Mankind is not androgynous.
In Genesis 1:27, the Spirit says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Mankind is a general category which includes two variations, male and female (LC 17). Both varieties of mankind are equally made in the image of God. This is to say that both male and female were created “with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness” (WCF 4.2).
In this sense, male and female are absolutely the same. Neither is greater or lesser. They are both equally mankind and have equal access to their Creator. To deny this fact is a terrible sin.
Thankfully, it is rare thing to see anyone inside the evangelical or reformed mainstream suggest otherwise. If anything is stressed about human sexuality, it is the essential equality of the sexes.
Now, here is the real rub: no one exists as a mere person. You are either a male or a female. According to Genesis 1:31, these two varieties are part of God’s good design. The sexes, though equally man, are different by God’s design. These differences between the two sexes, whatever they be, are undeniably good. Binary sexual design, though marred by the fall, remains intact as clearly demonstrated by Christ’s teaching in Matthew 19:4.
Moreover, there is good reason to agree with Jerome who said, “If the woman shall not rise again as a woman nor the man as a man, there will be no resurrection of the body for the body is made up of sex and members.” Biological sex will not be eliminated in the bodily resurrection. In other words, binary sexuality existed pre-fall, post-fall, and will continue with the restoration of all things (SC 37). Males are males forever. Females are females forever. This is good.
It is God who made you male or female. Therefore, you should embrace your sex as a gift from God. Your biological sex is a central part of God’s revealed will for your life. If you’re male, live like a man. If you’re female, live like a woman. To live any other way is to rebel against the nature God assigned you.
This very simple exhortation is offensive to many evangelical and reformed Christians. The idea that there are clothing, jobs, haircuts, and roles only suited for a particular sex seems insane in our day. It wasn’t insane to the writers of Scripture or our church fathers. They were very open and direct about mankind’s sex-specific reality. I will slowly work through those passages on here in the coming weeks.
Why is it insane to us that we should live in a sex-specific way? It is because the West has been stewed in three waves of feminism for over a century. The consequences of this has been a radical reordering of society. It is the air we breath and water in which we swim. It takes an awakening to realize it.
Hence, this is why the anti-feminist pagans are so fond of the red pill analogy from The Matrix. We have to unplug to see the real world and it ain’t pretty. They rightly argue that egalitarianism has ravaged all of society. Their solutions, however, are less helpful.
Scripture is the ultimate red pill. It is what started me on the road to seeing the glory of male, female, marriage, family, and how it all is related to God’s creation mandate. God says it is good to be male or female. That should be your starting place. Pick up Neuer or Clark. Read it, wrestle with it, and apply it.
The other thing that jarred me awake was simply reading feminists. Unlike the bad guys in The Matrix, they aren’t subtle about their goals. They are very overt. For example, the push for androgyny was strong feature of second-wave feminism.
According to Merriam-Webster, androgyny is the quality or state of being neither specifically feminine or masculine. Wikipedia adds that androgyny “usually [is] used to describe characters or people who have no specific gender, gender ambiguity may also be found in fashion, gender identity, sexual identity, or sexual lifestyle.”
Second-wave feminist were very clear that their goal was to diminish and, eventually, eliminate sex-specific distinctions. In 1975, Dr. Ann Ferguson wrote a paper entitled, “Androgyny As an Ideal for Human Development.”
“In this paper I shall defend androgyny as an ideal for human development. To do this I shall argue that male/female sex roles are neither inevitable results of “natural” biological differences between the sexes, nor socially desirable ways of socializing children in contemporary societies. In fact, the elimination is the most rational way to allow for the possibility of, on the one hand, love relations among equals, and on the other, development of the widest possible range of intense and satisfying social relationships between men and women.”
Androgyny is rarely cited as a goal in the writings of the so-called third-wave feminist. In Feminist Theory Today, Judith Evans argues that there has been a move from “androgyny to gynocentrism.” I’d agree in so far as stated goals. However, androgyny remains an undeniable feature of modern culture as especially embodied in film, television, and fashion.
In Hollywood Androgyny, Dr. Rebecca Bell-Metereau details Hollywood’s long history with transvestism, sex-role exchange, and gender bending. Page after page she records the “easing of censorship and the change in attitudes toward sex roles and sexuality in general.” It is an open-eyeing read that concludes in the 90s. It is clear that emphasizing androgyny was and remains a goal of the entertainment industry.
This, again, is the air we breathe.
We’ve all grown up, at various levels, androgynously. It is rare that we are taught how to be a man or a woman. Everything is dealt with generically. But mankind is not androgynous. Rebuilding society will mean teaching the unique goodness of male and female. Few us deny the equality of the sexes. The real work is in explaining and applying our differences in a God-honoring way.