Discrimination – men, women, and crying in public

The Deflection of Discrimination

A new media campaign is up: Mancrimination. While it claims to detail systematic ways women discriminate against men, the ads employ faulty logic, shallow emotionalism and ham-fisted rhetoric, like this one:

And in case you're wondering why the celebrities in the posters are supporting this nonsense, they're not. Their images got hijacked apparently. Source: Daily Mail

In case you’re wondering why the celebrities in the posters are supporting this nonsense, they’re not. Their images got hijacked apparently. Source: Daily Mail

The #dontmancriminate campaign is created by the “lifestyle website Maggcom”and swiftly become the target, according to the Daily Mail, of critics who decry everything from its stated purpose

to its bumbling execution:

You can find the Maggcom website to see more of their sexist campaign, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’d rather spare yourself the misogynistic nonsense you’ll find there.

The Rejection of Discrimination

Leadership Journal addressed the same issue. Not mancrimination, but the stereotyping of what men supposedly really want out of church. It’s a clever comic entitled Manly Sunday School Classes.

It depicts a bulletin board of sign-ups for men’s classes. The themes of the offerings range from sports and outdoor activities (e.g., Improving your E.R.A with manager Jack Homer, and Hunting for the Kingdom taught by Jerry Blastum) to those appealing to relational and emotional aspects (e.g., The Sensitive Male Soul Winner).

The five stereotypically manly classes are all labeled “filled”. The three classes appealing to sensitive or relational issues are labeled “plenty of room”, “teacher needed”, and “cancelled”.

It reminded me of a pastor who was speaking about a recent family health emergency and a trip to the emergency room. He started to tear up a bit, stopped talking, sniffled and then apologized, saying “It’s not good to see a man cry.”

My first impulse was to call out, Yes it is. My second was to ask, Not good? Where’s that in the Bible? I did not follow either impulse, since he was in the middle of a sermon at the time.

His statement was a type of discrimination, of course. He said men aren’t allowed to cry. One unspoken aspect of that is that if they did they’d not be manly. Another is that crying is what women do, not men.

Which is another way of saying that it’s all right for women to cry and not force themselves to appear strong and stoic because, well, they’re women and they aren’t supposed to be strong. Again I ask, “Where’s that in the Bible?”

Someone will invariably point to 1 Peter 3:7.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

But that verse is about the marriage relationship – not how men and women are to behave generally – and in the context of the preceding verses is concerned with a wife’s cultural position, not her physical or emotional attributes. Wives then (as in much of the world today) were not in as strong a position as husbands; husbands were not to use this to their own advantage but to remember that their wives are just as much heirs of Christ as they are.

As for the statement that men shouldn’t cry, I think we need go no further than the example Jesus set for all of us when his friend Lazarus died.

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

Jesus wept.

Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” (John 11:32-36.)

It’s not good to see men cry?

If Jesus did it, it is very good indeed.


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21 Responses to Discrimination – men, women, and crying in public

  1. Excellent post. Stereotypes do not benefit anyone.

    That poster doesn’t make sense. I fail to see how my wanting or not wanting a man to hold a door open for me is discrimination on my part. Gender discrimination would be withholding something because of a person’s gender. What do I withhold if I think someone should hold a door but they don’t? o_O

    • Tim says:

      The only thing I can think of is what some people do if someone doesn’t fit a stereotype, such as we see in patriarchal circles where women are subject to retaliation (subtle perhaps, but still there) for not acting as men think they should.

  2. govpappy says:

    What that poster says to me is this:

    You want Equality?

    Then let us be jerks to everyone!

  3. I really don’t know why so much of Christianity has adopted the men must be into sports, outdoors, and/or money. Not that there is anything wrong with being interested in them to some degree. Paul used metaphors about running races and the need for proper stewardship of money is always there, but it just seems a bit shallow to leave it there. Not to mention it makes the faulty assumption that all men are interested in those things.

    • Tim says:

      Right, Jeremy. It’s another instance of stereotyping, and it just doesn’t work because it reduces people from three dimensional beings to two (or perhaps even just one).

    • govpappy says:

      I would be a pretty pathetic excuse of a biblical man to some of these guys.

      I remember seeing Piper’s list of “feminine” virtues and thinking, ” I want to be every single one of these!”

      • Yeah, I wouldn’t be too high up in the ranks of a biblical man (at least as fashioned by those who would use that language). I don’t know about Piper’s list of “feminine” virtues, but I imagine they’re probably not too bad for men to have either, especially since I don’t remember the Bible really dividing virtues into male and female.

  4. Pastor Bob says:

    We are all guilty of some type os stereotyping. We do ___ because ___, someone expects ____ becasue ____ . In a confusing way -some is justified and normal, some is not. WISDOM and being in tune with our Lord will help in this, but, we all need to do what is right out of courtesy and sensitivity.

    General Norman Schwartzkopf was being interviewed by Barbewr Walters after the first Iraq war, and duriing the interview, he started to talk about the loss of lives. he started to tear up, and she stopped and asked if he was concerned that teh “the men(?) might be concerned if they saw him weeping.

    He responded with something like “I would be terrifified of the man who could not cry.”

  5. Pastor Bob says:

    Excuse me, need to hold the door for someone.

    • Tim says:

      You are courtesy itself, PB. And if you ever have an arm full of packages, I hope someone steps up and gets the door for you too.

  6. Jeannie says:

    This campaign is all about a few guys hating and resenting women — there’s no logic or sense behind it. Thanks for calling it out!

  7. Rev. Carlene Appel, MDiv. says:

    I’ll take a REAL man like my husband of 35 years who opens doors for me AND diapered our kids when they were babies. The poster people appear to be a rather confused bunch. Reminds me of the biblical passage where Jesus looked at the crowd and had pity on them because they were as sheep without a shepherd. It makes me step back and give pause to the kind of response I make. In the past and sometimes still I have been guilty of the sin of rushing to judgment which I repent of. To be fair to myself, I am not alone in this sin, and it is sin. There are things/reasons/experiences that bring every one of us to the opinions we hold and how willing to die for them we would be. Whoever “they”are, Jesus died for them too. I just feel the pity of Jesus for them at their confusion and anger.

  8. Ruth says:

    Funny how feminism is blamed for so many things that don’t really correlate. Please open the door for me…some are too heavy for me to use! Thankyou and a smile and two people are happy. The lady with the pram, I open the door if I can, more happiness. I love old fashioned courtesies when both male and female take a proactive part. Cry if you want to, hubby and I both tear up at certain music, babies, the sad and the mad. Then go to movies that the other presumes might not be the others taste. Just been told I was good to my other half cause I’ll go to movies he likes too, and he comes to so called chic flicks with me! Just seen Far from the madding crowd, then off to the terminator movie soon, I love action films, he likes a gentler film too. Question? Does that make me a feminist, and him emasculated? Lol, I think not…..it makes us people….gasp, equal people in Christ. It is said actions speak louder than words, which is true unless you have the misfortune to be under the influence of a verbal manipulator, so sad.

    • Tim says:

      That’s wonderful, Ruth. And I’d say that the way you and your husband interact not only makes you people; it makes you a loving couple.

  9. VelvetVoice (Susan Donroe) says:

    I usually hold the door open for my husband, he is afraid of germs but germs are afraid of me.

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