Is the word "effeminate" derogatory to women

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:


A very well put answer. It’s telling to quibble over the use of the word “effeminate,” and then turn around and use the word “homophobic.” Remind me again which word has a history within Christendom and which is a modern innovation brought to you by PR department of worldliness?


Effeminacy is derogatory to women. Not the word, the thing itself.


There are women who take on a lot of manly traits, but still this doesn’t at all carry the negatives that a man does when he acts effeminate.

Perhaps because there aren’t as many negatives. There are circumstances in which a woman must be strong, tough, hard—resisting temptation, disciplining kids, working diligently, thinking about difficult issues, suffering afflictions, etc. A man should be a velvet-covered brick (this is a Doug Wilsonism)—gentle on the surface to those he’s called to live with with understanding—but a woman needs to be both soft and hard all the way through. She needs, of course, to be adept at switching between those two modes. But a man needs to be more of a one-mode creature. His softness cannot go all the way through or be prominent in his character. So there’s not an exact correspondence or mirror image of effeminacy in women. She sins in terms of the direction of her hardness. He sins in terms of the depth of his softness.

1 Like

One more way of looking at it: If a lady passenger had happened to be on ship and had survived along with Robinson Crusoe, his duty would have looked very much the same as it did when he was alone — just ramped up a notch. But the reverse isn’t so. If a woman had been the sole survivor, her life would have to look drastically different than if a man were there. Alone, she’d have to be hard pretty much 24/7. Masculinity exists by itself. Femininity exists in relation to masculinity. So effeminacy is a sin at a man’s core, whereas mannishness is more of a relational sin. I’m oversimplifying, but I think there’s something to that.


Well, well, well! Simplification - the success of distilling something complex to basic elements transparently related to one another - is the ultimate test of comprehension. What you’ve written qualifies with gusto as this sort of simplification.

Thanks, till sparrows weigh a ton!

Thanks, Bill. :slightly_smiling_face:

This is a great post, Tim. Thank you very much.

1 Like