Ah, but in that last quote "manliness" is set in opposition to "milksop" ... not what is feminine. Milksops are wimps, not women.
"Men without chests" is set in opposition to something feeble and gutless. The antithesis of "men without chests" is not something feminine, but something foolish.
Christ was fully human, as human beings were meant to be. He wasn't a milksop. Neither was Mary. Neither men or women are meant to be "milksops".
If anyone wants to see the Spurgeon quote in contest, here it is.
What he's writing there does not scorn women or their behavior, but speaks against cowardliness and weakness.
Nobody here is saying that the church should not be courageous. For me, I cringe at the idea that courage and boldness would be seen as manly, implying that cowardliness and weakness be equated with "feminine."
Many of the values you are implying are "feminine" are essential, in my opinion, for anyone to be fully human as we were meant to be. In the case of the C.S. Lewis quote, I believe he's basically saying, "We need men with guts." I don't think he means to imply that men without guts are women. Because clearly, he admired women with guts. Joy was one gutsy woman. She had, if you will, a chest.
"Feminine" and "feminism" are two very different things.
"Men without chests"* are, indeed, sad and incomplete. To equate "sad" and "incomplete" with "feminine" is a sexist statement. But men *with* chests have the courage to communicate, to care, to cooperate, to value beauty, etc... so many of the things you are giving over as "feminine."
Consider Jesus' behavior: Tenderly washing his disciples' feet, committing to memory the songs of poets, speaking quietly and intimately with women as well as men... this, the very same Christ who drove moneychangers from the temple with a whip. Fully human. Behaving in ways that might be considered "un-manly" by those who define things too narrowly.
Remember - the same Solomon credited with being a great king also wrote the most beautiful, erotic, communicative love poetry. The same David who slew Goliath wrote the Psalms and was known for singing songs that would calm the heart of a king.
* (And to be fair, C.S. Lewis and many other Christian scholars have been men of their times, betraying some insensitivity in their diction, just as others will see our own insensitivity in generations after us.)
Thank you. If I write the book, and it's really that bad, I can always go cry about it later. Afterwards, I'll just go to the local Barbershop, um Hair Cutterie, I mean Hair Style Salon (where they even offer men's facials) and get the emotional support I need from my relationship with the barber, well I mean the ... oh, never mind.
Wow. Just... wow.
I don't know how to continue this conversation in the face of that. I'm not sure what person or social group you're attacking with that outburst. So some men are into fashion, and others aren't. It would be easy to read this and conclude that you're stereotyping and judging with a broad brush.
Are you saying it's "feminine" to compulsively gossip at salons? Many women do, I'm sure. And I know plenty of contexts in which I hear men gossiping and speaking inappropriately of others as well. Where
it happens is a cultural detail.
You are painting things in such extremes, I don't know how to respond. There is a huge range between macho badass tough-guy and blithering co-dependent emotional weakling. And if you're suggesting that one end of that range is "feminine" is really unfair.
Edited by Overstreet, 20 May 2010 - 10:09 AM.