Listening in on another side of the gender debate

The Hungarian Luddite reports on
What is it to be a “real” man?

According to Mark Driscoll’s point of view, a man is one who loves manly things like Extreme Fighter or Dog, the Bounty Hunter. Driscoll, the pastor of Mar’s Hill in Seattle, WA, advances the notion that men are to be this rough and tumble creature ready to fight to the bitter end. All who believe differently, are, well, um, they’re wuzzes, momma’s boys, or sissies. While Driscoll does not say these exact words. I would encourage you to read all of his writings concerning men and see if that is not the “man” picture he is trying to build. Listen to his Boot Camp mp3’s and see if my conclusion is wrong.

Listen in on the rest of what the Hungarian Luddite thinks, but before you leave here- tell me, What is it to be a “real” man? in your opinion?

5 thoughts on “Listening in on another side of the gender debate”

  1. I find myself moving away from Driscoll’s stuff, but he has some points on manliness. In that same series I told you about in which Kay Arthur examined what it means to be a biblical woman, she then dug into what it means to be a biblical man, and the biblical man definitely has some traits which are stereotypical of being a man.

    A leader.
    Willing to make decisions.
    A physical protector of those around him when needed.
    Some of the differences away from the stereotype:
    He doesn’t seek violence. (Not sure how this applies to professional fighters.)
    Isn’t overbearing.
    Is a servant leader, which differs from what the world sees as a leader.
    Real men value and prefer peace, but are willing to wield the sword if necessary.

  2. I tend to think that in self-reflective moments it never really comes down to gender it comes down to character. I’d say a real man should be honest, hard-working, true to his interests and identity in so far as it doesn’t harm others or himself, helpful etc. and these aren’t things that can be tied down to gender. Certainly some of his characteristics may be socially seen as “male” and that’s fine but I can’t think of any that I feel would fall into being *exclusively* male.

    Mark up there mentioned things like being a leader, making decisions, protector, taking up the sword etc. but these are all things women have to be (and have always had to be to varying extents).

    I hope I didn’t come off as puporting that there are and should not be any differences between men and women, it’s just that when it comes to questions like this I can’t think in gender categories. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. 😉

  3. You didn’t come off that way at all, Arethusa. I just posted today on some of the difficulty – we see obvious differences in male and female (and not just the physical stuff) – but when it comes to defining- that gets us into the larger “human” area. I think we just have “versions” of our humanity depending on our gender. Qualities of expression. I guess in art we would say using different media to portray the same subject.

    There is a difference, but clothing and other stuff are just symbolic shorthand sometimes. That is why we have so much dispute. Think “ruffles”- there have been times men wore ruffles, but now we think that is the extreme side of female: “girly”.

    But on things like “leadership” I think we have to break it down, because there are differences in types of leadership that are gender marked. And then there is whole scripture dispute on echelons of leadership and how it is divided by gender. Leadership itself is not defined as only position, but as character.

    Semantically, we have a tangled web, but I don’t think that should prevent us from forming a general picture and then trying to analyze why we think that way.

    It reminds me a little of the topic “beauty”. Very tough to give a definitive explanation.

  4. PS: I’m not going to comment so much on the men’s views in this comment thread- I just want to hear what they have to say.

    I might throw the question to my husband, see how he defines it, and himself.

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