Why Can’t Men Be Friends? (editorial from CT)

Why Can’t Men Be Friends?

Link to editorial below from Christianity Today about male friendship.

Why can’t men be friends? Because our culture, both secularists and Christians, sexualize everything and everybody.

The politically correct bent today by some to push homosexuality as being a valid lifestyle  or form of sexuality is also at play. You can’t just have two guys who are pals, oh no, they have to have romantic feelings for each other, or groins on fire for each other.

Then you have people who assume men and women cannot be friends, because male-female interaction will always end in sex – not true.

And I am tired, oh so incredibly tired, of men over my life – men who I quite frankly found to be terribly unattractive – mistake my overtures of platonic chit chat as being flirtation, and it goes back to this stereotype that men and women cannot be platonic friends.

(Link): Why Can’t Men Be Friends?

  • Men and women alike increasingly say they are lonely. It doesn’t have to be this way.
  • by Wesley Hill
  • …. Years later, Eberhard addressed an audience member who had come to hear him speak about his friendship with Bonhoeffer (one explored in depth by Charles Marsh in the acclaimed biography Strange Glory). Surely, the questioner said, theirs “must [have been] a homosexual partnership.” What else could Bonhoeffer’s impassioned letters to Eberhard have signaled?
  • Bonhoeffer was aware that his friendship with Eberhard was breakable—that no public ceremony or vow kept them tied. That awareness that friendship is fragile has grown more pronounced since Bonhoeffer wrote his letters from prison. Words like suspicion, unsettledness, and doubt best describe our instincts about friendship. We are uncertain about it—perhaps especially between people of the same sex.
  • And, like Bonhoeffer, we wonder how much we can expect from it, how solid and durable it is, when we compare it to other bonds. Is friendship a weaker tie than marriage or family? Further, many of us doubt that we can attain intimacy without there being deep down some sexual element to the friendship.
  • An Eclipse of Friendship?

    In Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection, social scientist Niobe Way recounts her study of (mostly nonwhite) subjects in the northeastern United States over two decades.

  • Before adolescence, the boys talked in shockingly intimate terms about their male friends. Their “closest friendships share the plot of Love Story more than the plot of Lord of the Flies,” Way notes, puncturing our stereotype that while girls want deep conversation, boys communicate in grunts and prefer to shoot each other with toy guns.

  • But Way also found that as they grew older, the boys lost the intimacy they once enjoyed. Afraid of being perceived as gay or feminine, they withdrew. Many of them told Way “that they don’t have time for their male friends, even though their desire for these relationships remains.”

    The boys Way studied aren’t the only ones facing the loss of deep friendship. Afraid of crossing boundaries of propriety, many Christians, both single and married, never develop meaningful friendships with people of the opposite sex. Not unlike Bonhoeffer and Bethge, they face suspicion from fellow Christians about whether those kinds of relationships are attainable at all.

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Related posts:

(Link):  The Church Needs Men And Women To Be Friends – from The Beginning of Wisdom Blog

(Link): Asking Too Much of Marriage (Marrieds Just as Lonely as Singles)- Editorial at Christianity Today

(Link): When You’re Married and Lonely by J. Slattery

(Link):  Relationships Of Welcome, Not Fear (Re: How Sexist Christian Views Marginalize and Isolate Adult, Single Women and Maintain Other Stereotypes About Adult Singles)

(Link): You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies (advice columnist)

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

(Link):  Christian Stereotypes About Female Sexuality : All Unmarried Women Are Supposedly Hyper Sexed Harlots – But All Married Ones are Supposedly Frigid or Totally Uninterested in Sex

(Link):  Patriarchy (and Christian gender complementarian views) tends to sexualize all male/female relationships

(Link): Hey Ed Stetzer: Opposite Gender Friendships Are Not Sinful – Ed Stetzer’s Advice: “Avoid Any Hint” – More Like: Re Enforce UnBiblical Stereotypes About Men, Women, Sex, and Singles

(Link): Jesus Christ was not afraid to meet alone with known Prostitutes / Steven Furtick and Elevation Church Perpetuating Anti Singles Bias – ie, Single Women are Supposedly Sexual Temptresses, All Males Can’t Control Their Sex Drives – (but this view conflicts with evangelical propaganda that married sex is great and frequent)

(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both

(Link):  Brotherly Love: Christians and Male-Female Friendships

(Link):  Apparent Inconsistency at SCCL Group – They’re Repulsed by Sexualization of Some Relationships But Not All

(Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity

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