Tag Archives: Gender

Boys And Girls

The other day I wrote a post about some Catholic teachings that, though I follow the Catholic faith, I am still somewhat uncomfortable with. The first you can read here. The two topics are, I feel, mostly unrelated to each other, so I decided to separate them. This post is about the roles of spouses in a traditional, Catholic marriage. A rather old fashioned way of thinking about this is that men always have to be the bread winner, and women always have to be stay-at-home moms. This is not what the Church teaches. The priest at my church explained that men and women have different roles because we have different needs. Generally speaking, on a physiological, and psychological level, I think, to some extent, this is true. However, I wanted to stop him, and ask “What would you say to someone like me who, if we’ll permit a little stereotyping here, generally has stereotypically male interests?”

One of the reasons his homily was about this topic, though, was because one of the readings for last weekend was the dreaded Ephesians 5: 22-24, which says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Initially, this rubs just about every woman, myself included, the wrong way. God is the only person I will be submitting myself to, thank you very much. That is my initial, impulsive reaction. However, for a few reasons, live with my parents. The fifth commandment, which could not be spelled out more clearly says that one is to, “honor your father and mother,” so it would seam that I should, in some sense, submit to them, and this is what is pleasing to God. Likewise, God left us his Church, and both men and women are meant to submit to its teachings because really, they are his teachings.

Last weekend, our priest went on to explain that we often neglect Ephesians 5: 25-28, which says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Remember that Jesus died for every individual person. What Saint Paul is saying here is that husbands are supposed to make these kinds of sacrifices for their wives. What is also implied here is that the Church is the body of Christ, in the same way as a husband and wife are meant to be one unified family.

Ultimately, husbands and wives, and actually people who love each other in general, are supposed to make sacrifices for each other. When reading these verses of Saint Paul, we have to keep a few things in mind. He was writing in a certain time period for a certain group of people. He was also writing for us. Love between people is not a mirror. I don’t love my dad in the same way he loves me, nor is it the same for me and my mom. The sacrifices they make for me are not the same sacrifices I make for them. Today, and particularly in the West, men and women are largely on equal footing in terms of the opportunities we have, especially for education and employment. We are to be given an equal level of respect, and when we are not given the same respect, we have problems. This does not change the fact that we are meant to make different sacrifices for different people at different times if we truly want to own that we are Christian.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Confusion Is Not License To Judge

I want to be completely honest, and I don’t want to be offensive. If this post offends anyone in any way because of something I said or didn’t think of, I apologize in advance.

Sexuality and gender issues confuse me. I am asexual, and while I identify as a woman, I kind of think that gender is pointless as a defining factor in one’s personality. I am Christian, and I believe that God created people with male and female biology out of necessity. However, I think that thinking too much about on’es gender does more harm than good. For example, if gender was less of a defining factor, there would be less, or perhaps even no need for feminism. If gender didn’t matter then women would have the same power, the same respect, and the same income as men from the beginning of time. Men and women are good at different things for different reasons, but we are all equal on a fundamental level.

However, what I find confusing is when a person who was born male identifies as a woman, or when a person who was born female identifies as a man. I just don’t understand why or how it happens. I am just being honest. I’ve only ever known one trans person, and he was only an acquaintance, so I never got into this kind of stuff with him. It gets even more confusing when it comes to matters of sexuality. Sexuality confuses me to begin with, and I’m straight… I think (I like men without wanting to…). There are probably some asexual transgender peeps, but what about the rest of the world? What does it mean when a person with male biology who identifies as a woman likes men? What does it mean if that person likes women? What do you call that?

Again, I don’t mean to be offensive, but what you have to understand is that I like labels. Labels help me understand the world. I just like to be able to call things, well, things. Furthermore, all of this would matter less to me if I weren’t Christian. I want to understand this stuff in the context of the bigger picture; in terms of faith, and how it relates to God’s plan. To be completely honest, my immediate instinct is to say that God created people male and female–men and women for a reason, but I know that isn’t really fair. Something my friend suggested to me is that perhaps God created some people transgender, agender, etc, as some kind of test: to themselves and to the rest of society. The other thing is, it took me a long time to be able to differentiate gender from biology, which in hindsight, is really kind of stupid, so I apologize for that.

I don’t understand this stuff. Some people condemn the things they don’t understand, and that isn’t kind or fair. I believe that everyone has some kind of role to play in God’s plan, and God loves all of us. More than anything, I want misunderstood people to be accepted, whether that is people of different sexualities or genders, or disabled people, or people of different cultures.  Revelation 7:9 says: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” The Kingdom of Heaven is diverse because God intended it that way, and because he wants all people to be reconciled to him and to each other. God loves every single person on this planet, and if people have told you otherwise, they are wrong.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Gender Roles

I just read a post a out this and thought it was interesting. The main point of it was that people put too much emphasis on being masculine or feminine and doing masculine/feminine things. The author also talked about the “Man Card” concept, which I hadn’t even heard of before.

An important point that the author was making was that concepts of masculine/feminine allow men to treat women like objects, but removing these concepts makes the two genders more equal. He listed a bunch of things that he was into/does/knows about that for someone who has ideas of girly and manly were surprising.

Interestingly, when I was a kid, it seemed that girls really weren’t into video games. I’ve noticed in the past few years however, possibly because I’m simply more observant, that a lot more girls and women (including myself) play them regularly and enjoy them. On the flip side, there are a lot of teenaged boys who watch and enjoy My Little Pony. Furthermore, there have been a lot more men deciding to stay home with the kids while their wives go off to work, essentially switching the traditional gender roles. I am interested to see what will happen when gender differences disappear entirely, which I think eventually they will. Perhaps it won’t change much at all.

What the author of the post I read disregarded was that there do seem to be certain things that men like/do/enjoy/are better at more/than women and vice versa. Again, maybe I’m saying this because I grew up on the very end of gender roles being a defined thing.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!