Gender Stereotypes

Over at Stand Firm in Faith, Sarah Hey gives a good summary of negative gender stereotypes:

That is, in fact, precisely what I would mean were I to note the “masculinization” of an organization. One can then think of all the worst characteristics associated [rightly or wrongly] with men and come up with a rather unpleasant composite of nastiness. You know—it’s what comedy movies about “men” portray as “real men”—loud, coarse, belching, rude, scratching, boorish, stupid, hot-tempered, violent, impetuous, thoughtless, crude, and hostilely predatory.

Granted—I personally think that such “men” portraying those characteristics are actually caricatures of the real thing—and such caricatures in so far as they exist, are a result of the Fall. I don’t think it is an accident that we have these caricatures—both real, and imagined via our movies—and at the same time have a tidal wave of gender identity disorder [which incidentally we have now enshrined in TEC as a good and holy thing] and confusion or repulsion about “maleness” or “masculinity,” along with the old “attraction to the other, wait a minute he’s male” disorder that those men with same-sex-attraction have.

But were I to cluster an unpleasant composite of nastiness in regards to a “feminized” organization—all the worst characteristics associated [rightly or wrongly] with women—they would include preening, gossipy, affected, weak, unprincipled, irrational, inane, shallow, vacuous, petty, ungrounded, whiny, and inveterate and persistent sharers of feelings and victimhood to the disinterested.

Do I think that these caricatures or “clusters of the worst characteristics” do a disservice to real masculinity and real feminity? Absolutely. My own personal opinion about gender characteristics is that it is far better to focus first on human character for all—courage, honor, integrity, discipline, kindness, purity, chivalry, hard work, strength, gentleness and many more such character traits. Once those are worked through, most of the time one’s sex—that is the natural stew of chromosomes and hormones and genetics, along with some nurture—is naturally revealed as a beautiful [hopefully] side note to a beautiful person.

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