What is a man and what is love? Third chapter in the series.
|I've been lied to. As I grew up, people told me these five lies that shaped who I thought I was and made it hard to figure out who I really am. As I got to know people I found that these same five lies frequently showed up in their histories:
1. You're not masculine. Boys are told that if they like pink, they are not masculine. I read the story of one boy who grew up constantly being told that he wasn't male because he had a teddy bear. I grew up wanting to learn to cook, sew and do domestic things and of course I was told that meant I wasn't masculine.
People frequently exaggerate the differences between masculine and feminine. There is a difference between masculine and feminine and anyone who tries to convince you that there is no difference is illogical. However, people who exaggerate the difference between masculine and feminine are equally as illogical. The difference between the genders is more akin to the difference between varieties of apples. It is not akin to the difference between alien worlds. People who exaggerate the difference make it seem like any boy who isn't born with a rifle in one hand, a football in the other and a monkey wrench in the other is not masculine. That is a lot of pressure to put on young boys.
This lie creates the str8 and the gym bunny. It causes men to work so hard at trying to be masculine that they overdo it. The truth is, masculine is whatever a man is. Even if a man is not a clone of John Wayne, he is still masculine. That is to say that none of these external expressions define gender. I'll have to save defining gender for a different chapter but a man who cooks, does not have bulging muscles, and wears pink is still a man.
2. It would be good if you were not a man. I got this lie a lot. My mom repeatedly told me about how men are jerks and pigs and brute beasts. My dad repeatedly told me that he was the only righteous man and that all other men are jerks and pigs and brute beasts. I heard another woman say that she wished men would turn on each other and leave women alone. Basically there is a lot of man bashing going around. Although some of it is deserved because some men are jerks and pigs and brute beasts, this lie generalizes the traits of some to the entire male gender.
This lie creates queens and the whole variety of mixed genders. It causes men to feel ashamed of their masculinity and to reject their gender. The truth is, masculinity has a lot of positive traits such as responsibility, reliability, and dignity. The only males who become jerks are the males who lack the positive traits of their gender. Many of the negative traits that people think are masculine, really aren't masculine at all. It is not masculine to be gross (It is masculine to endure that which is gross but not to relish in being gross). It is not masculine to sleep around. It is not masculine to be violent (It is masculine to compete but masculine competition can more easily be expressed in the competition to build a bigger house than it can in a violent competition). A man is not measured by how much of a storm he can cause. A man is measured by how calm he can be during a storm. It is good to be a man.
3. Respect must be taken. I was told that women wanted me to force myself upon them. Many people are taught that might makes right, that there are different classes of people and that the only ones worthy of respect are those in the class that take from those of a different class. They even justify the lie by trying to convince themselves that the lesser class desires to be dominated by the greater class.
This lie creates all the different varieties of tops: bears, leather daddies, and masters. It causes men to crave worship and power. The truth is, power doesn't make us happy. Respect makes us happy but respect does not come from taking it. Respect comes from our ability to master ourselves and not from our ability to master others. The disciplined soldier that guards the tomb of the unknown soldier gets respect. The man who dominates, tortures or even rapes does not get respect. But tops delude themselves into thinking that the terror they cause is respect.
4. Abuse is love. While the tops are deceiving themselves into thinking they are getting respect, the bottoms are deceiving themselves into thinking they are getting love. I was molested when I was five. My family was neglectful and I did not receive love from them but my molester told me that he loved me. The molest wasn't all that horrible of an experience but it did set me up to thinking that I got more love from the guy that molested me than I did from my dad.
I don't need to tell you what the truth is this time. It's obvious that abuse is not love but I do need to tell you that a lie of this kind works it's way so deep into the subconscious that no amount of truth can dislodge it. The only thing I can say is that we are not born this way. We become this way after the lie has worked itself deep into our subconscious.
5. Love is sex. I was neglected by my family. Worse than that, I was shunned. I was taught that men don't have relationships. I was taught that men just want sex. Whenever I tried to explain how lonely I felt, I was told to go have sex because sex would solve everything.
This lie is where the g0y movement comes from. Men who are comfortable in their masculinity but want to escape the abusive top/bottom dynamic flock to the g0y movement because they are lonely and the only way they know how to relate to other men is sexually. The truth is:
Genesis 2:18 NASB Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
Notice that God did not make a playmate bunny suitable for him. Men need non-sexual relationships. Men need camaraderie and team work. Men have an innate need to be in a brotherhood of other men. But if we go around accusing these brotherhoods of homosexuality, we oppress men and deny them the right to be men.
In summary, it's okay to wear pink. It's okay to long for a relationship with other men. It's okay if you feel confused. It is these lies that are not okay.