Written by Aaron M. Renn |
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
There used to be large numbers of spaces and organizations in the world that were single sex. Male only spaces have been systematically targeted for elimination by feminists and elite culture for quite some time. The years long jihad against Augusta National Golf Club by the New York Times is a great example. At the same time, there’s a vast array of women’s only institutions and programs…Unlike with women demanding to enter male spaces, men have traditionally respected a women’s only label. But this might be breaking down. There was a lot of press about how men have started attending a tech career fair that was supposed to be for women. And why wouldn’t they? There are only a few all male spaces left.
I was delighted to see that former King’s College professor Anthony Bradley agrees with my write-up on evangelical servant leadership. He wrote on X:
Aaron nailed it! I’ve been to lots of men’s conferences and read dozens of books for Christian men: masculinity’s only expression for evangelical men is domestic. Even if things outside the home are mentioned, they are footnotes. For single young men, there is no on-ramp to live out 1 John 2:14 in their churches/communities so many look for it in video games, YouTube, etc. In fact, go to any evangelical youth group and ask the teenage boys what they want to do with their lives, you’re going to get something like this: “make enough money to provide for a family.” What they want to do, however, is fight evil and do something heroic in the world. They want to be heroes. What do we give them, instead? Small groups, a 6:00 AM Wednesday morning breakfast, 5:30AM F3 groups, and an annual men’s retreat.
Then, men are shamed for not being at home every night with their families. Then, we mock them for not having friends. It’s domestication and they run from this. Jordan Peterson, Andrew Tate, Hamza, Sneako, etc. offer young men something evangelicalism suppresses: how to use their power & strength outside of the four walls of their home to do something heroic that leaves their mark on the world. Again, I want to be clear here even if the cultural mandate/outside the home is taught for young men it is neither modeled nor practiced in a community of men they can join and there is no rite-of-passage into it outside-of-the-home culture shaping. They want to be brought into adversity & opposition in the fight against real evil & dominion over creation. This is *exactly* what Jesus offered his disciples. Jesus spoke directly to what young guys want. It’s instructive. I’m so glad he didn’t invite them to follow him to stay at home, attend a 6:00AM men’s breakfast or workout group, or a weekly small group. [emphasis added]
These are really great observations. I appreciate that he notes how men want a mission in the world, but this is what evangelical teaching denies them as men.
I believe the root cause of much of their bad teaching is in their unwillingness to advocate for substantive gender complementarity. They affirm that it exists, but never in any specifics. Thus the only thing that distinguishes men and women is how they relate to the opposite sex. The main complementarian book defines manhood and womanhood this way. As a result, masculinity (and femininity) can only be expressed in the domestic sphere.
He is also right to talk about a “community of men.” I noted that pagan masculinitist Jack Donovan was onto something when he talked about masculinity as being experience and expressed as part of a group (in his view a “gang”) of other men.