Thursday, December 18, 2003

Male & Female: So What's the Difference?

Vice-President Dan Quayle giving the famous Murphy Brown speech
photo courtesy of Eric Montgomery (

Dear Kari:

Remember the fellow in the photo above?

Dan Quayle was Vice-President of the United States from 1989-1993. The photo above was taken by Eric, one of our loyal readers, who is a professional photographer and was a White House photographer during the G.H.W. Bush administration. He sent me the photo after reading Monday, Dec 15's post where I had a link to an article which referred to Quayle's famous "Murphy Brown" speech. Quayle was scoffed at for that speech. But upon reflection, even his opponents began to see he was onto something as seen in this Atlantic article from 1993. Two hat tips to Eric for the photo and the Atlantic link.

The Claremont article I cited argues that we are raising a generation of boys who are either barbarians or wimps because we have so diminished and denigrated the role of fathers and the necessity and virtues of true manliness. Very strong words but probably all too true.

Interestingly, even has weighed in on this topic when wildly popular Stacey Pressman wrote her concerns:
I would venture to say that our culture is in dire need of an injection of testosterone -- not Botox.

Last Friday night, I attended a symposium on current issues in society put on by the Torrey Honors Institute. The various speakers touched on a wide range of issues. Gender issues didn't receive the lion's share of the time but some of the most passionate comments were made regarding it. One speaker, philosophy professor John Mark Reynolds lamented how our society has foisted on woman such an incorrect notion of beauty that eating disorders are rampant.

Another speaker, writer Frederica Mathewes-Green observed that maleness is under attack in our society and reported seeing a t-shirt that said, "Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them." The audience laughed a nervous laughter because at its face it is so silly yet that kind of thinking exists. What do the more strident feminists say, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle?"

It is said a good lawyer never asks a question she doesn't know the answer to. Bloggers aren't under the same constraint. Let me toss out two statement for you (and our readers) to consider.

At the heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman's differing relationships.

At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man's differing relationships.

These two statement are from author John Piper.

One of my buddies and I have discussed this topic on and off over the last few years and the quotes are from a book Piper edited. I haven't read that book so I haven't digested the exposition of the proposed definitions. I appreciate Piper's boldness in attempting to define the differences that are self-evident in my mind. However, I find the wording wanting. It is a good start of a discussion and I like some of the thoughts in there but I can't fully embrace it.

What do you think? Agree, disagree, how would you modify what he said?

Be well,

P.S. Dear Readers, please don't be shy about clicking on the comment's link below! Would love to hear what people are thinking on this topic!!


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