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:
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.
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.