A culture that does not even have a coherent answer to what a woman is is not fit to give anyone a feminine icon.
Me: “What is a woman?”
America: “A strong, independent human.”
Me: “So can he be a woman? Steve over there?”
America: “If that’s what he identifies as.”
Me: “So what is a man, then?”
America: “Look, Wade, these are really just arbitrary social categories, anyway.”
Me: “If they’re arbitrary, then why are you trying to give me a ‘feminine‘ icon?”
Me: “Can that guy over there bear children?”
Me: “You can get back to me.”
Our culture no longer accepts that God created men and women, at least not in its most prevalent institutions and platforms. Instead, down deep in its bloodstream, is the belief that no one created us. And from that flow at least a couple of assumptions. (1) We don’t owe anyone anything for our existence, or owe anyone anything as created moral beings with moral obligations, and (2) There’s no objective standard of definitions that are just true, not conjecture.
Now on that (2), abortion rests. We get to define what a human is, each of us individually, because there isn’t any true answer to the question. But also on that one rests this dangerous, human-assaulting and humanity-assaulting thing that I’ll call “gender confusion.” There isn’t anyone to tell us what a man is and there isn’t anyone to tell us what a man should do, our culture says. There isn’t anyone to tell us what a woman is or what a woman should do.
“But,” our culture says, “we’ll darn sure tell you what a woman is not. And no one can tell us what a woman should be.”
Our culture has convictions, but it can’t give a coherent, thorough-to-the-bottom defense of them. And it can’t tell us why its convictions are right. It says it knows that women are not designed, when married, to submit to their husbands. But it won’t, and can’t, coherently say what they are designed for in marriage. Or in society. Or as mothers. Or as daughters.
This came up when a movement started to swell to allow women into combat situations in the US Armed Forces, and then when two Republican candidates for the presidency in 2016 said they favored women having to register for the draft. Our culture has produced an ethos where no one could have the down-to-the-ground logical reasoning to say why that was utter nonsense.
And then it also comes up with this Wonder Woman schtick.
Here is a fundamental question: Are women supposed to rush into conflict to save men? Is that a good thing to be normative?
Let me ask the question from my vantage point, standing over here on a solid, level ground called “God made the World through Jesus and He gets to say what’s good:” Are women designed and called by God to rush into battle and save men?
The answer is no. No, they are not. No, it is not good for that to be normative. It would not be healthy and fitting with human flourishing for a society to bless or be proud of its women rushing to the front of conflicts to protect its men.
No, a society that blessed that should be ashamed.
We can rail against this all we want, we can be uncomfortable with it until we’ve bitten our nails clean away, but God made men with the design of physically and spiritually protecting their wives, daughters, and the women they are bound to, as well as, in many cases, women and all those who are weaker than them generally.
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7
Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
1 Timothy 2:8-15
God did not design grown women to lead, protect, and save grown men. Men should want to take the first bullet, to sacrificially lead the way, and to spend themselves to protect women. While that may not be what happens in each and every circumstance (a woman may save a physically disabled man, for instance), it is the design. It is what is normative and praiseworthy.
Our culture seems to want to say, “What’s a woman, you ask? A woman is a strong and resilient human being. What’s a man? Well, a man is something else, we’ll get back to you on that. But both are the same. I mean, they can’t be the same, I guess, because we’re telling you what each is, and because we also are telling some men they can be women and some women they can be men. But men and women are not different. Get it? They’re the same and can do all the same things and are totally identical, but some of the one are really the other. But don’t don’t you dare tell me what the one or the other is. Or should do. Nobody really made us or gets to tell us what we should be or should do.”
It’s incoherent. Our culture has no robust definition of woman or womanhood. All it can offer is stories and images of women doing those noble and good things that God calls men to do. But at the same time it supports some men wanting to pretend to be women (the very thing it says are just like men) and celebrates (albeit totally incomprehensibly) “womanhood.”
This is folly, guys. Women and men were made in the image of God, and made wonderfully distinct. Women are a beautiful creation of God. When in congruence with God’s pattern, they reflect His glory and beauty and majesty in their gentleness, their motherly strength, their physical gifts, their Godly obedience to their husbands, their discipling of their sons and daughters, their teaching of younger women, their resilient faith in their Father, their deep and fierce love, their faithfulness, and their rich emotional palate.
Our culture tries to rob women of their God-given identity by telling them to just be like men, because being what God made a woman to be isn’t good enough.
If you can’t answer how men and women are differently glorious, if you can’t answer the question of why God didn’t just create two men or two women in the Garden of Eden, then you’ll inevitably tell one to just be more like the other.
This isn’t pro-woman. It’s anti-woman. It’s saying, “‘Woman ‘ isn’t good enough for us. Instead, let’s just have ‘physically smaller man with long hair.’
“And, um, we’ll give it boots and a rope thingy.”