Tag: girls

The no-gender agenda

It’s a strange time to be a person. Apparently the solution to all of our sexism problems is to remove the gender distinction. We are all the same. Now, I’m going to take my Christian hat off for the moment, and ignore that the Bible suggest gender is part of the created order (male and female he created them…). And I’d like to open this post by acknowledging that there are disparities in the way men and women are treated that are wrong.

I don’t even care that much if women want to fight on the front line. If a woman is big enough, and strong enough, and is able enough to take the place in a unit that would otherwise have been held by a man, on merit, then who am I to tell them they can’t. I just don’t think that’s particularly likely, and I think it opens a Pandorah’s box of issues within a unit, which isn’t, of itself, a reason not to allow it. Do I think women should be on the front line? No. But if some want to, then that’s their decision, not mine. This whole push to revolutionise the military’s gender agenda off the back of some demonstrably shoddy sexual ethics seems like the symptom of a broader social push to mimimise the difference between genders. I think this move is driven by good motives – but it’s just incredibly stupid.

Doesn’t this just seem completely loopy to everybody else. Boys and girls are obviously different. They don’t just have different parts. They have different hormones. Hormones that produce different emotions. Gender is predominantly a “nature” issue, sure, there are “nurture” aspects to it – but the social side follows the natural side in this case.

I’ve held off saying anything on this topic for a while. But events in the last few weeks are tipping my hand. I just feel annoyed as I watch this issue have bizarre and dangerous outworkings.

A few months ago a Christian student in the US sparked a massive furore in the blogosphere, and probably on talkback radio, when he refused to wrestle a girl on religious grounds. The Friendly Atheist thinks he should have grappled the girl into submission (and a follow up). Angry commenters there suggested it is wrong to recognise differences between the genders. And in many cases it is. I’d say issues of physical strength aren’t one of those cases – the world records in every athletic event out there are pretty clear.

Now. I was told, all my life, not to hit girls. It didn’t stop me bullying my sisters, sometimes physically, until I was old enough and big enough that the physical disparity was clearly unfair. This happened when I was about 15. It should have happened earlier. In hindsight I feel pretty bad about the way I treated my sisters. The older me would beat some sense into the younger me in a number of areas. This would be one of them. Hitting girls is wrong. Guys are stronger. It’s just facts. There are some girls who are stronger than some guys. I’m not denying that there exist myriad women who could beat me in a fight. A girl in my grade 9 class beat me in an arm wrestle. And I was trying. It wasn’t humiliating. She was strong. But there would have been 30 guys in my year who would have beaten her.

I’m sorry, but boys and girls are different. I would have thought that was pretty clear.

It seems that gender is now a fluid concept (unlike sexuality, which you’re apparently stuck with, if recent furores surrounding gay-to-straight conversion apps on the Apple App Store are indicative). Some have suggested that gender is the new frontier post the gay marriage debate. It’s post-modernity meets feminism. And it’s weird. A Swedish couple made headlines in 2009 when they refused to apply a gender label to their child Pop. Or, at the very least, they refused to tell people if Pop was a boy or a girl. A Canadian couple followed suit with their thing, Storm. Part of the problem, I think, with de-genderising a child is you end up dehumanising them as a by-product, in terms of what options are left.

“In an interview with newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in March, the parents were quoted saying their decision was rooted in the feminist philosophy that gender is a social construction. “

A behavioural psychologist pointed out that this exercise was almost entirely pointless.

Pinker says there are many ways that males and females differ from birth; even if gender is kept ‘secret,’ prenatal hormones developed in the second trimester of pregnancy already alter the way the child behaves and feels.

She says once children can speak, males tell aggressive stories 87 per cent of the time, while females only 17 per cent. In a study, children aged two to four were given a task to work together for a reward, and boys used physical tactics 50 times more than girls, she says.

Now, a Swedish preschool is doing its bit to destigmatise gender by refusing to describe boys and girls as boys or girls. Because we wouldn’t want to assign anything to a child that they haven’t asked for – this post was actually prompted by rumours of a similar thing going on somewhere in Australia, but I can’t find it anywhere.

Few would argue that gender stereotypes aren’t in some way the product of social conditioning – stuff like boys wearing blue and girls wearing pink, or even skirts being girls clothes, are products of particular cultures operating in particular times and particular places. Ads for boys and girls toys demonstrate a sort of circularity here where culture reinforces natural differences and essentially amplifies them (some have suggested these ads are essentially symptoms of a disease rather than simply a reflection of nature), that’s what I reckon is going on. I don’t feel like I was manipulated to want to hit stuff with sticks, or to enjoy fire and explosions. I had plenty of opportunity, with three sisters, to play with girls toys, but they were boring, and I was much more interested in more combative play with sticks and glove guns. It was all my choice. Back in my day we had to make our own fun with bits of wood we picked up in the yard. But all the brainwashed people say that.

Boys’ toy ads look like this:

Girls’ toy ads look like this:

Boy, oh boy (or person, oh person) this whole issue is stupid and it makes me want to pull out my Playstation and shoot some bad guys (or people).

That is all.

The Myth of “Just Friends”

Dear female readers,

It is rare that I step into the murky world of dating and singleness. I just don’t like the flak that comes the way of married people who dare to raise their heads on the issue. But we were all single once… and I’m a guy, and I have single male friends and single female friends, and I realise this is a murky issue and a real struggle for many people – but the problem is compounded by a bunch of myths and misconceptions that are rarely discussed. This post isn’t for you if you’re the kind of girl just waiting for a guy to man up – and it isn’t a post urging guys to man up. I wrote one of them before somewhere (or two). If you’re a guy bemoaning your singleness and you haven’t asked a girl out – man up. Grow some balls. Take a risk. If you’re a guy who is sick of having your heart mercilessly crushed then you should read this letter to a frustrated single man (from elsewhere). And take heart, most married guys have been there too (I know I have). Lets face it. Girls are complicated.


If a man in your life, an acquaintance or friend, asks you to spend some time in his company you can be almost certain that he is interested in you and that he’s actually asking you out on a date (even if it’s not specified) – that he doesn’t want to be “just friends” – it takes enormous courage to ask a girl to do stuff, because when they say no, after you’ve mustered up whatever nerve you have, it feels like you have been belted in the stomach with a baseball bat. It’s crushing and often leads to periods of deep reflection on the question of “what is wrong with me?”

Guys can’t be just friends with girls they are interested in. The same baseball bat like experience hits over and over again every time you observe other guys getting a yes where you got a no. It’s incredibly unlikely that a guy is asking to spend time with you exclusively because he wants to be your mate. If he asks you to dinner, to a movie, to go for a run, to have coffee, to do anything where it’s just the two of you – and you aren’t related – then he’s interested. In his mind one-on-one time is basically a date, and asking you to spend such time is essentially a case of asking you out. And if you’re not, you should say no straight out. Don’t let him down gently. Don’t string him along looking for an opportunity to ease him into it. Rejection hurts, but the longer you drag it out, the more it hurts. And the crueler it becomes.

The worst situation is to be “the brother I never had” – because then you get all the emotional baggage of a relationship with none of the payoff. Hollywood writers know this. They play on that tension with the poor geeky guy all the time. It’s the tension the TV show Bones is built on. And if it frustrates you watching Bones destroy Booth’s heart over and over again then take that lesson and apply it to your life. It seems girls in Christian circles don’t watch enough of these movies and TV shows. Because they seem to sail into these murky waters in negligent or reckless oblivion. I’m sick of sitting by watching guys hearts get messed with by girls who don’t understand this one, foundational idea, guys, 95% of the time, aren’t really interested in being your “mate” – they’ve got all the mates they need, and they don’t want to pile that list up with people who have rejected them.

Relationships are hard work. Love doesn’t happen overnight. You’re not committing to marrying the first guy you go out with. Give a guy a break. If you enjoy hanging out with him in groups, or in one on one settings, don’t hang out for Mr Right – hang out with the guy Mr Right in Front of You. A bird in the hand and all that proverbial jazz.

Most Christian guys have problems – part of becoming a Christian means you recognise you have failings. The ones who don’t appear to have problems are probably arrogant or harbouring some sort of deep seeded emotional issues anyway, scratch the surface of most guys and they’re probably incredibly insecure when it comes to relationships or entirely too scared of commitment to be worth pursuing (that’s why they’ve dated all of your friends and none of the relationships have lasted). If a guy seems to have it together, can hold down a job, and is passable at conversation then he’s probably a winner. It helps if you find him moderately attractive.

Stop hurting my friends. It’s harder being a guy than you realise and you’re just compounding the singleness problem by making the risk of asking a girl out too great and the dating process too serious. If you’re thinking about marriage on or before the first date you’re probably doing it wrong. You’re making it worse for all of your single friends who are dying to have a guy ask them out because you’re making relationships seem out of the reach of mere mortals. You’re also blurring the lines between friendship and guy/girl relationships so that nobody really knows what’s going on. And I’m sick of trying to pick up the pieces on both sides.

That is all.