I usually try not to get too personal, by keeping it to the expression of truth and keeping myself out of the way. But things I’ve recently read makes me to desire to step out this time. In writing this blog, I’ve noticed a couple of dynamics:
1. Most of the men who are aware of what feminism is usually stay away from what I write because I’m a professing follower of Jesus, therefore I must be a tradcon feminist.
2. The ones who are professing “traditionalist” Christians, however, usually stay away because I’ve completely and unequivocally declared myself as anti-feminist. In other words, I’m not a traditionalist (tradcon) feminist.
I don’t know how true that assessment is, but what leads me into what I have to write about today stems from that second statement. As I wrote before, there are two schools of thought that are postulated in current Churchianity when it comes to men and women and their roles in society.
Egalitarianism is the idea that men and women are exactly identical before God in both role and value. This mode of thought was born out of the secular feminist influence within Churchianity. This was addressed in the other post.
Complementarianism is the other mode of thought that is expressed within Churchianity. It’s generally expressed in the idea that men and women are different, have different things to bring to the table, and have different roles. I have brought the Biblical view of this out for husbands and wives before, and it should be clear where my position is on this matter.
However, I did not endorse complementarianism in my other post, for reasons that this post will get into now. The reason is this, as described in the other post: Scripture professes an equality of value between men and women in the sight of Christ Jesus:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
What all too often comes out in the writings of “traditionalist Christians” is that men were not created by God for the purposes of His glory, but were created for the purposes of woman’s glory. That is, the only value that men hold in “traditionalist Christian” circles is directly related to his utility to the woman. In other words, their view is that the only value men hold in society is in their service to women, and any man that is not under the personal rule of a woman is seen as dangerous.
This view comes out in the expression of men only in terms of husbands and fathers. This view comes out in the man-up rants. This view comes out in the non-Biblical support of chivalry, where a man’s sole and only purpose in life is to the service of women even to the cost of his own life (and if that isn’t proof that a woman’s life is valued more highly than a man’s, I don’t know what is). This even comes out in treating every woman as her own god, treating every word out of her mouth and every feeling she has as if they came from the Lord God Himself.
This inequality of value or worth of the existence of men and women comes out with tradcon feminists, especially when assessments of the rights of men or the MRA/MRM comes out. In reading the latest examples of tradcon feminism I’ve encountered, Sis writes (wb, btw), in her assessment of men in self-identifying as a traditionalist feminist:
I love men, they are awesome warriors, intimidating captains, fearless leaders, amazing lovers. I believe in chivalry, men are at their finest when their purpose is something bigger than maximizing their wealth and prosperity. I think women are at their finest when they are creating beauty and admiring the men around them. Women are designed to nurture, care and be patient with children and men. Men are designed to be strong and conquer the world. I don’t believe in equal rights for men and women, I don’t think women should be drafted just like men because we serve a greater purpose at home.
She is welcome to clarify, but note that she describes men only in terms that befit their utility to women or others, and also denies that men should have the same rights as women in society. Commenter Robyn in the same thread writes:
I’ve thought long and hard (and for many years) about this statement: “I don’t believe in equal rights for men and women …” -and I believe I finally have my head around it! It’s not that men and women are NOT equal – it’s that ‘equality’ shouldn’t come into the comparison.
Dipping into the numerous threads that now exist on chivalry in different places will produce a number of similar comments painting the life, liberty, and dignity of men to be lesser than women, insignificant, or even worthless compared to women. As well, it is not hard to find other expressions of such views. This is not the Biblical roles of men and women being expressed, this is tradcon feminism being expressed by “professing Christians”.
What do they get wrong when it comes to men and the call for equal rights? Egalitarianists confuse the God-given role women have as a lack of diminished value of life before God. Complementarians see the God-given roles men and women have, but have a lack of diminished value of men in the sight of God. Traditional feminism has lasted much longer than the secular variety, so they are evidently blind to it. The ham-handed handling of some parties to slide a H into the MRA acronym is an attempt to illustrate the nature of this problem: Men do not have the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as women do today.
The chart summarizes the arguments above. God-given rights are those things which moved the signatories of the Declaration of Independence to action, and include all things they saw essential to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. God-given attributes are the genuine (not tradfem defined) qualities that makes a man what he is, along with the proper roles that God expects man to play both in society and in His Church.
(Note: Tradcon feminists acceptance of “masculinity” as a God-given attribute is defined as it being such to serve women. Hence, the very essence of “masculinity” is defined by women to be of utility to women. This is unacceptable.)
The problem that any form of mens rights advocacy addresses isn’t that they are wanting man to have equivalent roles to women – in other words, MRAs have little to no concern with the last column. Personally, as a Christian, as long as the roles and attributes are proper, I have no concern with the last column. It is fully concerned with the second column, and that’s where my concern lies with this form of feminism. Feminism in all its forms have determined to erode and destroy what is proper in both columns.
Feminism doesn’t solely concern itself with Biblical roles in marriage. It has concerned itself with devaluing men in society. It has concerned itself with either the subjugation of men both legally and within the Church (via Marriage 2.0 and other methods) or the elimination of men in society. This goes not only for the secular variety, but the religious one as well.
The idea of complementarianism as expressed sounds like a good one when it comes to Biblical roles, but it’s all too often a cover for a complementarian view of the value of life of men and women. Women are the valuable ones, while the only value for men is to compliment women as their servants. This is as much feminism as the other kind of feminism. This is as much misandry, as the other kind of misandry. Feminism is feminism, no matter what appearance it takes.