationships thoroughly dominated by their female partners"

The first generation of men who are the victims of feminism have now lived fully as men. That group are in their 70's, and their sons, the second generation, are now fathers of the third generation of men who have lived in a culture (in the West) where men are not supposed to be men. They don’t know how to be men anymore. NY Magazine calls this state of things a “crisis of masculinity.” I call it the natural result of generations of feminism.

Initially called the “Women's Liberation Movement” the cultural emasculation of men began in the 1960s along with the other movements of the day, civil rights and sexual revolution, and continued through the mid-1980s. This movement was actually the second wave of feminism and as such, it had a different focus. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, first wave feminism “focused mainly on suffrage and overturning legal obstacles to legal gender equality, (i.e., voting rights , property rights ), second-wave feminism broadened the debate to a wide range of issues: sexuality, family, the workplace, reproductive rights, de facto inequalities, and official legal inequalities.”

The latter part of the twentieth century indeed was a hotbed of change. Longstanding cultural norms were up-ended. As a result, the complementarian aspect of male-female marriages and opposite sex relationships suffered.

So often, the media is the mirror of our culture, being reflected back to us. The current spate of television shows which are going to open this 'fall season' are full of leading males who are depicted as emasculated, and they wonder why. They are perplexed as to where it all went. These shows present 'comedy' in the men's efforts to try and find their way back.
Here is one example:

She-Runners - An encouraging wave of chick-created comedies.
In a perfect aftershock to the success of Bridesmaids (not to mention the ascendancy of Poehler and Fey), there’s a major uptick this fall in sitcoms about young single women, and, even better, several of these shows were created by female writers.  It’s an encouraging phenomenon—as well as a weird analogue to the networks’ slate of emasculated-dude comedies (from Work It to Man Up), which look far less … winning.

The Men of the New Fall Sitcoms Would Hate the Women of the New Fall Sitcoms
"One of the biggest, and certainly one of the most attention-getting, trends of the new fall TV season has been the bevy of smart, sexually assured, twenty-something lady sitcoms, with each network bringing a contender to the schedule: CBS has 2 Broke Girls with Kat Dennings (premiering tonight); Fox has New Girl with Zooey Deschanel (premiering tomorrow); NBC has Whitney with Whitney Cummings (premiering Thursday); and there are more on the way for mid-season."
...
A related trend, but one that has been getting less attention for the obvious reasons — the shows are not as good, and their stars don’t look as good — are the bitter-man comedies: Tim Allen’s Home Improvement follow-up, Last Man Standing; ABC’s Man Up, which could be called How to Be a Father; CBS’s How to Be a Gentleman, in which Kevin Dillon advises a polite, spineless fellow on how to be b-utch and, come mid-season, ABC’s magnificently wretched cross-dressing comedy Work It. These Sad Man Sitcoms are about how confusing, difficult, and often emasculating it is to be a man in the days of the mancession. The guys in the second batch of shows are in crisis because they have found themselves living in a world that belongs to the women in the first batch of shows — and they don’t like it one bit.
...
In Last Man Standing (October 11, ABC), Tim Allen plays Mike, the father of three daughters. His career taking photographs for a wilderness catalogue is in jeopardy because young men aren’t as interested in crossbows as they used to be. Meanwhile, his wife’s career as a business executive is thriving. Mike rants in his vlog, Howard Beale–style, "What happened to men!" as he complains that guys these days can't survive in the wilderness, catch big fish, or change tires. The fellas in Man Up ... and How to be a Gentleman ... sure can't do these things. 

Man Up is, more or less, a show about three Phil Dunphys: well-meaning, often hapless fellas trying to figure out how to project authority in homes and relationships thoroughly dominated by their female partners. In How to Be a Gentleman, an effete magazine writer named Andrew is chastised by Kevin Dillon’s muscle-head character Burt, “You know everything about being a gentleman, and nothing about being a man,” before beginning to inaugurate him into, more or less, the Tim Allen school of manliness.
...
But the difference is still palpable: Last Man Standing, Man Up, and How to Be a Gentleman are all coming from a place of fear and bitterness. They are predicated on the idea that once, not so long ago, there was a code, a way to be a man that everyone understood, and now that code is gone, leaving Y chromosomes isolated and flailing in a tech-savvy world dominated by women. ... Whether it's true or false, both sets of shows seem to agree that it's way more fun to be a woman than a man right now. Certainly, after watching all these sitcoms, you'd think they have a point."

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A terrible double standard exists for men today: society says be a man, but if men assert themselves as men, they are accused of being misogynist. They are warned not to be effete, but when they assert their masculinity, they are accused of being “homophobic.” If you read the article above in its entirety, you will see both those double-standards brought up.

In Christian culture, the situation is even worse. The young men of today have been raised in this culture and if they become saved at a later time in life, chances are they will have been raised by a feminist mother and a 'hapless' father. They have to learn not only how to be a Christian, but how to be a man. Christian men are expected to lead their families, and so many of the young men of today simply don't know how to do that.

In many of the liberal Youth Ministries, younger men are taught a soft, romantic, effete Jesus who is sentimental love at all times. Never is wrath, hardness, fighting for the faith, or stalwart soldiering brought up.

Sample lyrics from the popular Christian band Jesus Culture exemplify this. The song excerpt below was written in 2012 and it is called Be My Love. You would not know it is a Christian song if you heard it until toward the end when God is mentioned. The only tell-tale in the written form is the capital Y on the word You until you read toward the end that the song is about God. Event he promotional shots show effete men with long hair and earrings, wearing androgynous clothing and looking like the female lead singer.

Where there is no love
will You be my love
Yeah, yeah

[CHORUS:]
I can't find anyone like You
That satisfies quite like You do
And my heart is burning for You
Yes, my heart is burning for You

Here is another Jesus Culture song written in 2012 called I Belong to You, giving God permission to love us or something.

"I Belong To You"

[VERSE 1:]
You can be the One that steals my heart
With just a simple thought of who You are
Let Your light shine in the darkest parts
Let Your love fill the world

[VERSE 2:]
You can be the fire down in my soul
That I can't contain, that I can't control
Would You fill me up to overflow
Let Your love fill the world

[CHORUS:]
And I belong to You
Forever, I belong to You

[VERSE 3:]
Let Your Words be like a burning flame
Come in close to touch my heart again
The whole earth trembles at the sound of Your name
Let Your love fill the world

[VERSE 4:]
All I want is more of You
Your breath is life, Your word is truth
Your glory here is bursting through
Let Your love fill the world

[BRIDGE:]
And You have set my heart on fire
My love and my desire
Only for You

And as Your glory fills this place
Your love we will embrace
Only for You, for You

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Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari, Bosom Buddies, 1980
It's sentimental drivel that means nothing.

Is it any wonder where the young men of today are emasculated in society and softened in church, that when they create a family they do not know how to lead? Media today doesn't help. Men are either superheroes with powers (Spiderman or Terminator), or they are effete Tootsies or Bosom Buddies. In the latter two, men dressed up as women in order to get an apartment or to get employment, and if you think those are simply culturally irrelevant references because Tootsie the movie and Bosom Buddies the tv show came out decades ago, the 2012 ABC television show "Work It" featured as character development, starting in the first episode, men who dress as women to attain employment learning how to be more "sensitive". The message is, the only way to be successful is to be a women.

Ben Koldyke & Amaury Nolasco, Work It, 2012
A study referred to in the Guardian UK article, 'Masculinity crisis' leads to family murder, according to new study  conducted by Birmingham City University criminologists has linked today's  crisis of masculinity to fathers murdering their own children, or family annihilationists. Quoted in the Guardian, project leader Professor David Wilson said, “some men are unable to come to terms with different and developing notions of the institution of the family, where women increasingly play a much more dynamic role than they had in the past”.

Aaron D. Wolf wrote in 2005:  "Every definition of masculinity into which our Lord Jesus Christ does not fit belongs in the rubbish heap. Indeed, there could be no greater example of a man than He. Contrary to modern portrayals, Jesus was neither a sensitive metrosexual nor a macho-macho man. The tenderness that He displayed toward those whom He loved (including His enemies) was paternal and sacrificial, focused not on self-gratification or expression but on the real needs of those He came to save."

"These familiar strains from the popular hymn “In the Garden” represent the modern American imagination of the essence of Christianity: a romantic fantasy in which a chivalric Jesus rescues me from my own loneliness and despair and fills all of my emotional needs. This effeminate picture of the Christian life, from the dramatic conversion experience to the long walks in the garden alone with “Jesus,” has produced generations of effeminate Christian men who either allow themselves to be consumed by their imaginary “walks with Jesus” or else drift away from church altogether, knowing that their best efforts at spiritual courtship will fall well short of those of the women who now, more than ever, fill the pews of America’s churches."

Fathers and Mothers, raise up your boys to be boys and the girls to be girls. Jesus set out roles for us. Elder men and women have roles. Widows have roles. Husbands and wives have roles. Children have roles. Church members have roles. The bible is our life guide, not the movies and not television.

"Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered." (1 Peter 3:7)

"That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:17)

"He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive," (1 Timothy 3:4)

"For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior." (Ephesians 5:23)

"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13)


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Further reading-

What does the bible say about being a man?

What does it mean to be a woman of God?

What does it mean to be a man of God?


3 comments:

  1. A good example of a man is King David. He is a man's man - a mighty warrior, a tender musician, a passionate poet.

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    Replies
    1. What a great example! Thank you for bringing him up. Yes, he was also a loving father and unafraid to express himself in worship, yet no one could say he was mousy, effete, or uncertain. I feel bad for unsaved men these days and the mixed messages they receive from society. At least Christian men have the bible and great examples like David to look up to

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  2. Amen to King David as an example. The backlash against masculinity unfortunately does have some merit, in that unfettered men throughout history have created much pain, war and destruction.

    Again King David is a great example. David gets his stength, authority and power THROUGH the Lord and not by his own stength. To rely on our own stength will swing the pendulum back to the other extreme in society.

    As men find their masculine and authoritative stature again, I pray that they selflessly rank themselves below Christ.

    ReplyDelete

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