Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

The Death of Masculinity?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 8, 2010

In a blog entitled “The Creative Minority Report,” a guest columnist wrote “Masculinity is dying a quick death,” and cited as proofs, examples of the less than ideal versions of men that are portrayed in media, within and without entertainment, society, politics and other venues.

Considering my reply, Blind Willie Johnson’s 1930 Gospel song “The Soul Of A Man” came to mind. The lyrics in part are “Well, won’t somebody tell me, answer if you can!
Won’t somebody tell me, just what is the soul of a man?

While to some extent I understand and agree with the tenor or spirit of the post, I think the author’s citation has critical faults – which found the premise – that essentially render the argument invalid.

Following is my reply.

The entry may be found at –

http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2010/03/death-of-masculinity.html

In some ways, I share the sentiment expressed by Marcel in the reply dated March 5, 2010 12:35 PM. However, rather than hypothesize cowardice as a motivator (after all, everything to that point was perfect and unblemished), it might be more accurate to say that Adam did nothing. That much we DO know. Thus, his inaction – which we might call a sin of omission – was directly imputable.

Whether or not Adam’s inaction was a sin has been, can or will be fodder for much discussion. However, suffice it to say, that topic is not the one under discussion.

Moving forward, I do like the word “husbandman,” as one whom is an overseer of flocks or herds, extending even to tillage of the soil, as one whom farms.

Caring for… tending, overseeing… those are all activities reflective of and upon life – in the case of the herdsman, animal life; in the case of the gardener, plant life. In both cases, the life cared for nourishes us. And our actions as men of nourishing life is a direct extension of who we are, our intrinsic nature, rather than an extrinsic one.

Concerning the overall tenor of the post, it seems to me that if we focus on the skewed media portrayal of men as being anything remotely associated with reality, rather than the mere fiction which it is, then we fall prey to the very same effort which is criticized in this post. Media is not reality, for it neither forms the majority of that which exists, nor can it possibly illustrate the same. Media does not show normalcy, and rather concentrates upon the abnormal. News, either print or broadcast, is filled with stories of criminal activity of all sort, disaster, betrayal, discontent, and is not the norm. It doesn’t mean those things don’t occur, for we know they do, but that the disseminating organizations rarely, if ever, tell of the events that go right, that are successful, good and wholesome. They innately hold forth bad behavior as an everyday occurrence – the standard, the norm – because it is with them, for they seek it out. Such is not exemplary in the highest sense, or toward the good, to be certain.

Consider every story ever told – even the story of humanity. To say “we’re born, we live, we die” is not the story. And I, as a native Southerner, know a good story when I hear it. For me, there are no “spoilers,” for we understand the story is not how it ends, but the story is in the telling. So-called “spoilers” – in my estimation – are about as ludicrous as one whom would read Genesis, and feel disappointed or shorted because they were told about the Revelation.

There are many more wholesome lives lived out in secret than we’ll ever know. Remember the prophet whom was feeling sorry for himself? As recorded in 1 Kings 19, Elijah had a self-pity party and complained to the LORD numerous times saying, “I’m the only one left.” However, the LORD knew something Elijah didn’t, and surprised him saying, “But I still have 7,000 people in Israel whose knees have not knelt to worship Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

Similarly, there are more good acts than evil, of which we are not made aware, because the “media” doesn’t portray the average, the every-day, the good, the wholesome. Recall the adage, “if it bleeds, it leads”? Death and destruction continue to form the basis for all news. Why? What perversity in our own hearts draw us, seemingly inexorably, to the macabre, the suffering presented as entertainment, the portrayal of perversity and injustice as righteousness and the callous demonstration of the worst element of humanity as normal?

There are men. Men whom are a man’s man. Tiny men, big men, short men, tall men. Men whose lives are lived in relative obscurity. Men about whom we will never know. Why? Because they’re not on teevee, nor do they appear on the pages of newspapers or magazines, nor do we hear of them on talk raydeeo. We don’t gossip about them, nor can we. Why? We don’t know them, for they, their lives and their stories are not told.

I knew one such man, and indeed, know of at least two others. One is deceased – a paternal uncle, a hero, a veteran, uneducated, hard-working, honest, God-fearing, family provider; his youngest brother, same, though no veteran; and his eldest brother, my father, a veteran, God-fearing, educated, hard-working, honest, family provider… all of them loving, kind, considerate, tender hearted, compassionate, disciplined. Men’s men.

Regarding uzza’s comments, I believe I understand the spirit of the post, yet would take exception with characterizations of Adam’s ignorance.

Anonymous’ comment of March 5, 2010 3:51PM that “Men can’t become men until women let them…” is one of an superior perspective, one which is contrary to the spirit of Scripture, where in Eve, being made from Adam’s rib (his side), is his peer, his equal – not being made from his head to be over him, or his foot to be under him, but by his side to be his peer.

Not certain how Fr. Andrew meant “…this atmosphere of criticism is emasculating,” to be interpreted; it could be meaning that 1.) criticism is emasculating, 2.) criticisms in this discussion are trending toward emasculation, or something else.

Observing the Proverbs 31 woman, we see she is industrious, and exhibits other characteristics; and then, there are other admonitions in the epistles exhorting women’s behavior – as well as of men, and children.

Essentially, as fallen creatures – male and female – we will all exhibit imperfect psychological, emotional characteristics, also known as personality flaws. As an emotional creature, humanity – male and female – can, however, look to Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

2 Responses to “The Death of Masculinity?”

  1. drsue3 said

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