Christian masculinists spend much of their time online brutally lambasting modern men and women for not adhering to biblically based gender roles. But their arguments aren’t all that different from conservative evangelicals’.
Elliott Rodger felt so entitled to women that he murdered them when he didn’t get what he felt he deserved. It is precisely this attitude of entitlement that the modern evangelical church deems holy and good.
In the days since I heard about Elliot Rodger’s violent spree, I’ve thought a lot about the meme “not all men”—how telling ourselves that is a requirement for continuing to exist and work in a world that increasingly requires our interactions be public, observable.
Rodger’s actions have a chilling rationality to them in the terms of our gendered society, which makes objects and possessions of women, and rapacious, status-conscious animals of men. Whatever else Rodger’s crimes are, they are not unintelligible; they merely wrote in blood what too many of us hear, see, and say every day.
As a recent Mother Jones article about gun control shows, men with hang-ups about their own masculinity and women’s power are destroying rational political discourse on many issues, most obviously when it comes to reproductive rights.
Masculinity and femininity are social constructs. But in the church, the uncertainty that extends from such constructs has led to a boxed in vision of gender that helps no one.
The military’s emphasis on discipline, rank, and teamwork, combined with rule-based conducts, regimented eating, and grueling physical training mirrors the mindset often associated with eating disorders.
What will it take to get ordinary, everyday people to accept that sexual assault is a terrible crime? Over and over again, we’re seeing that when someone is sexually assaulted—especially a teenager—communities react by supporting the assailants and castigating the victims.
Anyone, of any gender or any age, may not feel like it is best for them to choose to be sexual in a given situation, even when presented with an opportunity for sex, even when that opportunity is with someone they have a strong desire to have sex with.
Have a partner who wants to step away from sex with you or take a break? If you’re wondering what to do to change that, the only right answer is nothing at all. We need to always respect a person’s sexual limits and boundaries, whatever their gender.