Reflection on the Sad State of Gender Relations in 2011
Christmas is a sentimental season even for atheists; and affectionate personal “relationships” are part of the ambiance even if every card you post [or e-mail] reads “Season’s Greetings”. If anything, we Christians are a bit less “into sentimentality”, because we have the Incarnation of our Creator to think about. But with or without the theology, Christians value hugs this time of year, too.
When i think of Christmas celebrations, i think of hugs, but not kisses—and yes, that’s a hint of the main point of this reflection. I might kiss my grandchildren on the top of the head (or, if my son and his wife have trained them that way, on the face cheeks) if they were near enough to visit. In blessing. I greatly doubt i’d kiss my sons and i’m virtually certain i would not kiss their wives or sweethearts. My sister, may our Creator give her spirit home and peace, died over two decades ago, of cancer; my mother passed-away at a great old age, i have no daughter—and come to think of it, i did not kiss either my mother or my sister in the last twenty years they lived. Hugged, yes, but somehow kissing got to be symbolically erotic under Mother’s roof, and so she and Dad had the monopoly.
Abrazo, sí, beso no. It is good to embrace one’s friends in the fraternal way, and especially in the days of celebration and remembrance.
Who did i want to hug this Christmas? My first thought was of the one son i haven’t seen in over a decade. My second was of my grandsons, their father, and his other brothers. My third was of my faithful, friendly, somewhat-obedient dog Fritz, who i did hug several times. (Fritz is part-Wolf, loyal and independent, and total obedience would not be the best service he can give… as we both know and honour.)
For a special Christmas hug, then, i thought of men, boy grandsons, then of a canine of either gender, but having no sister, no daughter, no granddaughter, not of a woman… which is a sad commentary on the state of gender relations at the end of 2011. Maybe that’s unfair to two sons’ wives–i should hope it is, actually–but it’s not i who has close knowledge of them.
Feminism and the laws it has lobbied into existence has taught us not to trust women, nor to trust marriage, by telling women that they can cheat, lie, and often murder with impunity. It has tempted their worst nature and scorned their best. It has put men and children at risk.
As i write this, being Christian, i think of the story of Eve and the serpent. The Serpent* promised Eve that “you will be like God, knowing good and evil”[Gen. 3:5] … but did not mention that Eve and Adam already knew good. Feminists promise power to women .. but do not mention that women already had great power to do good as the privileged home-keepers and nurturers of the early 20th Century.
Eve and Adam had been warned that “[if] you eat of it, you will surely die” [Gen 2:17]; and after Eve and then Adam ate of the forbidden fruit—they died. Feminists were warned that children need fathers [e.g. Sandford and Sandford, 1986: chs. 5, 8] and that civilization is founded on the hard, skilled labour of men. Today European and American governments are in danger of financial collapse, STDs are a growing danger to those who play the “sexual marketplace“, and i hear from clergy and lawyers that both promiscuity and drug use are epidemic among adolescents and “twenteens” despite the dangers.
So it was good news to me, that my divorced friend in Miramichi is having Christmas—and New Year’s Eve—with buddies and not with a date. The Genesis-metaphor is not exact; this time each Adam and each Eve gets to make a choice whether to take part in “the sexual marketplace” and the shrivelled husk that is “civil marriage” in 2011. More and more Adams are choosing otherwise.
I don’t recall what Feminist wrote, “Men, if you want love and loyalty, don’t get a wife, get a dog.” I do know i didn’t think-it-up, i read it. I will concede that as far as it goes, that statement is no lie; but let’s add brothers, buddies, fathers and sons to those with whom we can share love and loyalty.
I do not intend to say that women are inherently evil. I do infer that Feminism as it has played-out, has facilitated evil. Reducing “marriage” from a lifetime covenant to an easily-broken contract has facilitated evil. Default mother custody of children has facilitated evil. Laying the burden of proof on men accused of rape, harassment, abuse and violence has facilitated evil.
So in 2012, let’s get-on-with replacing civil marriage, as well as with rejecting it in its present form. Let’s get on with restoring gender equality in all civil and criminal law—and in some aspects, that may mean going back more than a century: When 90% of the men passengers and less than 25% of the women passengers on the Titanic, drowned in the sinking, that wasn’t gender equality—was it? Let’s enjoy fraternal affection while we’re at it. For now, philios > eros; and maybe for most times that’s how it should be.
One of our goals should still be to give our grandchildren a social order in which men can hug their wives at Christmas, with the same assurance of love and loyalty i enjoy with good canine Fritz. There are still some such marriages today, though the law no longer backs them; my point is that nothing less is worthy of the name… and the confidence of an old-fashioned Christmas hug.
* No one i know has ever said that all serpents are male. Perhaps it is time to start referring to the Devil as “she”.
Sandford, John and Paula, 1986. Restoring the Christian Family. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Victory House. ISBN 0-932081-12-6.