Three Ways Christian Patriarchy Harms Men – 1. Defines Men By Their Sexuality
(Link): Three Ways Patriarchy Harms Men by R E Asproth
- …While women, being in the subordinate position in this hierarchy, suffer the effects of patriarchy to a far greater degree, men too know its cost in humanity, in self-concept, and in relationship.
- It’s easy to think that because men have the power and privilege, that they truly have everything. But, I’ve come to recognize that patriarchy’s picture of manhood is woefully inaccurate—and men suffer as a result of that narrowness.
- 1. Patriarchy Defines Men by Their Sexuality
- Men are conditioned to see themselves as primarily sexual—defined and driven by their sexuality. From the day they enter puberty, they are treated to analyses of male sexuality that use phrases like “men are more sexual than women,” “men only want one thing,” and “it’s in your nature.” They are trained to see themselves as a threat to idealized non-sexual, pure womanhood.
- The church operates under the assumption that men are highly sexual, lack control, and will take advantage of women given the opportunity—“stumbling block” rhetoric supports this. I can’t image what it is like to be implicitly told that you have more in common with animals in the sexual arena than you do with humanity and with the opposite sex. I also can’t imagine learning self-control in a culture that tells me I am sexually aggressive at my core and by innate nature.
- So, I’d like to offer a different picture of manhood.
- Men are human beings. They struggle with sexual temptation, with lust, with self-control, just like women do. They are capable of tenderness, control, and gentleness. Men can be trusted. And despite cultural assumptions, not all men have high sex drives.
- It’s time to reject a universal portrait of male sexuality. We do men a disservice when we emphasize sexuality as man’s primary trait. We allow men to abdicate responsibility for their sins by teaching them that their natures are the root cause of their lust. Further, we, as a culture, position men to only think of themselves as threats to women, and thus remove the possibility of healthy, appropriate, authentic male sexuality. If men believe that they truly cannot be trusted, they anchor their identities to a warped understanding of male sexuality and selfhood.
(Link): Why Men Don’t Go To Church