1. The Attack Against Masculinity
God made men to be masculine. We know so because He tells us in 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”, and in Job 38:3, “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.”
But what does it mean to be a “man” (aside from gender)?
Manliness is to be simultaneously meek and tenacious to the nth.*
A man is someone whom I’d be grateful to fight beside in times of war and happy to be ruled under in times of peace. He conforms to the situation at hand and dutifully completes the task appointed to him, fierce in moments of battle and amiable in moments of tranquillity. He is not someone who, no matter the situation, is brutish to the degree of barbarism or cowardly to the point of capitulation. That’s not a man, but a fool. Instead, men display the masculine identity of chivalrous duality in their obedience to God.
Moses, incensed with righteous anger against sin, cracked the solid rocks of Law over his knee. And yet, pleading in intercession for the Israelites with the Divine, offered to endure Hell for eternity in exchange for the people's forgiveness.
Or what about David? Fearless in composure, he slew a giant no other soldier dared engage. But despite his conquests and trophies, he composed some of the most delicate poetry ever penned, qualified as a servant after God’s own heart.
And Elijah defiantly taunted 450 agents of Baal’s insidious witchcraft, unfazed by their rituals or magic, but later cried by himself under a Juniper tree as he was overwhelmed with loneliness and nihilism.
So I hate the phrase, “Toxic Masculinity.” The real poison is the radical left’s propensity, the unbearable itch they simply have to scratch, to destroy natural order and law while redefining our language to reflect their idealized reality. There’s nothing toxic about masculinity in the slightest, and to say so is a cutting insult not only to fathers but to all men, and more importantly, to the God who created us.
As far as I can tell, it seems that the defining consensus of toxic masculinity is that manliness has become equivalent with things like rage, domination, and the objectification of women. Our opponent’s defence when we counter that being a man isn’t sinful is, “Oh, we don’t think that being male is wrong (yet). Instead, we think that our society and cultural norms champion certain stereotypes of ‘manliness’ like anger and control that are harmful to all of us.”
Thus, it’s obvious they believe that displaying traits classically associated with masculinity is oppressive and dangerous. As such, modern men are frightened that if they emulate, even for a moment, the character of Pericles, Churchill, Paul, or Christ, they will be devoured by a radical mob of “tolerant and loving” groups eager to consume western civilization.
2.The Socialist’s Mistake
I reject the accusation of “toxic masculinity” for one glaring reason in particular, the same reason I reject the socialist ideology as a whole—it mistakes the origin of evil. As previously discussed, ideologues create the narrative that men have been raised in a culture that teaches them to be aggressive, void of empathy, and, for lack of a better word, sexist pigs. They claim that if a man commits an act of severe violence or speaks with crude and harsh words in the office, it’s because “society conditioned him to be that way.” Of course, the social justice warrior, the socialist, the Marxist, and the recently graduated humanitarian, feel themselves so enlightened and advanced beyond the common man’s industrial worldview, that it’s fallen to them to correct the society and right our wrongs. They take it upon themselves to kill the masculine in man and replace it with the feminine, “turning our eyes from darkness and light,” and rescuing the people from the oppressive patriarchy and its beliefs.
But that’s garbage. The foundation of that movement is made of sand because their assumption that the community is to blame for evil behaviour isn’t true. Suppose there's a man who exhibits outbursts of rage in his office or treats his wife as nothing more than an object to be used for his carnal appetite.
That’s not toxic masculinity; it’s sin!
Such behaviour is not a consequence of being male, brainwashed by the society, or masculine attributes. If a man acts reprehensibly, it’s not a product of his culture but of his condition. And we would be wise to remember that this problem is not isolated to just men. Sin is a disease that affects both genders equally (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:10-23, Psalms 51:5). I know many mean and bossy women, just as I know many mean and overbearing men. Their gender and societal habitat don’t determine their depravity; sin does.
The phrase “Toxic Masculinity” slaps a new (deceptive) name on an ancient issue. Let’s call it what it is—sin. Rage, objectification, cruel domination, all of those things, are sometimes visible in men and women because their hearts are rebellious before the Lord (2 Chronicles 12:14). They are dead in sin and separated from the Trinity (Ephesians 2:1). But the salvation of this problem isn’t to suppress the masculinity in men or to tell them that their culture needs to be burned; it’s to be saved by Jesus Christ and forgiven of all sins (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:1-10).
3.The Virtues of Manliness
To be fair, I think people understand that these sinful traits are not products of masculinity. So why attack it? As it is with every other attempt to usher in utopia, it’s because the rebel rejects the natural order. Christian values—masculinity, marriage, humility, etc.—disgust the Social Justice Warrior because they’re part of a natural law that’s been categorized as archaic and oppressive. Never mind that the age of a doctrine doesn’t determine its validity, and Christianity’s purpose is to free man from the oppressiveness of sin (John 10:10); if the post-modernist can suffocate classical values, it creates a power vacuum that he can and will fill.
That’s why we must champion the masculinity God has endowed to men. If instead we capitulate, if we bow to the demands of the radical and forfeit all masculinity, then Lewis’ prediction will come true as we “make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise,”** celebrating Father’s Day no more. So let us be thankful for fathers who are the heads of households and provide for families. Let us be grateful for the men who are fierce and brave enough to charge headfirst into a blitz of bullets on D-Day or hold the line at the Battle of the Bulge. Let us be relieved there are men who are “dreaded by thy mortal foe and loved by his closest friends.” And let us cherish the father who teaches his children to start fires in the day and reads them bedtime stories at night. That is the man—the father—who must survive in the face of this modern oppression, for that is the man God has designed.
*See Lewis, The Necessity of Chivalry here
** See Lewis, C.S. The Abolition of Man. HarperCollins. pg.26
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