Mark Daniels Christian Blog and Commentary

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Redefining Masculinity

It’s just another thing I won’t miss as I switch off the TV in February: the seemingly endless parade of programs and commercials that mock men and boys. Other groups in our society would not tolerate such blatant discrimination, yet it seems that men, the all-time great oppressors, are fair game. This castigation of men in media is designed to court the predominately-female consumer that makes most of the purchase decisions for the typical American household. Apparently, the extreme Charlie Sheen stereotypes play well with women these days; if a man is not portrayed as boorish and sex-obsessed, he’ll likely be cast as effeminate, odd, or outrageous. Who is a young man to emulate?

Politicians are sleazy, cops can’t be trusted, businessmen are only in it for themselves. Men need to, instead, embrace their “feminine side.” Where does a young man look for role models?

“Girls rule, and boys are stupid”—or so say the T-shirts sold at the pre-teen jewelry store at the mall. “Girls deserve more opportunity at school,” so we create Title IX. “Undisciplined boys need to sit still in class and express themselves verbally, like girls do.” Where does a young man go to learn, and enjoy simple respect?

Women, in the lust-laden culture, are encouraged to use their sexuality as just another weapon to win in the workplace. Men are wired to respond to such signals, but if they do, they will be reprimanded or fired. How is a young man to interpret the signs?

Women are just as qualified as men in every endeavor: in the classroom, the office, and the field of battle. We do not dispute that fact. But, as Secretary of Defense Panetta removes all restrictions on females in combat, men will soon need to suppress their natural urge to protect women, and instead learn how to watch them die on the front lines. How is a young man to act and feel?

Society sends confusing mixed messages to young men and boys. Those males are then ridiculed and ruled irrelevant when they don’t know the way forward. Some of these men withdraw into fantasy worlds; others lash out in rage. We wonder why many of our boys are underachievers, and lack direction. Where is a young man to find a pattern for life, when the culture has given up them, and Jesus is banned from the classroom?