Why Women Settle for Less (and what to do about it)

An article titled “A Gentleman’s Take On Why Women Should Never Settle For Less Than They Deserve” showed up in my Facebook feed today.  I don’t know what is more funny/sad; the article itself or the commentary it is accumulating.  Go read it for yourself ladies and see what it makes you feel.  Guys go and read it too and ask yourself if you downloadwant this man around your wife, sister, daughter, grandmother…any female you actually love and respect.  Does this sound like a gentleman?  The author obviously believes he is a gentleman, many of the commenters agree, both male and female, and over 40k people shared it so far.  Why is this getting so much traction?  This article’s take on women is so demeaning as to be a bad joke; a parody I’d expect out of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.  The author unknowingly illustrates his own point.  The reason so many women lower their standards is that the standard is so low that he can seriously pass off patronizing womanization as gentlemanly!  The question is, how did the standard get so low??

Earlier this week I wrote an article about the effect of more and more men using pornography.  Ultimately that effect is the objectification of women; reducing women to things rather than beings.  A Gentleman’s Take shows you the result of a porn saturated male mentality.  Not that the author himself is a porn user, I have no idea about that, but he writes from a culture where porn has dumbed down both men and women to the point where a man can assign himself not only the title of gentleman, but can purport to speak for all gentlemen on a web site that calls itself “The Voice of Generation Y,” in an article so silly, immature, and condescending as to be written by any horny 13 year old boy in a high school freshman english class.  The picture accompanying the article itself contains specifically pornographic elements intended to do what porn does; titillate and attract.  The content reveals that gentlemen read poetry, roll their r’s, and like to get a few vodkas into a woman before they gently and oh-so-politely invite her into their bedroom (which is probably in their parent’s basement).  Evidently gentlemen are not very humble because other men are just “losers” who are “not worth the squeeze.”  The author ends by suggesting that women go out there and find a hopeless romantic (like him) because they are men not boys.

To the porn saturated mind, women are primarily objects of desire.  Men and women alike adjust to this reality.  Men maneuver to obtain the object and women maneuver to become more desirable.  Men who lack one tool to obtain their desired objects will find others (like vodka and rolled r’s).  The same with women.  The interplay between the sexes has always operated like this to one extent or another, but porn amplifies it by making sexual satisfaction of desire so readily images (1)obtainable that men can get whatever they want out of a digital woman without opening a door, buying a dinner, or meeting her mother.  Women are competing with cheap digital hookers for the attention of men.  This is how an article written by an obvious womanizer gets widespread acceptance.

How can we all, men and women, escape the pornographic distortion and lowering of standards?  Go on a war against pornography?  Root it out of popular culture?  This is treating the symptom and leaving the disease.  Men need to become men and women need to become women, not within the confines of a romantic relationship, but before the eyes of God.  Kierkegaard said there was only one “sin unto death” – one sin that would kill us as dead as dead can be – and that it was trying to become a self outside the presence of God.  Ladies, if you try to become your self merely in the presence of a man, even the best man, a true gentleman, you will never be all you were meant to be.  Your standard is too low.  Gentlemen, if you try to shape your self in a way that makes you acceptable to a woman, even the most lovely and worthy lady, you will not become all you were meant to be.  Your standard is too low.  God’s opinion of us is so high that every other opinion is not only a low opinion, it is a life-stealing opinion; it is death unless it is taken in relation to his opinion.  Don’t think so?  Try consoling your daughter when the boy she is dating decides someone else is better than she is.  Watch her wither.  What will you do for her?  Tell her another boy will come along?  His opinion will restore her to life?  For how long?  The best boy may grow into a man and give his whole life to her, but there is a helping-handsday coming when sweet lips cease to speak and a gentleman’s touch is cooled by death.  And that opinion is forever lost.  She must have a higher opinion and truer opinion, a permanent opinion.  There is only one man who gives this and gave it and promises to keep giving it.  The gospel is God’s opinion of us.  It is the promise not to hold us to a higher standard, but to lift us to an impossible standard.  This is the answer to our pornographically broken world; to accept his elevation.

“And now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.” – Soren Kierkegaard

(this is a repost of an earlier blog by a different title)

A Man’s Take on a “Gentleman’s” Take

An article titled “A Gentleman’s Take On Why Women Should Never Settle For Less Than They Deserve” showed up in my Facebook feed today.  I don’t know what is more funny/sad; the article itself or the commentary it is accumulating.  Go read it for yourself ladies and see what it makes you feel.  Guys go and read it too and ask yourself if you downloadwant this man around your wife, sister, daughter, grandmother…any female you actually love and respect.  Does this sound like a gentleman?  The author obviously believes he is a gentleman, many of the commenters agree, both male and female, and over 27k people shared it so far.  Why is this getting so much traction?  This article’s take on women is so demeaning as to be a bad joke; a parody I’d expect out of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.  The author unknowingly illustrates his own point.  The reason so many women lower their standards is that the standard is so low that he can seriously pass off patronizing womanization as gentlemanly!

Earlier this week I wrote an article about the effect of more and more men using pornography.  Ultimately that effect is the objectification of women; reducing women to things rather than beings.  A Gentleman’s Take shows you the result of a porn saturated male mentality.  Not that the author himself is a porn user, I have no idea about that, but he writes from a culture where porn has dumbed down both men and women to the point where a man can assign himself not only the title of gentleman, but can purport to speak for all gentlemen on a web site that calls itself “The Voice of Generation Y,” in an article so silly, immature, and condescending as to be written by a horny 13 year old boy in any high school freshman english class.  The picture accompanying the article itself contains specifically pornographic elements intended to do what porn does; titillate and attract.  And the content reveals that gentlemen read poetry, roll their r’s, and like to get a few vodkas into a woman before they gently and oh-so-politely invite her into their bedroom (which is probably in his parent’s basement).  Evidently gentlemen are not very humble because other men are just “losers” who are “not worth the squeeze.”  The author ends by suggesting that women go out there and find a hopeless romantic (like him) because they are men not boys.

To the porn saturated mind, women are primarily objects of desire.  Men and women alike adjust to this reality.  Men maneuver to obtain the object and women maneuver to become more desirable.  Men who lack one tool to obtain their desired objects will find others.  The same with women.  The interplay between the sexes has always operated like this to one extent or another, but porn amplifies it by making sexual satisfaction of desire so readily images (1)obtainable that men can get whatever they want out of a digital woman without opening a door, buying a dinner, or meeting her mother.  Women are competing with cheap digital hookers for the attention of men.  This is how an article written by an obvious womanizer gets widespread acceptance.

How can we all, men and women, escape the lowering standards?  Go on a war against pornography?  Root it out of popular culture?  Men need to become men and women need to become women, not within the confines of a romantic relationship, but before the eyes of God.  Kierkegaard said there was only one “sin unto death” – one sin that would kill us as dead as dead can be – and that it was trying to become a self outside the presence of God.  Ladies, if you try to become your self merely in the presence of a man, even the best man, a true gentleman, you will never be all you were meant to be.  Your standard is too low.  Gentlemen, if you try to shape your self in a way that makes you acceptable to a woman, even the most lovely and worthy lady, you will not become all you were meant to be.  Your standard is too low.  God’s opinion of us is so high that every other opinion is not only a low opinion, it is a life-stealing opinion; it is death unless it is taken in relation to his opinion.  Don’t think so?  Try consoling your daughter when the boy she is dating decides someone else is better than she is.  Watch her wither.  What will you do for her?  Tell her another boy will come along?  His opinion will restore her to life?  For how long?  The best boy may grow into a man and give his whole life to her, but there is a helping-handsday coming when sweet lips cease to speak and a gentleman’s touch is cooled by death.  And that opinion is forever lost.  She must have a higher opinion and truer opinion, a permanent opinion.  There is only one man who gives this and gave it and promises to keep giving it.  The gospel is God’s opinion of us.  It is the promise not to hold us to a higher standard, but to lift us to an impossible standard.  This is the answer to our pornographically broken world; to accept his elevation.

“And now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Why Hating the Haters Doesn’t Work

Calvin must drink a lot of water.  He shows up everywhere peeing on something.  Jeff Gordon, Chevy, Ford, Cowboys, Redskins, Bin Laden.  That dude can pee on anything.  I saw an ad that showed Calvin and his stream falling on a “place your text here” sign.  One that caught my eye recently had Calvin peeing on the word “haters.”  Everyone agrees with that, right?  Peeing on haters is right.  It is righteous.  If anyone deserves the Calvin treatment, it is haters.

But honestly, isn’t peeing on someone a hateful thing to do?  If we are going to be consistent, shouldn’t there be a stream of urine falling on Calvin’s head too?  Make anything in this world into the “hated object” – the thing we are allowed to hate – and the way you treat it will be hateful.  You will become a hater.  Fine, you say, some things are worthy of hatred; Its ok to be a hater of “those things.”  Everybody knows that (fill in the blank) is despicable, but its not true.  And it isn’t just innocuous things like NASCAR drivers, NFL teams, or the makes of cars.  The Bin Ladens of this world are not universally hated. In fact many of the things we hate are beloved by others.  It turns out that hating the haters isn’t so easy.  It makes us into haters and it divides us in ways we can’t account for or reconcile.  It makes for a world full of Calvins peeing on Calvins who then feel justified in peeing on some other Calvin.  Everyone feels like they are gettingdownload urinated on by someone and so they return the favor.  Sound like a good world to live in?

The story of the world according to Christianity is that we live in a good world gone bad.  Everything in creation was created good and retains the essence of that goodness AND everything is fallen and is marred by that fall.  In this story of the world, the source of the fall; the thing that scars us, is not from within the world, but comes from without.  This thing is worthy of hatred, and what it does to everything is worthy of hatred, but no object in the world is worthy of hatred on its own.  The power of the gospel is that it frees us from being victimized by The Hater and from becoming haters who perpetuate the cycle of hatred he introduced to the world.  Actually the gospel is that Jesus, the only one of us to live a life of pure love (zero hatred), has all the hatred of all the ages poured out on him, and instead of standing up and pouring it back out on the heads of the haters, he quenches the fire.  He puts it out.  No hateful thing ever done goes unnoticed.  No hater ever gets away with their hateful ways.  Jesus took all of it, and because of him and in him, Love has the final say.  Love reigns.  If hatred reigns in your heart it may be time to get a new heart; a heart so beloved it never feels the desire to pour out hatred on anyone or anything; a heart so complete it can’t be taken from you by a little boy peeing on it.

Who is the Real Jerk?

tennis ball psychology anger smashWatching the U.S. Open tennis tournament a few years back with my son, I was pulling for the young guy, not the crowd favorite old guy.  My son asked me why.  “I don’t like that (old) guy.”  I said.  “Why,” my son asked. Well, let me see…Years ago (when he was the young guy) he was a real jerk to people.  He spit at linesmen.  He cursed at umpires.  He threw things.  He was a punk.  I assigned him to that place in my mind where I put people I’m “allowed” to think poorly of.  He fit in there nicely, and it didn’t require any more effort to keep him there.

It is easier to make people stay in one category in our minds, good or bad.  We don’t have to waste time and energy sorting them out again.  It is also terribly destructive and deceptive.  Healthy things grow, dying things decay, either way living things are not static.  Try leaving children in a box and see how successful you are in relating to them.  Authentic relating is not an effortless endeavor, it takes real thought about real people who are all in motion at the same time you are.  All our boxes are too narrow for creatures made in the image of God.  Don’t let people change, just acknowledge they do. You might find out the old guy isn’t a jerk any more…you might find out someone you thought was an enemy is really a friend (or could be if you weren’t such a jerk).

Art is Because

Photo_101907_002As far as we know, humans are the only creatures on earth who create artifacts, meaning we are the makers of things that we then use to remake our environment.  We make tools.  Plows and trucks and ships and screwdrivers and saws.  But we are also makers of art.  This is a most interesting fact of our species.  We make useless things that we cherish and find wonderful.  Things like a chair covered in candy sprinkles with a shadow made of chocolate syrup.  Where is the evolutionary advantage in that?  Why does art exist in every place and time we find human beings?  In caves and in Shockoe Bottom.  In the remote and in the hip.  Art is there.  We make it because we are made.  We create out of our creation.  We can suppress the knowledge of God and we can deny him as the source, but the image of God cannot be contained.G40-Front