Male and female he made them?

 

 

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Looking back, as we tend to, at this time of the year, it may go down in history as the one where the Western world finally gave up trying to argue the obvious – which is that we are born female or male. It’s true that there have always been a small number of people whose gender was doubtful at birth, and that their lives have often been blighted thereby, not least by the way wider society treats them. But I’m not sure that explains the great outburst over the gender-reassignment of the former Olympic athlete now known as Caitlyn Jenner. Not having either a TV or regular access to the Internet, I don’t know anything about the Kardashians, except that they exist in the way a pool of toxic goo can exist and that it is wise to avoid such things. But the fierce ways in which some defended Jenner against attacks, and the fierceness of some of the attacks, suggested something bigger was going on.

Germaine Greer wrote on Jenner, with, as ever, her lovely unique perspective. As a long-standing feminist, she was sceptical of the way in which someone who was still genetically and physically male, was seeking the limelight as woman of the year. I found myself cheering her comment:

“I think misogyny plays a really big part in all of this, that a man who goes to these lengths to become a woman will be a better woman than someone who is just born a woman.”

It was horrid that people were nasty about Jenner, but it was horrid that those complaining about that were, themselves, horrid in return. It seemed to mark a breakdown in civilised discourse. What was it here that struck such pay-dirt in terms of commentary and reaction?

I wonder if it reflects a wider malaise? Even when I was little (and that’s the 1980s) it was clear enough how things worked. My daddy owned and managed a hill-farm. He and the hands (all male) would go out early in the morning, they would take care of the animals in all weathers, using their muscle when (as it always was) necessary. I remember being out one day with a female relative much older than me, and we found a sheep who had fallen over. Try as we might, we could not get her upright – we needed to go get ‘the men’. The men would go down to the pub, where they’d drink with men who worked in the mills or the mines of the valleys of South Wales. When we visited friends in the Rhondda I remember being struck by the muscled men with coal-blackened faces, some with scars a livid white against the coal dust. The women were wives and mothers, some of whom worked in the shops or the pub. That society was already under strain, and by the time we left, many of the mines and the steel mills were gone. The new economy makes fewer gender-based demands on people.

Many of the traditional males skills are either no longer needed as they were, or no longer exclusively male (I can wire a plug or fix a washing machine if I have to). In a world where sperm-donors can provide the necessary for those women who are not sexually attracted to men, we may even face a real crisis of what men are for. Perhaps this is why there is such a fuss about the Jenner case? It touches on our neuroses which are really quite near the surface?

That’s where Christianity retains an important message for us. God knew what he was doing when he ‘made them male and female’ for mutual comfort and companionship – not to mention child-bearing and rearing. To say these things is to state the obvious, but no doubt to be accused of denigrating others with a ‘different lifestyle’ Well, I hope not, as a childless woman living in a community of women, I hardly fit the ‘traditional female’ stereotype. If someone wishes to identify herself as ‘non-binary’, fine, but to tell the rest of us that everyone is really non-binary is a form of politically correct bullying; if they wish to live and let live they need to do the same. We should not discriminate against others, as they should not against us – this simple Christian message is one we are in danger of losing sight of in all the fuss being made.

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About JessicaHof
Anglican Christian, evangelist, survivor, grateful

19 Responses to Male and female he made them?

  1. I agree that today we must leave people where they are in their so-called personal choices, and this also today includes their sexuality. But that still in the Judeo-Christian sense and reality, changes nothing before God as to His revelation of sexual ethics and the place of man and woman! And if were going to be lead by Holy Scripture, there is simply NO grey here: God created Adam and Eve, male and female! But, of course we live in a very Fallen and Broken world, St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans is a main-stay here, noting of course Romans chapter 1. Romans, the longest, and thus the first, of the epistles as they are traditionally arranged – although it is one of Paul’s later letters – is enormously influential historically for the development of Christian ideals and identity! But always the great question is are we going to be lead here? So far in the 21st century, we are NOT being lead here, but modernity & postmodernity have quite changed our Western culture! And thus who really cares finally about Bruce Jenner or the Kardashians, not I as an old white male Irish Brit and classic conservative evangelical Anglican, Reformed & Reformational, I will still pound my Bible! Btw, to hell literally with the pc! 😉 *I think that is some personal clarity! And I know some will say that is discriminant, but I will say that is simply Judeo-Christianity, within the doctrine and mind-revelation of God! But of course choose, and what think ye of Christ? The Gospel is NOT sloppy-agape, but the Good News of Christ to sinful beings, who left to themselves will always simply perish! Indeed John 3: 16: Nothing else but the free love of the Father, is the beginning of our salvation, and Christ is he in whom our righteousness and salvation is resident, and faith is the gift and instrument, i.e. the only mean whereby we apprehend it, and life everlasting is that which is set before us to apprehend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I was a bit simple and even crude, but I believe anyway that often such is the Gospel-Good News itself! 🙂 Btw too, see sexual sin in Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians, again NO grey here!

      Liked by 1 person

      • In the end too, to my mind, the Gospel should include the aspect of the fear and depth of God! And here we have surely lost our fear of sin before a Holy God! And as the Hebrews Letter writer: “For our God is a consuming fire.” And I can say myself (as too the writer of Hebrews), that God’s exhortation and chastening is very real, even toward His own! (Hebrews 12) Indeed our GOD cannot be put within a neat box!

        Liked by 1 person

      • JessicaHof says:

        No, Paul is quite clear on what is sin – and that its wages is death!

        Like

        • Amen! The loss of God is death, and we have lost him today proportionately! Our so-called churches (in the main) show this, sadly. And the men we send to the pulpits are generally lax, and simply don’t preach or teach the basic Gospel of God! This is my take anyway, and I have seen both Great Britain and America, as too Europe. But all we can do now is to press on, with our open Bibles, seeking the Spirit of God! See, 2 Cor. 4: 1-2, etc., really the whole of the chapter! And yes, I am a Pauline Christian, but too a Johannine one, for both are close together as Jewish Hellenists. And of course Paul is/was a Greco-Roman.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Of course, but we have to remember that this usage of fear has more to do with ‘awe’ than with ‘being scared of’.

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          I think so 🙂 xx

          Liked by 1 person

        • I would agree, but we still need to have that sense of God’s Total Otherness, which can also include a sense of fearfulness or respectful dread! WE never control GOD!

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          That is surely true Father. Let me wish you and yours a very happy 2016 🙂 xx

          Like

        • And to you dear Jessica! May we lay ourselves at the Master’s feet! And as Jesus said here, not my will but Thine be done! Easy to say, another to DO it!

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          Very much so Father – it has been a joy to be with you here 🙂 xx

          Like

        • Again, good to have YOU back! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Well I think I can speak some for NEO, and the JOY is ours! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          Thank you so much Father; it is a great joy to be back 🙂 xx

          Like

      • Btw crude in the Gospel sense is crude in being raw and natural and not refined or processed, or simply uncultured, and the Gospel meets us all in our fettered sinfulness! The true Gospel of Christ meets us right where we are, sinners and sinful!

        Liked by 1 person

    • JessicaHof says:

      We do indeed, Father,. live in a terribly broken world, and there is only one True Guide.

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on My Daily Musing and commented:

    This is a fabulous post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • JessicaHof says:

      Thank you so very much ♥️

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re very welcome, 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

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