3 Ways Men Have Failed Women

(c) vino on flickr

(c) vino on flickr

Our generation has lost what it means to be a man. This problem is well-noted by many in society, from churches to social commentators to websites like Art of Manliness that focus on teaching modern day men to recover what has been lost. Men have become accustomed to being takers and not givers, which has helped contribute to the breakdown in the family. Many of society’s ills can be traced back to this breakdown, especially considering that the greatest indicator for poverty is marital status. Men have abdicated their responsibility, so I thought it would be beneficial to look at  three important ways that men have failed women, especially in this generation.

#3. We Stopped Working

The Problem: We treat our lives outside of a “job” as a recreational opportunity, devoid of responsibility.

The Analysis: Brett McKay of Art of Manliness has written how modern man’s dilemma is that he no longer strives to take responsibility for everything in his life. We may work in the sense that we have the 9-5 job that brings home the bacon, but the temptation is so strong to just “tune out” and ignore our families and communities. Sometimes, the tuning out is just a way of life, to the point where we become so completely adverse to responsibility that we become completely unproductive human beings. It gets so bad that we outsource our usefulness to women, which is ultimately a disservice to them, because now they have to be twice as productive to compensate for deadbeat men. We abdicated our responsibility to women, who now feel that they have to be the responsible adults in relationships (whether romantic or otherwise). On every level, it is pathetic for a man to implicitly force a woman to carry the weight that should rest on his shoulders. In a very real sense, it’s sexism because it forces a woman to balance to roles, even if the woman feels empowered for having more power in the relationship.

The Cure: Own up to our sin of laziness and apathy and learn the lessons of Proverbs 6:6.

#2. We Fueled the Internet Pornography Empire

The Problem: When we decided that a woman was not a worthy thing to fight for, we began using them.

The Analysis: Porn is a big problem. Like, a really, really, really HUGE problem. The average age of exposure for porn is 11 years old. For every 10 men in church, 5 are struggling with pornography. And to give you an idea of the prevalence of this problem, 70% of 18-to-24-year-old men visit pornographic sites in a typical month. 66% of men in their 20s and 30s also report being regular users of pornography (Source). The fact is that this generation of men has grown up with instantaneous access to every kind of hardcore pornography in existence. It’s not just on our computers anymore. It’s on our mobile devices and every other kind of Internet connected gadget. Porn teaches us that women are objects to be used for our own conquests. It kills our instinct to protect those who are weak and vulnerable and instead exploits people for profit (it’s no coincidence that modern sex trafficking has kept pace with the porn industry). Not to mention it does tremendous damage to personal relationships by eroding trust and intimacy. There is a lot out there on why porn is insanely destructive, and it’s not the purpose here to delve into all of the reasons why it’s destructive. But the fact is that we have once again abandoned our responsibility to guard our hearts and our eyes and protect our sisters. We have absolutely failed women in this regard because we have done the worst possible thing: we have turned women into commodities.

The Cure: Get on your face before Jesus and learn the lessons of Psalm 118:5 and numerous other verses that feature crying out to God. Cry out to God and he will hear you. And if you’re in real trouble, visit Setting Captives Free.

#1. We Stopped Caring About Kids

The Problem: Along with using porn as a cheap substitute for love and intimacy, men decided that kids were a burden that needed to be abandoned.

The Analysis: Fatherlessness is another huge problem. There are studies upon studies that document the damage done when a father walks out on their kids. Numerous Hollywood blockbusters feature main characters that have “Daddy issues”. The truth is that there is no greater responsibility than caring for a child. Since men in this generation are experts in avoiding responsibility, ditching children is a no-brainer for the footloose and fancy free man. And what’s the easiest way to ditch your kids? For many, the answer is abortion. (The recent campaign known as #brochoice is a perfect summary of men who want to shirk responsibility and use women purely as sexual objects). Boyfriends pressuring their girlfriends to get an abortion is a fairly frequent phenomena. They want to avoid the responsibility, and if they don’t succeed in convincing their girlfriends to get abortions, they leave, and even when they do get it, they still leave. Some sources say that up to 70% of romantic relationships end after an abortion (Source). Fatherlessness is a growing epidemic, with as many as 1/4 of all children living without a father, and in many minority communities, the number is much higher (Source). The result: men have failed women by creating legions of single mothers, who are the most likely in society to live in poverty.

The Cure: Own up to our responsibility to be husbands and fathers. Learn the lessons of Psalm 127: 3-5.

I’m in no way suggesting that these problems are new (using women as objects is a problem as old as Adam). But in some ways, they seem to have particularly potent influence on this generation, and something needs to be done about it. Men need to grow up, take responsibility and turn to the only one who can really change them: Jesus Christ.

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4 Reactions to Miley Cyrus Worth Reading

MileyCyrus_071025

By now, every one and their mother has heard about the Miley Cyrus debacle that went down at the VMA’s this week. I haven’t seen the performance, I have no desire to, and I don’t recommend you watch it. But because the Internet is so helpfully insistent on telling me things I don’t want to know about, I know all about what happened. It’s sad, it’s gross, and it’s worth asking ourselves what kind of culture is OK with it. Here are four of the best reactions to the whole thing that are actually worth reading.

#4 I Weep for Miley

Who: Trevin Wax at The Gospel Coalition

Money Quote:  “I weep for the broken, messed-up world we live in. But then I weep at the power of grace.”

Takeaway:  Trevin sums up what every Christian should have felt: sorrow. Sorrow not for Miley, necessarily, but for the state of our culture where we treat people like objects and then ridicule them for acting like objects. But he ends his post with an excellent turn around wherein he reminds us all that we are all messed up broken people and there is a grace that is bigger than all our flaws.

Concluding Quote: “Weeping is no longer enough. Now, I pray.”

#3 Dear Miley Cyrus…

Who: The Velvet Brick

Money Quote: “You are so much more than being the product of society that uses young women like you in images of sex and vulgarity for boosts in ratings and marketing. You may not know this but you are precious in the sight of God.”

Takeaway: I like this post because it’s succinct in framing the issue. It takes it from a different perspective and is addressed to Miley herself. It’s a call for respect for women and for self-respect; a recognition that human beings are created in the image of God and that brings with it certain responsibilities in how we view ourselves and others. At it’s heart, it’s a cry for Miley to know Christ. Which would be amazing, and like Trevin says in the above post, we should pray for that.

Concluding Quote: “You were created by a God who loves you and I wish you could understand that is what gives you self-respect.”

#2 Miley Cyrus and the Culture of Nothing

Who: The Perpetual Shave

Money Quote: “It was a great, big, glittery explosion of nothing.  It was bursting at the seams with a total, soul-deadening emptiness.”

Takeaway: This is a home run! This article simply says the stark truth: Miley’s performance meant nothing. Not in the sense that it didn’t make headlines (if it hadn’t, you wouldn’t be here) but in the sense that there was no lasting value or significance attached to it. It was the ultimate “well, why not?” moment. Caught in the cross hairs were real people with real significance losing themselves to nothingness. That’s what sin does.

Concluding Quote: “Miley and her generation are being duped into believing that what they are doing has some kind of edgy substance.  But it doesn’t.  Miley made a fool of herself last night and managed to say nothing about anything in the process and came out a star because of it.”

#1 Dear Son, Don’t Let Robin Thicke Be a Lesson to You

Who: The Matt Walsh Blog

Money Quote: “In any case, this gives you an idea of the full scene: A 36 year old married man and father, grinding against an intoxicated 20 year old while singing about how she’s an “animal” and the “hottest b*tch in this place.” And what happens the next day? We’re all boycotting the 20 year old. The grown man gets a pass.”

Takeaway: YES! Finally, someone talks about the fact that there were two people on the stage! Is Miley reckless and foolish? Yes! Is Robin Thicke totally perverted? Absolutely. The fact that we automatically criticize Miley immediately shows how blind we are to masculine responsibility. We are SO used to expecting men to be moral puppets with no responsibility of their own that we criticize the female in the picture TWICE over because she didn’t do the properly feminine thing by acting proper. It’s a phenomena that goes all the way back to the Industrial Revolution: women are expected to be the soft, gentle moral ones and men are expected to be animals. Give me a break.

You really do have to wonder how this all would have been different if every news article about Miley instead rightly criticized Robin for his part. He’s the man; he’s the older one, and he’s the failure.

Concluding Quote: “Oh, and by the way [son], if I ever catch you disrespecting women, I will sit you down and talk to you about it. But first I’ll kick your butt up and down the street. That’s a promise.”

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Sorry to put more Miley Madness in front of you but there you have it! Who do you think is more to blame? Robin or Miley?

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