Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Abolition of Men

Below is my response to a book review of Kay Hymowitz's Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys.  The review, in my opinion an insightful one, was by Dr. Helen Smith, a psychologist who is well-known as "The Instawife" to readers of Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit web site.  However, Dr. Helen's review is not from a Christian perspective, but a professional one.  My response, as always, is from the Reformed perspective:

Anyway, here is my response:

As with most problems in this world, we have a sad situation brought about by poor theology. Or, perhaps more precisely, the failure of Western Christian nations to teach good, stout theology.

Feminism is the direct result of men’s selfishness and weakness. Women need to be loved and cherished. It is their due, and they know it. If men will not love them and cherish them, women shall get their revenge the best way they know: by beating men at their own game. What we have today, in government, in the workplace, in the popular culture, is that women are exalted and glorified, while men are derided and ridiculed. Women have gained the upper hand and are reveling in it.

Paul cemented his reputation among feminists as a woman-hater when he wrote that wives should submit to their husbands. How silly and forlorn that all sounds today. But what Paul wrote immediately after that somehow gets lost amidst the thunderclaps of indignation: Paul instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church — that is, willing to lay their lives down for them. It’s a two-way street: as women need to be loved, men need to be respected. It is their due, and they know it. If women will not respect them, men will get their revenge by stealing women’s purity and exploiting them at the most base level of animal function. If men are to be accorded no more respect than opportunistic wolves, then let’s howl.

What we have here is an untenable situation. As George Gilder wrote in Men and Marriage, each civilization faces a continuous invasion of barbarians — namely, their own children. For channeling the potentially destructive power of young men into constructive endeavors, nothing beats a family headed by a husband (who should be providing a daily example on how to treat women in a godly way) and cared for by a wife (who should be providing a daily example by showing their young boys the rewards of responsibility). Without such training, young men shall seek respect on the streets, and in the bars and boudoirs. Our prisons are filled to overflowing with such men.

As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, a situation that can’t be sustained won’t be. Christianity has failed to teach these truths, and so Islam beckons these young men with half of it. As it did for so many years, Islam would crumple like a wad of cellophane against a strong West with a robust Church that was less concerned with being trendy and more concerned with teaching sound theology. But that West has been dead for over a century. Meet the new, improved, atheistic, feminist West. When you’ve lost the young men, you’ve lost. I give us a generation, two at tops.
Be sure to read Kay Hymowitz's extended pout in the Wall Street Journal, the gist of which is that the dissolution of society doesn't go with her new outfit.


Anonymous said...

Good evening Reformed Trombonist,

For clarification, are you saying that one consequence of poor theology was men stopped properly loving their wives, kicking off a domino effect, as it were, eventually leading to feminism?

Thank you,

Lee said...

Yes. Sorry if I was unclear about that.

marlinmike said...


Thank you for your post...very thoughtful. Not only is feminism damaging men in society, but it is also dangerous to women. Feminism requires a type of equality that cannot exist, but creates a dangerous illusion that it can.

Today, many women want to be treated like men: Don't hold the door for me! Don't offer me a seat! Don't offer your hand to help me down the stairs! Under the banner of equality, they want to be treated no differently than men. But is this really what they want? Through God's grace, the physically weaker are empowered by the physically stronger; the vulnerable are protected by the strong. If the physically weaker want to be treated as physically strong, and want to cast-off that protection, they will put themselves in danger. While there are some individual women who are stronger than some individual men, in aggregate, while women may win a skirmish or a battle, they will surely lose a war of the sexes. Strong, righteous men must protect women from strong, evil men. But men must be taught how to be righteous. They must be taught, as Scripture teaches, that women are to be treated "as the weaker vessel." Not as inferior human beings, but as fine china, a precious vase, a delicate flower.

Men learn this by holding a door open for a woman. By offering her a seat on a crowded train. By lending a hand as she climbs down stairs. Yes, she is perfectly capable of opening her own door, standing on a train, and climbing dow stairs. These gestures are not important for her immediate safety or well-being. But as men practice these gestures, they learn how to treat and protect women on dark streets, in their homes, and in the corporate boardrooms. They remind men of the delicate veil of civility. They ultimately function to protect the weaker from the stronger. They teach men to use their strength to protect, not destroy.

The roles of men and women in society is one of the most important debates in our culture. Unfortunately, the church - which has the answers - is embarassingly silent.


Glen said...

Another interesting article on

marlinmike said...

"Richard Weaver once wrote that when the gentleman disappears so too goes the lady."

Thanks for sharing, Glen.