Men’s Rights Movement

the problem with the church is not strong women, but weak men who can’t handle strong women…  -Professor Ben Witherington

Based on my experience and observations, this is true within marriage even more persistently than within the church.  Pastor Danny Silk has an excellent analysis here: Whatever Happened to Men?

Daniel, our married 25 year old son, is attracted to the Men’s Rights Movement.  He has shared with me his concerns with how men are portrayed by the media, how male tendencies are pathologized in the education of boys, how healthcare dollars appear disproportionately directed to female concerns.   He is not alone in this concern.  Egalitarian Professor Roger Olson speaks of the same concerns in “Being a man is okay (if its the best you can do)”.

For awhile our son found Mark Driscoll appealing.  Lately, he has noticed some problems.  The first red flag was Driscoll on “Mr. Moms: Should stay-at-home dads face church discipline?” Daniel’s wife is the primary breadwinner and they intend for him to be the primary caretaker of their children.

The last straw for Daniel was in the recent publicized sex scandal from Mars Hill.  The “accountability” is disproportionately applied to the male participant.   Daniel didn’t appreciate that the female participant in partaking the forbidden fruit was not held equally responsible.

According to Andrew, at Mars Hill, the cliche “it takes two to tango” isn’t true. Why? Because Pastor Mark teaches that women are “weaker vessels,” and therefore, when a girl and boy engage in consensual sexual activity, it is always assumed that it’s the man’s fault because he failed to lead the woman (or “weaker vessel”) toward righteousness. (And everybody knows that women can’t find righteousness unless a man leads her there. Ugh.) source: Looking For True Repentance at Mars Hill Church?

Three of our children are married (including Daniel) and in all three marriages, the wives have more education than the husbands.  Happily, indications are that this bodes well for their marriages:

Almost 30 percent of wives today have more education than their husbands, while less than 20 percent of husbands have more education than their wives, almost the exact reverse of the percentages in 1970.

But there is not a shred of evidence that such marriages are any less satisfying than marriages in which men have equal or higher education than their wives. Indeed, they have many benefits for women.  (Marriage Suits Educated Women, New York Times- Stephanie Coontz)

How did the higher education of daughters and “Mr. Mom” son happen in a “husband-rule”, “quiver full”, women and children “be quiet, obey, and walk around on egg-shells to make sure he feels respected” household?  Well, I am educated.  My husband and I met in graduate school and my journey into QF was a bit like the frog in the kettle.  My spirit died slowly.   Was the environment within our own family so harsh, judgmental, controlling, and oppressive that the children “rebelled” against the “traditions of the fathers”?  That is my perception.  But perhaps the tide of culture is also a factor?

Her.meneutics has two recent blog posts on the ways the world is changing for men: Role Reversal: The Problem of the Increasing Marginalization of Men and ‘I’m Dad, the Babysitter,’ and Other Cultural Myths.

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3 Responses to Men’s Rights Movement

  1. Trevor says:

    As I’m reading this and the associated links I’m thinking of that book, written so long ago now, by Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen (the author of, Gender & Grace) back in 2002, “My Brother’s Keeper.” She addresses the emergence of these issues back there as the book is subtitled, “What the Social Sciences Do (And Don’t) Tell Us About Masculinity.” I was, and still am, fascinated by her observations and of course these things are becoming increasingly evident. Roger Olsen’s insights are especially valuable and I agree that it is the boys growing up under the tutelage of the TV sitcom indoctrination of the “incompetent male” that are most at risk. Mary SVL addresses our corporate responsibility to address this imbalance in her well researched book. What can I say about the heavy handedness of the Mark Driscoll mantras? Enough said already on other blogsites! But his wife’s comments on the short video clip are, to me, just as troubling because they make it sound so godly and biblically accurate to have women only as “keepers at home.” Andrew’s treatment by the leadership of the Mars Hill community is absolutely despicable and is nothing short of spiritual abuse. It’s no small wonder that men out there are confused.

  2. Red says:

    Thanks for all the links!! I shared two of them on Facebook already!

    The article about the cultural myth of Babysitter Dad was so insightful and true it almost brought a tear to my eye! 😉 As someone who was raised in a family of strong men AND strong women, all of whom got along and never fought over who was “dominant,” it staggers me that other Christians can’t figure out how to live that way too.

    And yes, Mark Driscoll staggers me. But then, that’s nothing new.

    Red

  3. Charis says:

    Hi Red,
    Welcome and thank you for commenting 🙂
    Glad you enjoyed the links. Please visit again and invite your friends.

    Warmly,
    Charis

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