Now, I admit also (shock, horror) that the differences between (the bog-standard, Mk 1, created in the Likeness) men and women are many. The quality of men and women are also matters for observation and understanding; and just how they go about their lawful occasions, which show up and put into sharp relief those differences and inequality of quality. It can get deep and complicated.
But it behoves to simplify sometimes.
CherryPie stopped in for a fine wine and introduced her friend, Fr Dwight, who had a few things to say that did just that. Simplify. I hope my beloved Southern Gal notes that between Cherie, Dwight and m'self, we add something to her quest for understanding.
What is a Man?
What is a Woman?I was reading Phyllis Zagano’s book about women’s ordination and came across a peculiar thought. Ms. Zagano argues that there is “ontological equality” between men and women because both are created in God’s image. That seems fair enough.
But then she goes on to say that this truth implies a “single nature anthropology”. I’m not quite sure what that means because I am not the academic theological bright spark that Ms. Zagano clearly is.However, what I think it sounds like in ordinary people talk is, “Men and women are not only equal but they’re the same.”
I don’t know how else to interpret the mysterious phrase “single nature anthropology”.
You are not alone !!But what does this mean? I can’t get my head around it because if there is a “single nature anthropology” then at some point outside of this life does that mean that our masculinity and femininity doesn’t matter or that it ceases to exist? Does that mean in heaven we are all androgynous ghostly beings? If this isn’t what it means, then I’m stumped.
Anyway. I got thinking further about this and asked myself, “Well, what IS a man anyway?” and for that matter “What IS a woman?”How would YOU define a man or a woman?
So I came up with an answer:
“A man is a father or a potential father. A woman is a mother or a potential mother.”Think about it. Biologically a man is defined by his male genitalia and hormones. A woman is defined by her female reproductive system and her hormones, so these factors determine biologically what a man is and what a woman is, and these defining characteristics’ purpose is reproduction. In other words, to make the man a father and to make the woman a mother.If you take “father” and “mother” out of the equation, then how do you define “man” and “woman”?Try it. See? It’s tough.
There is a legislated trend in many western nations to do away with the terms Mother and Father so that they do not appear in 'official' documents. Like Birth Certificates and Passports. They are considered to be 'Offensive'. Offensive to whom is rarely made clear. Transgendered loonies? Non-sexist sexists?Try to define what it is to be a man without the concept of “Father”. Try to define what it is to be a woman without the concept of “mother”.
I have yet to speak to anyone who claims to be offended, but there are always some who claim on their behalf. Personally, I find the tems 'Parent A and Parent B to be offensive, but I am pretty normal.
Then I remembered that after he created man and woman as equals, the Genesis story says God gave them the first commandment: “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Actually I understand He said that as He evicted them from Eden for their naughtiness and lounging around naked all day, and it may have been a polite form of another well known and more modern phrase. (Four and three letters).In other words, “Adam-you become a father. Eve-you become a mother. That’s what I created you for.”
(I shall have to mention saying this at my next Confession.)
Contraception tried hard and was followed through by the straight-forward murder of babies in the womb. We weep.So, if I am correct that a man is a man because he is a father or potential father, and a woman is a woman because she is a mother or a potential mother, no wonder our society is so confused about gender identity.For the last fifty years we’ve been so busy trying to turn off the babies and NOT be mothers and fathers.
Because so much of society has decimated the role of mother and father for all sorts of reasons, a fallout from that is that people not only don’t know what mothers and fathers are they also don’t know what men and women are.There’s more: why are we in this state? Because of a contraceptive culture. Because of artificial contraception and recreational sex and abortion as contraceptive, a whole generation have also lost the idea of what their reproductive organs are for.That equipment is for being and fully becoming a man and a father and being and fully becoming a woman and a mother.
But if those organs are used as pleasure toys, then we forget what they are really for and so we deny and block out being mothers and fathers and we therefore forget what it really means to be men and women.Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming Phyllis Zagano for this bizarre state of affairs, and I don’t think her strange notion of a “single nature anthropology” is consciously connected, but it is philosophically connected.
I think she’s jumped on the feminist bandwagon and is promoting (consciously or unconsciously) a trend toward a kind of neutered humanity in which there is no longer a distinction between men and women.
|Fr Dwight Longenecker|
I keep my beard too. A lot of time is spent quite unconsciously stroking it !Perhaps I am overthinking it, and maybe I’ve got it completely wrong but there it is, for what its worth.But just to be on the safe side, I’m going to keep my beard.
Simplification sweeps away detail. One can see the forest, unimpeded by trees in the way. That is useful for establishing some view of the Grand Scheme of things. But those individual trees - the qualities, talents, abilities, aspirations etc will bark nonetheless. They will not be ignored.
Professor Peterson tackles some of those, from inside and out.
As he shows, without specifically saying it ( I won't do a Cathy Newman, don't worry) is that being a man or a woman has become considerably more difficult since the Garden of Eden days. Although there remains a great deal of lounging around naked.
No doubt we shall have to make furniture from some of the more woody bits of the forest of Knowledge, to sit upon and ponder.
And to have a drink and a think.