Posts Tagged ‘role’

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.

couple holding handsWhen it comes to males and females in our world, we need to start with the understanding that substance and role are two separate issues we have to address.

All humans are composed of the same substance.  We have the same chemicals in our bodies, and the same basic structure.  While men and women have a different arrangement of their sexual organs, the substance that makes a human different from a dog or a cat remains the same across all humans.  We all have the unalienable (God-given) rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Although men and women were created equal in substance, we are not the same in regards to roles.  No, I’m not going to say that a woman’s place is in the kitchen or only men should work full-time jobs.  But by and large, there are some things men are better at than women and women are better at than men.  Our society wants to deny that, but it doesn’t change the truth.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, though, because we can easily recognize a difference in role within a gender.  Some women are better leaders than other women; some men are better child care providers than other men.  It’s not a dishonor to say someone has a different role from others.  It’s actually a recognition of the individual’s God-given talents and skills.

A business might have many vice-presidents, but when the decisions need to be made, the CEO makes that final determination.  That’s why he or she is the CEO.  The CEO is chosen to lead because they have the talent and skills to do so.  The company puts faith in that CEO’s decision-making ability and they allow him to make the decisions necessary for the business to run smoothly and efficiently.  A good CEO will seek out and listen to the advice of their vice-presidents, but in the end, it’s the CEO’s decision the company follows.

Does this give a carte blanche to the CEO to do whatever he wants without any regard to those who work under him?  Of course not.  While some CEOs might do this, a business runs more smoothly when the CEO recognizes and relies on the expertise their vice-presidents bring to the table.  No one person has all the skills necessary to run a large company well, and a wise CEO chooses vice-presidents who have abilities that complement their own.

In a similar way, God has given talents and skills to both men and women and given them specific roles.  Ephesians 5:21-33 shows us the established order God has set down in families.  Just as the vice-presidents don’t run the business, God didn’t intend for the wife to run the family.  God established an order where the husbands become the CEO of the family.  Just as with the CEO, a wise husband listens to his wife and relies on her complementary skills to make the marriage strong.

Not only did God put the husband in the role of CEO, but He laid on his shoulders a difficult task.  God requires men to love their wives in the same way Jesus Christ loves the Church, even to the point of giving up his life for her.  It’s important to remember that although the husband might be the CEO, Jesus Christ is the board of directors.  A CEO always has to give an account to the board of directors, and husbands are accountable to Jesus Christ Himself.  Every husband will stand before Jesus Christ one day and be judged on how he treated his wife and children.

Wives have also been given a specific role in a marriage: to let their husbands make the final decisions.  Just as it’s not the place for a vice-president to have the last word on running the business, the wife shouldn’t have the last word in running the family.  God tasked her to act toward her husband as the Church is to act toward Christ.

Now that I’ve laid down what God’s intention for male/female roles, let me remind you that we live in a fallen, sinful world.  God created the world as perfect, but mankind walked away from that sinlessness and into rebellion against their Creator.

Because of that, we have seen throughout the centuries men who have shunned God’s intention for how a husband is supposed to treat a wife (as well as wives who have shunned how God intended them to treat their husband).  When a man beats his wife, that is not how God intended him to treat her.  We can’t blame God for a man’s evil choice.  We can only blame the man for making his sinful decision to ignore what God told him and to do what he chose instead.

The problem we have is not that God created men and women to have different roles in life, but that men and women refuse to follow God’s intended plan for interactions.

I’ve written several posts so far giving some background to the subject of misandry, and I felt this foundational distinction between substance and role was necessary before we get into the meat of the topic.

Whether we’re discussing misogyny or misandry, we’re still dealing with choices men and women make that go against God’s intention of how each gender is to be treated.  It doesn’t matter if there’s been more misogyny over the centuries than misandry.  Both of them are equally contrary to how God has told us to respond to the opposite sex.

Any amount of misogyny or misandry steals away from us all the dignity and respect God intended us to have for each other.  Love, respect, and dignity are all infinite commodities that grow as they’re shared.  Disrespecting someone won’t make others respect you more.  You and the person you disrespected both lose.  But respect increases the more you give it to others.  Respect has to do with the person’s substance as a human being, rather than with their position or role.

This difference between God-given roles is not something to be ashamed of, or to deny so you can be politically correct.  Instead it should be cherished and celebrated as we see the variety of talents and skills God has given us all.

The substance is the same; only the roles are different.