Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pet Peeve: Male Bashing

Warning: I'm going to get on a soapbox & do a little ranting about a pet peeve of mine. That pet peeve is male bashing. I do not believe that women are all wrong & men are all right, but I do think this is a topic that needs to be addressed.  Some of you may not like this topic & may really not like the corrective I'm about to give; please feel free to skip this post if you feel this describes you, because I'm going to be straightforward & not mince any words.

A couple of weeks ago, I walked into our insurance company's office & was met by a little bantering between the two women who work there. One turned to me & said, "We're bashing men". I didn't think about what I was going to say, I just blurted out, "I don't go in for that". Michael uses opportunities like this to tell me that I'm bold. I don't think I'm bold, I just sometimes speak my mind before I can cover my mouth. In any case, it's true, I don't go in for that, & I think women - especially any woman who espouses Christianity - should stand up against it. I realize our culture gets its kicks off of pitting men against women, & more times than not, women bash men in an effort to get laughs from the female demographic. But it isn't funny. It's disrespectful & disgusting.

What made me begin to think (& fume) about this again was seeing an MSN headline promising insight into what men say about women behind our backs. I didn't read that article, but I can tell you what I'd say about women if I were a man. I'd say that Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde has nothing on women! Almost from birth, we're groomed for relationships with men. The moment that a preschool girl holds hands with a friend that's a boy, moms gush over "her first boyfriend". As though that's a good thing. Boy-crazy girls become relationship-obsessed women who spend their entire lives trying to find that magical "one". And then what do we do once we have him? Berate him to his face about his many (in our eyes) faults & denigrate him behind his back to our girlfriends. Let me tell you something, ladies, other than our relationship with God - & contrary to what society tells us - our primary relationship in this life is not with our girlfriends, ourselves, our parents, or our children. It's the one we have with our husband. This is a man that is made in God's image, a man who reflects Christ, a man who strives to lead his family in worshipping God. This is a man who works hard at his job to provide for his family, a man who strives to make his wife & children proud of him, a man who wants to be loving & affectionate with his wife. We are supposed to honor him, to cherish him, to respect him, to protect his reputation. That doesn't mean that we don't lovingly & privately correct him when he's wrong, but to use him as fodder for laughs among friends is repulsive & destructive.

Men are not punch lines in a joke, they are:

     -image bearers of Christ
     -consecrated by God as the head of their family
     -prayer warriors
     -trainers of the next generation

When men tell jokes about women, we consider them sexist & chauvinistic. But when we do the exact same thing to them, it's just harmless fun. Can we say "double standard"? I can anticipate the arguments about all of their imperfections, as though we're so perfect. Of course men aren't perfect. And we've taken every opportunity to remind them of that. Meanwhile, we've completely deluded ourselves into thinking that we are! We've put ourselves up on these pedestals & spend our time looking down our noses at the lowly Neanderthal men. Maybe instead of complaining so loudly about men's inadequacies & failures, we should put more effort into being a blessing to them. Maybe we should remember that we're not perfect either. Maybe we should strive less to be harpies & more to be godly, loving, & patient. We might be surprised by how they will rise to the occasion when we're choosing to inspire them instead of beating them down. Ladies, especially if you claim Christ, repent of this abhorrent mentality & behavior. Guard your husband - & all the men in your life. Men are blessings given to us by God. We should treat them as such.

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. ~Proverbs 31:10-12