“We will never have a democracy until we have democratic families and a society without the invented categories of both race and gender,” wrote Ms. Steinem to the First Lady.
Gloria Steinem has been a feminist activist for 40 years and her statement shows the breadth and width of the ‘feminist’ movement in a revealing way. It’s not just about women’s rights—at least not anymore—but, ironically, the feminist mandate wants to eliminate the very term ‘woman’. The other interesting terminology, ‘democratic family’, is used to express opposition to the traditional ‘headship’ family, obviously. Of course it can be argued that a headship family is democratic if the ‘head’ is listening to it’s ‘body’ rather than ignoring it. Then there is the question of ‘how can a democracy exist without a leader or head?’ (see Head and Authority). Already you can see how the ‘family unit’ as we have always known it is being put on trial in these sort of messages. What did the traditional ‘family unit’ do to deserve such negative treatment like this? Apparently it did something wrong, at least to its plaintiffs. Clearly these movements do not want to only promote alternative forms of ‘family’ but are aggressively challenging the ‘traditional family’ or ‘headship’ and even the ‘binary’ categories altogether and casting them in negative light. Whatever positive things these movements may have accomplished (we applaud the fight for women’s rights), they have also damaged two things perhaps more than any other: fatherhood and authority. The two ideas are both treated today with a profound contempt. And that’s no good for anybody. For the Church it is crucial to be aware of this because the Bible teaches that the most powerful thing in the universe is a Father.
Interestingly, this seems to be the same agenda behind the LGBT movement. Mary Bernstein, a sociologist, writes that one of the movement’s goals is about “challenging dominant constructions of masculinity and femininity” (a.k.a. manhood and womanhood).1 If the movement’s main agenda is to advocate for their acceptance and rights in society, why do they feel the need to challenge traditional manhood and womanhood? Of course the movement is a complex one with many divergent parts and no single leader. There are civilized homosexuals that support traditional forms of family and I am on friendly terms with such people. Then there are extremist gay revolutionaries who declare that they want to change the educational system to teach that pederasty is healthy for young boys. I am not on friendly terms with such people.
This scenario is part and parcel to the culture wars. Conservative/church/traditional establishments challenge the LGBT/feminist belief system and cast it in a negative light and the LGBT/feminist movements challenge the conservative/church/traditional belief system and cast it also in a negative light. It is good to become educated on this ‘war’ as it is a fundamental component to understanding the divided state of the American society. I would venture to guess that most people who subscribe to one side or the other don’t have the slightest idea of what they’re really identifying themselves with. It requires a fair amount of time and energy to acquaint oneself with the big players, the influential literature, and the various organizations and lobbyists of either side. And really, who has time for all that? So we rely on the media to take care of it, not realizing that even the media takes sides. While the Bible is used by both sides of the culture war especially with the ‘church’ side, Christians should not be taking sides. The church mandate is a redemptive one that seeks to restore and not divide. We take the “side” of the Bible and specifically the Gospels. That means not speaking negatively of people but seeking to build up, edify, and speak the truth in love. For those who cannot befriend those who they don’t agree with, they do not know the scriptures nor the power of God. (Matt. 22:29)
If people make themselves an enemy to you, give them drink! (cf. Matt. 5:44 and Rom. 12:20)
Nevertheless, when I try to think about what exactly a society without any race or gender categories would look like—the very words ‘male’, ‘female’, ‘man’, ‘woman’, ‘boy’, ‘girl’, black, white, etc.—I imagine a world with no diversity, that is quite boring, and even confusing. Not to mention, particularly bad for police trying to apprehend criminals while relying on witness descriptions. Perhaps people like Steinem have thought it all through, after all, she’s been advocating for this sort of thing for forty years. But I have yet to read anything on how such a vacuum would be filled. And there would be a vacuum. These tokens of human languages (practically all 7,000 of them) have been around for thousands of years to help us communicate regarding all of our differences and diversity. It has allowed us to glory in the differences. But feminist leaders argue that these categories are inventions. Inventions of men, mostly. And these inventions are to blame for our problems of racism, sexism, etc. But the truth is that racism and sexism have never been a problem of languages or categories invented by mean men. They have always been a problem of the heart.
Denying this truth, their hope and salvation for the future essentially lies in some sort of homogeneous society of androgynous human beings. This is what makes the LGBT/feminist movement rather perplexing since the LGBT movement, signified by the rainbow colors, actually advocates for diversity and the feminist movement uses femine-ism. Nobody is using the term ‘androgynism’. To add to the confusion they point to evolution as a basis or justification for their beliefs when evolution and natural selection, they say, actually dictated all of our differences as humans for the purpose of survival. If that’s the case it worked and so we have survived. If they really believed in that, would they really think it smart to defy the dictates of natural selection?
The only way I can ever see this happening is by defying the existing natural world and creating a completely controlled pseudo-world. First, all languages would need to be eradicated in favor of one language in which there are no words to differentiate between race or gender and everyone is referred to as simply, ‘a person’ and ‘it’. Second, personal identity is eliminated in favor of one singular human identity. Unless their agenda is to achieve some kind of cultural token that refers to people as ‘nobodies’ (and I don’t think it is) they will have to somehow refer to people as ‘sombodies’. And so when we would be asked the question, “Who are you?” everyone will have the same exact answer. Those who answer differently would be considered discriminatory, shamed, and punished.
I can imagine the frustration and confusion of kids growing up in a society without these categories of language. Children from a very early age inevitably ask these sorts of questions all the time like, “Why is that person different in such and such a way?” The enlightened parents will have to answer these questions with something like, “There is no difference, Johnny. Go sit in the corner.” And just like that, a child’s intuition and critical thinking capacities are squandered. But they were basic and primitive intuitions anyway, so it’s ok. In sum, to achieve such an agenda these people will have to create a singular sociopolitical system with a universal, controlled language. It will require a totally different sociocultural construct than anything that has ever existed before, a highly modified language in which all pronouns, gender, and ethnic tokens are banned, and wide-spread governmental control and power to enforce it.
George Orwell’s 1984 anyone?
1Bernstein, Mary (2002). Identities and Politics: Toward a Historical Understanding of the Lesbian and Gay Movement. Social Science History 26:3 (fall 2002).