This popped up on my Facebook memories today. I don’t remember what prompted it at the time, but here’s a sign of effeminacy I occasionally see among those who would claim to have none: a guy resorting to “You’re a feminist!” when he can’t keep up with a rational discussion.
Being intimidated by women is a form of effeminacy (but let's talk about the real problem: the women)
“Feminist” is probably the wrong charge, but there is a certain type of arguing with men that I’ve seen women do, especially in theology, that is unbecoming or immodest.
Agreed. But that’s usually the sort that would be sin for anybody, because it’s mean and/or illogical. I’m thinking of situations where the dude simply couldn’t keep up and resorted to name-calling. The old ad feminem fallacy.
[Note, I just changed the title to give greater clarity on the homepage to what we’re discussing in this topic.]
That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about public argument in front of the wider church that assumes the role of teaching a man in a way I believe contradicts Paul’s commands to women. Such a woman may well be right in what she is saying and wrong in a sort of feminist way in her behavior. In fact, the smarter she is, and the more she’s running circles around him logically the more she needs to take Priscilla as her model.
Yep. And I just tucked the less descriptive title into the post.
I somehow missed the second part of your post. In an online setting where men and women are discussing together—Facebook, blog comments, etc.—I’m not sure how much more Priscilla-like a woman can be. Whichever party has been the first to engage, she can hardly take him aside by herself for a chat. Their conversation has to remain in the open for propriety’s sake. Unless you’re going to make a rule that only a married woman can engage in any conversation on the Internet, and only if her husband is present, then I’m not sure what you mean beyond being logical and gracious.
I’m not sure how to say it other than an argument between a man and a man should not look the same as an argument between a man and woman. And neither should look like an argument between a woman and a woman.
When a woman argues with a man as though she were a man, it is by definition her being unfeminine.
Is appropriate conversation or argument really based on the sex of those involved?
Yes, because we never put off our sex.
Yes, because Timothy is given specific instructions on how to talk to people based on both their age and sex.
I’m not sure how to say it other than an argument between a man and a man should not look the same as an argument between a man and woman.
Maybe someone else can flesh this out a bit more. I’m sure you’re not saying that logic and courtesy are unfeminine (or unmasculine), but I’m guessing you’re pointing at something additional and distinctive that each sex should be bringing to the table. Is that it?
I think there is tension here. What I hear @Kyriosity saying, piggy backing on the #manup theme is that some men almost need a fainting couch when encountering a well read and perhaps articulate woman, but what I hear @jtbayly saying is not contradicting that judgement on men, but that women who find such experience all to common may themselves need to reflect on their obedience to how God calls them to live out their gender.
I believe the point here is that there is a time when we women just need to sit back and let the man handle the discussions. There is a time when we, as women, voice our opinions and they should be kept to ourselves. Doesn’t matter if we are more theologically trained or discerning, there’s a time to remain silent.
Imagine a mixed sex group made up of couples and singles - all friends, all chatting together amiably. I think we recognize that the way the men talk with the women will be different from how they talk with the other men. (This applies in the other direction also, of course.) This “way of talking” would include the actual words spoken, but it would also include the way the words are spoken (tone, sarcasm, etc), as well as all the non-verbal ways of communicating (gestures, facial expressions, bearing, etc).
Of course, all the social dynamics would change significantly if the men and women split up and talked amongst themselves outside of the hearing of the other group.
It’s this social dynamic that Joseph is trying to get at, I think. Of course, both men and women can be logical and courteous. But the counter-cultural bit here is the claim that ways in which men and women talk together – whether online or in person – should be impacted by their sex. Both the medium and the cultural zeitgeist put pressure on us all to flatten all distinctions in online communication. But we aren’t spirits, and those distinctions exist and really matter despite our magical ability to communicate through the internet.
How, precisely, should online communication be impacted by differences in sex or age or authority or social status? I’m not entirely sure, but we built Sanityville to help us figure out the answer to that question.
Thanks for all the responses. Perhaps what’s still missing is some specific principles:
women who find such experience all to common
What would constitute “too common”?
there is a time when we women just need to sit back and let the man handle the discussions
What defines that time?
How, precisely, should online communication be impacted by differences in sex or age or authority or social status?
And, of course, this question.
And another “of course”: How do we understand this from Scripture and plain reason?
Looking forward to more thoughts!
For clarity, the subject of the second half of my comment is not the frequency of your description of effeminate men but rather is the category of women who are defined by their personal judgement of men, which finds too common that men are unable to hold their own in conversations with learned, articulate women. This actually is a common feminist argument in relation to other areas of study. The fact that men should not react so softly to women who present themselves in a particular manner, does not excuse the softer gender from presenting themselves “…with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
Does that help clarify my comment?
As a rule, competition between the sexes is unseemly, and should be avoided when possible. We all sense this when men dress as women and compete in women’s sporting events, but it’s no less true when women put on men’s clothing and invade male spaces and competitions. Or online arguments. The only winning move is not to play.
I’m never coming to game night at your house.
…where the only winning move is not to play. Against me.
Depends on the game.
Interesting topic. I’ve thought a lot over the last few years about the different dynamics that play out in the corporate workplace where there’s a mixed bag of men and women in various positions and differing levels of authority. There is no question in my mind that men argue with men differently than they argue with women, and vice versa. It’s also fascinating to see and think about how these dynamics impact overall productivity (or lack thereof) and actual problem solving.
Embracing the secular narrative that gender roles are a myth will inevitably result in simply creating a culture where gender roles are reversed. Men are forced to suppress the innate, God-given, problem-solving assertiveness — which I think is one of the qualities that evidences God’s design for men to be the lead earth-subdoers — and instead defer to the women. The women are then left holding the bag, and forced to take the lead in a way they were never designed to do. As a result, productivity suffers.
Of course, radical feminists love this, since their agenda is to systematically create a culture that leans into the curse-born propensity for the woman to usurp the man. But interestingly, I’ve been in the workplace long enough to get to know some women in positions of authority that honestly never really asked to be there. They aren’t bleeding heart feminists looking for identity in a career; rather they found themselves in the workplace simply trying to help their family make ends meet, only to be caught in the crossfire of affirmative action, and now find themselves in positions they are overwhelmed with. They are more victims of the paradigm that the feminists created for them than anything.
Some of these women get swept away into the feminist lie, and become fire-breathers against the men who are under them. As a result, nothing really gets done, and every team meeting is a bad episode of reality television. Others though, just seem to nonchalantly get things done by wielding their authority lightly, and allowing the men on their teams to just do their thing — provided they are men of any moderate character, of course.
I would not go so far as to say women don’t belong in the workplace in any context at any time. But I do believe women in the workplace, within a feminist framework, will inevitably hinder productivity in such a way that would not happen if it was just men manifesting destiny in collaboration with other men.
Most of my workplace experience was in nonprofits. I don’t know what the overall statistics are, but my offices were overwhelmingly female-populated. Harpies and hellcats and hormones…oh my! Pardon my misogyny. Of course it wasn’t every woman, but so many. And of course I have to acknowledge that I might have provided some difficulty from my side. But working for men was always easier…except the gay ones. But freelancing has been the best. Especially since all my clients (of both sexes) are believers, and most are very likeminded, and none has refused to let me use generic masculine pronouns. One of the few I didn’t stick with made me qualify the sentence “Men are competitive.” I knew we weren’t going to get along very well in the long run!
I think this is a very hard question. I can’t help but picture my grandmother (Tim Bayly’s mom) and Barbara Hughes when topics like this come up. Neither of them hesitate/d to held their own with anyone at the table, including men. But what was it that also communicated their femininity? I want to learn that. But it’s elusive. And I don’t get to watch and learn from them every day.