Posts Tagged ‘respect’

I realize it’s almost heretical for a female to even consider that feminism might not be all it’s cracked up to be, but maybe the time has come for those of us who remember what we’ve lost to pass those memories on to this generation.

Before you start in on me, I’m not against women being paid the same for doing the same job as a man.  I’m not against women having careers or doing work that used to be classified as “men only.”

But the feminism we see today has warped the way all of us view the term woman.  While I admit, not everyone grew up like I did, surrounded by men who valued women and believed it was honorable to respect them, but those of us who remember that type of treatment shouldn’t let die-hard feminists bully us into forgetting what this current brand of feminism has stolen from us.

Man tipping hatI remember the days when a man stood up when a lady entered a room, when he tipped his hat in respect when a woman walked by, when he opened doors, paid for meals, walked on the traffic side of the sidewalk, when saying no gave a woman honor instead of labeling her as a prude.  Sadly, this fervor for equality has stolen this type of respect for women in our society.

If you’re from my generation (50-something), you’ll likely remember the old TV show, Gomer Pyle, USMC.  You also probably remember the time when men treated women as something special.  If you’re less than 50, the episode mentioned below can show you what you’re now missing because of today’s version of feminism.  It clearly shows what the feminists of today eschew and, because of their own hatred of all things feminine, have stolen from all of us females.  This type of respect and honor is how men used to treat women.  Why wouldn’t any woman want a man to treat her like this?  Have we cut off our nose to spite our face?

(Sorry, but the YouTube video has been removed.  Here’s the IMDB info about it, though:  Captain Ironpants Episode )

If you recall in the post, Substance Vs. Role, I discussed how God created men and women equal in substance but different in role and how it was intended as a good way of establishing an order to families.  As humans, though, we have an inborn nature to rebel against the God who created us and a desire to do things our own way, so it shouldn’t surprise any of us that over the centuries, Mankind distorted this God-given concept of different roles.

We’ve seen some men abuse their roles of the family’s CEO, accountable directly to Jesus Christ who is head over us all, by mistreating the women and children entrusted to their care.

In the late 1We Can Do It photo9th century, we saw a wave of feminism sweep over the United States that resulted in suffrage and a movement toward political equality for women.  Since that time, feminism has continued to push for equality in social, cultural, and financial areas.

Or so feminism claims.

In reality, the feminism we see today is not interested in equality.  It’s interested in superiority over men.  As with most counter movements, the original intention is no longer enough, and the push is for more of an extreme in a type of retribution for the atrocities done to women over the centuries.

Many feminists believe they cannot gain their rightful place without dragging down men.  They base their understanding of the situation on power, which is a finite commodity.  Power is limited, with only a certain amount available for anyone to tap into.  With this line of thinking, the only way to gain power is to take it from someone else.  In this case, women can only achieve more power by taking power from the dominant sex, men.

However, power is not the issue.  It’s a matter of respect.

Power has to do with role, but respect deals with substance.  Men and women don’t have the same role in our society so there’s always going to be an inequality of power.  Taking power from one will only shift the inequality the other way.  A CEO, by definition of the role, has power.  Switching out CEOs will not change that power; it only shifts it to someone else.  So stripping men of their power will only shift that power to women—whose hearts are equally sinful to men’s.  It only changes one sin-distorted leader for another and does nothing to solve the problem except to move further from God’s intended order.

Respect, on the other hand, targets the substance.  Both men and women were created in God’s image, and that makes us equal in our substance.  It also requires us to equally respect that substance in one another.  Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)  We are of the same substance, one in Christ Jesus.

The beauty of respect is that it’s an infinite commodity, with no limits as to how much of it can exist in our world.  You don’t need to take respect from someone else to gain more respect for yourself.  In fact, the more respect you withhold from others, the less respect others will give you.

When we see that respect for equal substance is at the heart of the equality problem, we realize that the more we raise up one gender with respect, the more the other gender will also raise.  In other words, for women to be more respected in our society, men also have to be more respected as well.  Disrespect for either gender will result in less respect for both.

This brings me to my topic for today, misandry in the commercials we see.  Commercials are designed to work on an unconscious basis.  Few people sit and watch commercials with their minds fully engaged.  Instead, we normally give them little attention with our conscious mind, but our subconscious picks up on the message the advertiser intends.  Advertising messages are often subtle and crafted especially for a specific audience.

Take a look at these commercials and notice how men are portrayed:

The men in many commercials today are portrayed as animals, slobs, oafs, idiots, immature, and even barbarians.  If feminism is truly about equality for the sexes, why isn’t there a huge outrage at how men are being portrayed these days?  If it’s wrong to portray a woman as an animal or a slob or an idiot, then it’s wrong to portray a man in the same light.  There can’t be a double-standard if we’re truly about equality.  Equality requires both sexes to be equally respected, even in a 30-second advertising spot.

The most insidious thing about such advertising is that it works on our subconscious and permeates our mind in a way we’re not even aware of because our conscious mind isn’t in the filtering mode.  Mind control techniques count on your conscious mind filter to be down to get their message through to you.

The next time a commercial comes on, think about what message they’re portraying about men and women.  Is it a message that shows equal respect for the sexes?  Or is one sex portrayed as inferior to the other?  Of course, an isolated instance might not mean much, but when you see as many as in the above video (and there are a lot more that could have been included), there’s a definite pattern—and it’s not a respect for men.

For those of us in the United States, last Sunday was Father’s Day. This is a day set aside in the U.S., as well as 57 other countries, to honor fathers and the concept of fatherhood. After all, none of us would be here if it weren’t for a father of some kind, even if his role only lasted for a few seconds.

But on Sunday, Father’s Day was hijacked.

Yes, hijacked.

The video, included below with a commentary by a gentleman who strongly disagreed with it so you can hear both sides of the issue, featured several adult children of single mothers discussing their mother’s hardships as she struggled to raise her children by herself. Most of them said she was both father and mother to them. At the end of the commercial, each person interviewed ended with, “Happy Father’s Day, Mom.”

Now, please understand that I admire single mothers who are left by themselves to raise their children. Many step up to do the very best they can to raise their children to adulthood. What I’m about to say should not take anything away from their effort or their strength through adversity.

But a mother, no matter how hard she tries, can never replace a father in a child’s life.

Men and women have some basic innate differences, and a mother can never bring to a child the same thing a father can. No, I’m not being misogynist by saying that because the opposite is also true. A father can never bring to a child the same thing a mother can. They each bring something different to the parenting experience, and that’s a positive.

Does this mean I’m saying a child without a father-figure is doomed? Of course not. Neither is a child without a mother-figure. But a wise single-parent will recognize that they can’t be both and introduce positive role models into their child’s lives to give them what they can’t.

Back to the video, though. Imagine if on Mother’s Day, some company came out with a video that exalted all the single dads who have stepped up to raise their children on their own, totally apart from a mother-figure. Imagine if that company ended with, “Happy Mother’s Day, Dad.”

Would the PC police stand for it? No, they wouldn’t. Why not? Because, they would claim, that would be misogynist. Would it be? In this case, I’d agree with the PC police. And I also think hijacking Father’s Day in a similar fashion is an equal form of contempt, but it’s a contempt for men, aka misandry.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll explore this idea of misandry (the hatred or contempt of men) in a series of posts.

There are two important things to remember on this topic:

  1. Misandry does not only mean hatred for men because they are males, but it means contempt as well. Outright hatred is often easier to distinguish than simmering contempt, and men and women have a different perception of what appears to be contempt.
  2. Acknowledging misandry exists takes absolutely nothing away from the existence of misogyny.

One person I discussed this topic with gave a huge long list of atrocities men have committed against women over the entire history of the world. Then she implied that until men have paid for all of those “sins” against women, they are not allowed to even mention misandry. Sadly, this viewpoint appears to be common among some groups of women. It seems they believe that until all offense deficits are paid up by the male population, men are fair game to treat however women want to treat them and they’re not allowed to complain at all about the treatment.

I hope my readers can see how unfair that attitude is. Basically, it means because more women are raped than men doesn’t make a man’s rape experience less devastating than a woman’s. Rape is rape, no matter who the victim is.

In my opinion, there’s a basic foundational belief in feminism that it’s all about power, and power is a finite commodity. One gender can’t rise up without those who are above being pulled down. Power is finite, so when one side rises, the other side must go down.

From a Christian worldview, though, I see this differently. The problem between the sexes has nothing to do with power. It has to do with respect. God created Man and Woman as equal in substance. Yes, God set the Man in the leadership role, but that doesn’t make him superior to Woman. Superior has to do with substance, not role. God created them equal in substance, but not in role. (I cover the role God asks men and women to play in this post. It might not be what you think it is.)

I can respect my employer, but that doesn’t mean I believe he or she is a superior human to me. Respect, unlike power, is an infinite commodity, one that grows the more you show it. The more I give respect to others, the more respect returns to me.

Respect is about building other people up and, by doing so, we raise ourselves higher. What if someone meets our respect with disrespect? We have a choice. We can repay disrespect with respect and raise ourselves above them, or we can lower ourselves and pay them back in the same currency they paid us.

Responding with disrespect, hatred or contempt only lowers us. It will never raise us to a higher level.

So when you view this video, notice how the ad is based on the power concept stated above because it implies that fathers are unnecessary because mothers can do it all. When Angel Soft was met with outrage, they said they were sorry for offending—and yet they continued to run the commercial.

Did their response acknowledge the subtle misandry in their ad? Or was it more akin to the woman’s response I mentioned above, that men aren’t allowed to complain about how they’re treated until they’ve paid for all sins men over the centuries have committed against women?

When I started researching this topic, I had no idea there was as much controversy over it as there is. While I don’t intend for this blog to be all about misandry, I’d like to think through these issues along with you as readers. Remember, I’m not ignoring misogyny. But I believe that any form of contempt toward someone because of their gender should be unacceptable in our society if we truly want equality. (Next week: Perceptions on Bullying)

“A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.” Proverbs 11:16 (NIV)

This video gives both sides of the issue so you can shape an informed opinion. Please don’t take this to mean I completely agree with him, but he does a good job in presenting why some men were outraged over the ad. Hearing only one side of any matter will always result in a skewed viewpoint, so please take the time to watch it all.