Gender roles, religion, culture, and where’s the balance?

Is submission feminism? That would mean much of the fringe feminist movement was rather masculine which is the caveat that generalizations need care before you slam them up against the stops. William Kilpatrick notes the success of Islam in prisons and suggests that this is due to the unabashed masculine character of the religion as seen in its aggression and how “We’ve grown accustomed to video images of ten-year-old boys in Palestinian training camps, dressed like mujahideen and wielding AK-47’s.” But he thinks The Warrior Code vs. The Da Vinci Code runs much deeper as a problem in society.

A feminized Christianity may work to attract a certain type of man, but he’s probably not the man you want around when the local Imam starts practicing taqiyya on your congregation. … Of course, feminization is not just a problem for Christians, but also for the culture as a whole. If Islam is all about submission, Western culture, of late, seems to be all about submissiveness. … Nevertheless, because it’s a large part of American culture, the health of Christianity ought to be of concern to all. Our culture derives much of its strength from its Christian faith, but a Christianity without a strong masculine presence won’t be able to keep young men from defecting to the religion of guns n’ poses. There are a lot of young men in our world who are uncertain whether to follow the sign of the crescent moon or the sign of the cross, but it’s a good bet not many of them will be interested in following the “yield” sign which some contemporary Christians have taken as their emblem.

There are other paradigms that could be used for this than gender but they are rather more nuanced and less familiar. Identity of self as separate from, but still a part of, the whole is a basic component of human nature. We cannot exist alone yet we also want to be ourselves. This yearning is seen in the survivalist movement which also shows many of the stereotypical aggressive masculine values but is also tempered by similar feminine nurturing values needed for sustenance and health. You have to go out, find, and kill the food as well as store, prepare and manage it.

The issue is, of course, balance. What Kilpatrick is saying is that Western culture and its Christianity basis is tending off balance on the submissive end while Islam and the Muslim culture is tending off balance on the aggresive end. When the heavy weights are at the ends of the beam away from the supports, the center tends to break. That is a concern.

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