Monday, November 26

Please understand us

This comes from an ex-gay group in Eastern Europe, Watchmen on the Walls, from a recent conference in Latvia about how corrupt America is:
Sexually immature kids . . . are forced to cross-dress in order to feel which orientation is inside them.
I don't have any idea who trans people are or how we think but that doesn't matter to them. The more absurd the remark, the more passionate a response from those listening. All that matters is hearing "kids . . . forced . . . cross-dress . . . orientation" and they get upset with no desire to understand.
They are being told that if you are born as a boy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will become a man. If you were born as a girl, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will become a woman. It’s all happening now.
The speaker is not an anthropologist, or he'd know that throughout human history boys did not automatically become men - they have to earn it. He assumes that every adult male is a man, which is not true, has never been true, and everyone has always known it. Being a man means marrying and bearing children which includes sexual virility, being responsible for his family providing for their monetary means, physical protection, and their respectability. Manhood requires a decent skillset, physical and emotional strength, and perhaps above all, manhood requires honor. All these things were achieved via the rite of passage from boyhood into manhood. A boy failing this rite or any of these actions was not a man. Eunuchs were not men because they could not have sex or produce children. This is why it was so utterly important for Abraham to have a son. But I digress.

Concerning girls becoming women, I'm unsure. Womanhood is more a right than a rite, so I don't know how deviancy could come about. Perhaps if a girl or woman completes the man's rite of passage, she becomes a man? Ruth and the proverbial Proverbs 31 woman are both described as "manly", but that's not necessarily manhood itself. Being barren was certainly a tragedy to her gender, but I've never heard nor can I conclude that her state prevents or strips her woman gender altogether.

I wish (in vain!) that before accusing us of destroying the social institution of gender, that preachers would take the effort to learn some historical context about the institution first. It would clear a lot of anxiety on both sides.

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