The pervasive leftist term “toxic masculinity” has been floating around again in the wake of the highly controversial Gillette commercial attacking so-called “toxic masculinity.”
While I tend to reject the modern, SJW attitudes towards masculinity and embrace the things about men that are very much different from the way most women are, there is a cold, harsh reality that Christians need to face about the idea of “toxic masculinity.”
First of all, it’s important to separate “masculinity” from “toxic masculinity;” many on the left seem to decry both, or decry one and ignore the other.
I think Allie Stuckey summed up an excellent refutation to “toxic masculinity” here, and I agree with her fully. She also manages to cut at the core of why the ideas of doing away with “toxic masculinity” are so, well, toxic: they’re pushing back against masculinity as a whole, not just the toxic parts.
Last year, The Blaze reported on a “toxic masculinity training” program that a feminist professor was recommending for children as young as kindergarten, and, as a mother, this, of course, incensed me.
I think that, understandably so, many conservatives and Christians are under the impression that “toxic masculinity” is always synonymous with masculinity in general and there’s certainly a good case to be made here, as Allie has.
Masculinity is not toxic. Masculinity is as beautiful as feminity, and both reflect the image of God that we were made in.
In the words of Nancy Pelosi, who, stunningly, does not seem to believe this about the unborn but does believe this about MS-13 members, “every person has a spark of divinity in them.”
However, the definition The Blaze used of what exactly “toxic masculinity” is actually humbled me a little bit.
Here it is, from Tolerance.org:
Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status and aggression. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly “feminine” traits—which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual—are the means by which your status as “man” can be taken away.
Biblical Christians: does this seem like ideal male behavior to you?
The short answer is, and we have to admit this to ourselves, no, it’s not.
This is the world’s idea of masculinity. This is not necessarily God’s idea of masculinity.
First of all, while the natural order of the family is established in the Bible with the husband and father at the helm, and it is taken for granted that men are typically leaders and soldiers, the biblical model of “a real man” is one that, well, adheres to biblical morals as a whole.
Think of the Book of Proverbs; it’s full of admonishments for men specifically to be wise, patient, industrious, responsible, strong, steadfast, faithful, and most of all, to fear the Lord.
Men are also, most famously, called to love their wives as they love the church, and to not provoke their children to anger.
Never are men told to beat their wives, have, um, whizzing contests with other men, procure as many women as possible, or pursue status. In fact, there are several examples in the Bible of men being told not to do these things.
Pride, lust, and violence, which are characteristics of the “toxic masculinity” definition addresses, are most definitely sinful, godless behavior that will not lead a man towards a closer relationship with God or even an objectively moral life.
Here’s the thing: these aren’t exclusively male characteristics. Yes, there is a culture among certain men to strive for status, engage in violence, and copulate with as many members of the opposite sex as possible. Like, you know, teenage boys and ne’re do wells.
And this is not only something the church should be addressing, it is something that the church does address, and not only that, but the Holy, divinely inspired Word of God itself.
Women can be entirely toxic as well.
Men cultivate this type of behavior because they are fallen, sinful men, but guess what–women are fallen and sinful as well. And it doesn’t matter how anyone one on earth, including all the men in your life, behave, if you have not repented of your sins as well.
The progressive left, as well exemplified in the Gillette commercial, seems to constantly point to Biblical principles of kindness, gentleness, decency, respectability, as somehow new concepts.
Here’s the thing: for decades progressive feminists have decried the ideas of chivalry and yet somehow also decried the results of a lack of chivalry in our culture and I soldily believe that, frankly, they just don’t like what they got when they kicked decent men of the pedestal they once held in our society.
Women lie, cheat, steal, deceive, abuse, kill. Women kill their unborn children en masse in our country, after all.
It’s not masculinity or femininity that’s toxic, it’s our sinful fallen state that can only be restored in Christ our Savior.
We need to be careful not to defend sinful behavior or downplay abuse or assault simply because the left brings them up. We need to, however, be realistic about what these things are, and also how often women engage in equally sinful things.
Let’s not let the terms of the world confuse us, it’s God’s truth that we defend and nothing else and He created both men and women, in their different, complementary, and beautiful characteristics.
What’s toxic is anything that denies God’s truth.