Is Masculinity Toxic?

o-MIKE-RUIZ-PRETTY-MASCULINE-APP-facebook.jpgI want to clarify the difference between “men” and “toxic masculinity” because people (mostly men) seem to be confused.

Men are human beings who can make decisions and act in ways they are able to choose based on their biology and experience.

Masculinity is a concept of an imaginary male ideal which people use to tell men how they should behave.

Healthy masculinity is when men are told that being a man means protecting people who are weaker than you or putting the needs of others ahead of your personal desires. It means contributing to society in a positive way. Healthy masculinity is teaching men to strive to be the best they can be professionally, academically and at home. Are these positive qualities of any human? Yes. Men are human and positive human qualities are also positive male qualities.

Toxic masculinity is the process of telling men that they are not allowed to display emotions or appear weak. It is failing to teach them to respect the autonomy of women. It is making jokes about men in prison being raped by other men. Toxic masculinity is saying that men are inherently evil and incapable of controlling their anger or lust.

Men can promote toxic masculinity. So can women. It is an equal opportunity disease and its victims are first men and then the women they love.

And yes, there is a toxic femininity as well. It is the idea that women have to be small, powerless and attach themselves to a man and produce babies in order to have meaning. It used to be a huge problem and still is, but not as much as it was because women stood up and took control of their narrative.

Men need to do the same.

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The Earth has Cancer

_70895187_m8650167-prostate_cancer,_sem-splHumans are a cancer on this earth.

I’ve heard that said many times but I’ve just recently grasped what that actually means. Humans aren’t an external invader like a virus or pathogen. Rather we are, like cancer, a part of a delicately balanced and constantly evolving ecosystem which has adapted in a way that gives it a survival advantage within its limited ecosystem but at the expense of altering the ecosystem it relies on for survival.

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Sodomy or Hospitality

tent-flaps-eveningFor the original readers, Sodom and Gomorrah was a story about hospitality and treating travelers properly.

Immediately before they go to Sodom, God’s spies pass Abraham’s tent which he keeps all the flaps up on so he can sit in the shade while scouring the 360 degree horizon for weary travelers. When he sees them he runs out, drags them back to his drafty home, brushes the sand off some food he had out when a sandstorm hit his unprotected tent, and is generally a lovely host.

Shift to Sodom and again there is a good host who meets the strangers in the town square and takes them in. When a mob of locals shows up wanting to rape the outsiders and put them in offshore processing facilities, Lot protects his guests to the extent that he is even prepared to offer up the virginity of his two daughters. By the cultural understanding of the intended audience, this would actually be a lot worse than a gang rape. The girls would consent because it is what their father told them to do, but it would destroy any prospects of respectable marriage and long term security after Lot’s death. Basically, Lot would rather end his own family line than allow harm to come to his visitors.

A lot of Christians think that the story of Sodom is about God punishing people for bumming. I’d say those people have an unhealthy anal fixation. The story is about hospitality. The fate of the daughters is meant to sound horrific. It is there as an exemplar of how far a good host will go for his guests.

This story is about how a town or country treats travelers who arrive in their lands unannounced and uninvited. Do they invite them in and share what they have or do they say “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come” and imprison them if they don’t arrive in the correct manner?

There is a moral in this story, but it isn’t “God hate teh gayz”.

Sex, Marriage and Religion

 

reaching out in love

Modern society continues to be plagued by conflicting ideas about sex practices, how they relate to marriage, and what God thinks of all this. Being the good Samaritan that I am, I thought I’d help out a bit by giving the argument a Jaminological treatment. In this post, I intend to strip Western ideas of sex back to their basic components, identify the common religious assumptions, and consider how a religiously enlightened Jaminist would view sex and marriage.

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