For the Christian the idea of gender is rather straight forward. The text of Genesis clearly delineates the origin of two genders:
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
It is an understanding that is later reiterated by Jesus in Matthew 19 in his discussion on marriage. For most of history this has been perhaps the most mundane concept in the Bible; after all, the idea that humans fall into one of two genders on the face of it seems rather obvious, easily discernible at birth. Like many considerations though what was once mundane is now highly controversial.
Beginning in the latter part of the 20th century and continuing into the 21st, gender and its role in the organization of society has become the latest front in an ongoing war against tradition and faith in the West. Starting with the radical feminism in the ’60s through the gay marriage movement of today, there has been a sustained effort to reinvent our fundamental societal construct along egalitarian lines. This effort though is rapidly moving from equality of the sexes to elimination of gender distinctions.
Two recent stories highlight how such efforts fall out. The first story is out of Sweden where activists are pushing for an extreme form of gender-neutrality:
By most people’s standards, Sweden is a paradise for liberated women. It has the highest proportion of working women in the world, and women earn about two-thirds of all degrees. Standard parental leave runs at 480 days, and 60 of those days are reserved exclusively for dads, causing some to credit the country with forging the way for a new kind of nurturing masculinity. In 2010, the World Economic Forum designated Sweden as the most gender-equal country in the world.
But for many Swedes, gender equality is not enough. Many are pushing for the Nordic nation to be not simply gender-equal but gender-neutral. The idea is that the government and society should tolerate no distinctions at all between the sexes. This means on the narrow level that society should show sensitivity to people who don’t identify themselves as either male or female, including allowing any type of couple to marry. But that’s the least radical part of the project. What many gender-neutral activists are after is a society that entirely erases traditional gender roles and stereotypes at even the most mundane levels.
On this side of the pond, there is another gender battle occurring, namely the efforts of a young man to run for ‘Prom Queen’, a role typically reserved for females. He is doing so in an effort to expand awareness and presumably acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students:
An Arizona teen is crying foul after his high school barred him from running for prom queen.
As CBS 5 is reporting, McClintock High School student River Flanary, who says he is straight, claims he wants to run for queen in an effort to stand up “for those who maybe weren’t bold enough to stand up before and maybe putting that courage in their hearts a little.” By that, he says he means the school’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.
When taken together one quickly sees the contradictions that develop in the arbitrary nature of the secular left’s view of gender in our society. When the desire is to expand acceptance of alternate gender identities, activists utilize traditional roles to push the boundaries of our understanding of equality. Once equality is achieved, then the idea of gender is dismissed with all together.
Another contradiction arises when biology comes into the picture. Society is sold on the notion of accepting gays and bisexuals based on the claim that gender is not chosen individuals or imposed by society, but rather is product of certain inherent biological tendencies. “We are born this way!” is the mantra of the alternate lifestyle movement. And yet we see in in Sweden an attempt to eliminate gender distinctions by eradicating society’s imposition of gender roles. If our gender is a product of biology, then gender specific pronouns would merely be recognition of biology not an attempt at inequality. We could no more eliminate gender distinctions by striking ‘he’ and ‘she’ from the language than we could eliminate facial hair by declaring ‘beard’ and ‘moustache’ to be hurtful words.
Such contradictory thinking is of course the result of a secular mindset. As secularists see humans as merely biological, any notions of equality must be advanced by diminishing or ignoring biological differences. This notion of equality is quite different than that imagined by the American founders. Their notion of equality, which was later to expand to encompass our racial and sexual diversity rather than attempt to eliminate it, was predicated on the notion that we all have inherent worth. As persons we are ‘endowed’ by our Creator with equality and rights that transcends our physical distinctions. Unlike the secular concept this notion of equality is anchored in objective and unchanging truth, not the vagaries of language and societal roles.
In the end of course the secularists will fail because they are fighting against our inherent design. Our language and roles merely recognizes gender distinctions it doesn’t create them. The only real question is how much damage the secular left will do before it’s folly is made obvious?