Different Does Not Mean Inferior

[I’ve changed the tagline on my blog. You’ll have to visit to see it.]

Tonight at church, one lady said something that made everyone laugh. She simply said, “Men and women are different physically and emotionally.”

We laughed because it is such a scandalous thing to tell the truth these days. Any child can tell you (one who hasn’t been indoctrinated in the cult of “all is the same”) that men and women are different. He turns to one or the other based on how he thinks to get the answer he wants.

Men and women are equal under the law and before God; however, they each have different roles to fill. What equality (as used in legal issues) means that one is not given a preferenced judgement because of matters beyond their control, such as race and sex. It means that if a baron kills a man, he is subject to the same punishment as a serf who did the same. (Would that this was still the case. Any one of us can think of cases where someone has been cleared of a crime or not tried because they were in power or had money.) While we may think the concept blindingly obvious, it has not always been so. If it had been so, it wouldn’t have to be codified.

Before God, both men and women are equal in their dignity and humanity; both also have to answer for their sins. When Paul wrote the famous verse (Galatians 3:28) that there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, he was referring to becoming Christians. Stretching it beyond that context to sexual roles goes far beyond what Paul intended. Paul was addressing questions of who could be saved. The mystery religions and Greek cults of the day limited membership. Some were for men. Some were for women. Many refused to allow Jews. Judaism refused to allow Greeks full rights in their synagogues until they had gone through a conversion. At that point, they were in fact no longer considered Greek, and it was not allowed to insult them by saying “just yesterday you had pork between your teeth.” However in Christ, Jews remained Jews and Gentiles remained Gentiles.
Unfortunately, in times like these, biblical literacy is agonizingly low (hence the need for my new tagline). Things that should be obvious (such as the above) have to be explained. Society fights the obvious to tickle the ear.

When the lady at church made us laugh, I immediately thought of how such a statement would cause offense to those who fight nature. And I don’t care if they are offended. Reality is simple–men and women are biologically and emotionally different.
Whether you approach it from evolution or creation, men and women are different. Look at it from the evolutionary perspective of this dimorphic species. Early men were the hunters. Those with the ability to focus on the task at hand hunted better than those who could not. Moreover, being distracted on a hunt meant losing prey in the chase or missing prey as it passed.

On the other hand, women were gatherers. They did not need to chase down plants and thus there was no pressure to select them for focusing. In fact, focusing on the plants to the exclusion of everything around could be a negative. One needs to detect the predator sneaking up from the side.

In the modern day, that means men compartmentalize and women globalize. Give a man a task, and he will focus on it until it is done. Women taking care of their children need the ability to work on multiple things at once.

That doesn’t mean that men are better because we can focus. Nor does it mean women are better because they can multitask. It means we excel at different jobs. Society needs us to be different. Drawing again from Paul, if all people were feet, then who would do the job of smelling?

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About frankluke

Professionally: pastor, programmer, writer. Personally: husband, father.
This entry was posted in Christianity, nonfiction and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Different Does Not Mean Inferior

  1. Paul Lee says:

    I appreciate the spirit behind the post — rejecting postmodern cultural attitudes toward gender and philosophical blandness in too easily dismissing the real differences between things. I’m not sure I see where you’re coming from with the job things, though. Though the reality of differences between men and women is a simple enough fact, the nature of those differences is too complex to be understood by the most accomplished psychologists or by the most honest observer of human nature. I disagree that reality is fundamentally simple.

    I’m a man, but I’m always bad at concentrating on a task; while in in some respects, I’m good at some kinds of multitasking. (Pop Jungian psychology fans would call it “extroverted intuition.” But I know that personality typing is far too reductive for the true reality of things. However, it did help me explain and understand some of my psychological tripping points so that I can try to avoid them.)

    Gender is too small a thing, one factor among an unknown number of complex factors, to be used to determine what kind of job any particular man or woman should be good at in today’s world.

    • frankluke says:

      While there were broad brushes above, the truth remains that the sexes are different (I do not use the term gender except when speaking of nouns in declined languages. Mixing it in with biological sex is part of the PC war on sanity.) and those differences make men better at some things while women excel in other ways.

      Within the last two or three weeks, I read of a women’s soccer team who are in the medal running for Rio. For an exhibition match, the Matildas, as they are called, lost 7-0 to a team of boys all under the age of 15. And that wasn’t the first time such a loss had taken place.

      In my own daily field, there is a movement to get girls into code. It’s a disaster. Women are pushed into jobs that they do not have the inclination for simply because someone has decided that IT should be 50% women. They make great graphic designers and are great at documentation, but TPTB want them to code. Take the GNOME desktop. At one time, it was a financially healthy technology foundation. When they turned to Women’s Outreach as their main objective, the project went $80,000 in the hole within three years. Why? They spent almost half of their operating budget (and more than half of their revenue) trying to recruit people who didn’t really want to code and weren’t that good at it anyway.

      • Paul Lee says:

        Thanks for replying. I always worry that I clouded a better person’s day with needless unpleasantness when I post a comment on someone’s blog.

        I think political correctness kills personality, just like ideologies of gender fluidity do. One conforms to a bland zeitgeist that leaves no room for real people, the other ends up reducing personhood in the long run, I suppose. But I’m not very convinced of conservative complementarianism, either. I’m not convinced it’s necessarily any better than political correctness. I think good complementarians truly emphasize the glory of humanity as reflected in the inherent differences between the sexes, but I I’ve felt the same appreciation for good feminists. Likewise, bad complementarians and bad feminists both destroy personality and cast human life into shades of gray.

        I don’t have enough experience in professional settings to say much about men’s and women’s strengths and inclinations in the tech field. But I’m a digital media graduate who does front end web development, and in the process of starting a local meetup group for web designers and developers I’ll happily teach any women who do show any interest in learning it. Last year I read C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves, and there he mentioned that artistic and literary communities are environments where men and women can become platonic friends, because they can share the same proficiencies, the same craft. I think fields like that were both men and women feel competent are important in order for us to understand the true capability and nature of our humanity, as well as our differences as men as women.

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