Forgive me if I drag the Church in fairly heavily. I am an Orthodox Christian – and I do mean way down deep – all the way. I cannot discuss things that really mean much to me without explaining the Church’s position. Especially since in this country “Christian” has become such a pejorative, partly due to the antics of the fringier protestants, and partly due to the reactionary hatred of Christianity (as mis-understood) by the phase 4 liberals. Remember my 5 classes of politics? I find it interesting that the ACLU is all for the University of Michigan (I think?) putting in footbaths for Moslem students at $25,000, but has a hernia if some Christian wants to pray on campus. Lets see – Christians are worse than people who want to kill us? Shows the consistency of modern hatred of Christians.This whole Sex/Sexuality/Gender thing is somewhat overrated. Look here, lets start with sexuality. We here in America think that where there’s an itch, it must be scratched. Pish and likewise tush. In the Orthodox Church we have had gay priests for CENTURIES. Here’s the rules: a married man may be Ordained. However all Bishops are single (either widowers or never married), and no ordained man may become married. If one is gay, then one confesses same. If one is ordained and/or living the Christian life, there is NO sex outside marriage. Period. We do not get emotional about what lights your fire – there is NO sin in being attracted to the same sex. You just don’t have to follow the itch if you are not married to same. (I’m only speaking within the Church, this is not directed at anyone outside). Even active gays are dealt with the same as anyone else who is having sex outside marriage. This is not to say that the Bishops don’t look extra hard before they ordain someone gay – they do. And said individual does not go around blabbing it to the rest of the world. Gossip, cruelty, indifference are just as deadly as licking the wrong organ if not more so. Please note: we do not think that our views should be the law of the land. These rules are for us, not everyone else. And outside the church we rather think that each individual must make up his own mind as long as he harms no one else. Please note that Church doctrine and the position of the individual in that Church are not always the same. Individual Orthodox are just as capable as anyone else of being cruel assholes. They just don’t have Church backing in hatred. There is no place for hatred within the heart of the practicing Christian. It must be rooted out with prayer, fasting, and confession. Hatred is a deadlier sin than just about any other and separates us from the Man-Loving God who is Master of the Universe.
Now 99.9% of the vocations and avocations and general living tasks in this world don’t require a pecker or a pussy or boobs or whatever to fulfill. There may be some things that generally men are better at or some that generally women are better. But ultimately, individual skills, physique, etc. are the determining factors. Football (yech!). OK. Most women would get creamed, but then so would I. There may be many women who can do it – let ‘em. Who cares? Now socially, I am an old atavism: when I go dancing, I lead, woman follows. Me Tarzan, you Jane, etc.
Now in the whole gender thing, what IS a real man? I don’t really like this term. It doesn’t get to the heart of the matter. I really like the Yiddish word mensch. The Yiddish meaning of the word is actually pretty simple: a good person, a role model. Now this gets closer to the roots of the thing.
A mensch should:
Have personal integrity.
Be capable of kindness to those under him or in his care.
Be respectful and polite to everyone he meets.
Be strong when needed.
Be firm when needed.
Be gentle when needed.
Be brave when needed.
Be capable of discerning which is needed and when.
Show the love of God to his neighbors and see the face of God in each child of God, even the Moslems, and I really have trouble with this one.
Know when to apologize, even to a child, if necessary.
Be humble before God, and be neither arrogant nor falsely humble to other people
Be prepared to protect those under his care, even with his life, if necessary
Be the head of the family even as a good captain on a ship.
Come to think of it, I struggle with just about every item on the above list every day.
Now nothing of the above list has beans to do with being a bully, putting anyone else down, etc. My observation is that a man who needs to marry a maid is in sad shape and is not much of a man. Also if one has to bully those weaker to feel superior, treatment, up to and including surgery to remove the ugly growth above the neck may be indicated. It doesn’t even have to do with sex, a mensch is still a mensch even if his balls get shot off.
Now the list for a woman is just about the same thing, isn’t it? The only difference is in the last item, which (unless she is single) should read:
Be the fit helpmate even as a good executive officer on a ship.
And likewise, a woman is still a woman even after a hysterectomy or mastectomy.
Now a general note on all this: even as any good captain in his right mind will consult the xo on any major decision and then stand responsible for the results, so it should be in a healthy relationship. Things can shift back and forth according to the abilities and so forth of the individuals at hand. Herself is an exceptionally intelligent and capable human (well, not so much physically, any more) and I damn sure respect her brains and opinions and listen to her on most anything. However, on decisions that affect the ship of this household – the ultimate responsibility is mine, even if it is her decision that we are going with, I am still responsible and must not reproach her if everything does not turn out perfectly. (Told you I was an atavism).
I don’t belong to the camp that thinks that gay or tranny or adulterer or whatever are just choices. There is too much decent (not pop-junk) science that shows that there are differences. However, I do think that we do control our reactions to whatever nature/nurture and experience have brought to our tables. My favorite sport once was adultery, but when Herself and I married I determined not to practice it again. I haven’t and won’t. This is not meant to be anything other that a general comment on our society. Too many scratch any old itch that they have at the moment with little thought of the consequences. This will lead to a downfall of society in general.
General affect can be a real misleader. Some of the most testosterone laced manly men that I have known are queer as a three and so on. I also remember a fellow that my ex knew. He was one of the absolutely nelliest guys I have ever know. I mean he swished with the best. Any normal reaction would be that this fella’ needed wrist splints. He was also one of the most dedicated (and successful) womanizers I ever met.
What does all this lead to? Hell – I don’t know. Take it for what it’s worth.