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Gender roles, Humor

#chairchallenge highlights male/female divide

We live in a curious age in which the self-evident isn’t. So if you have a friend muddled about whether men and women are different, here’s some help. It’s the #chairchallenge already making its way around the Internet, and while women can do it, men can’t. What’s involved? One easy-to-lift chair, one wall, plus at least one male and one female participant, both ideally wearing shoes. Stand facing the wall, toes touching it, and then move back two footsteps (not paces – just the length of your own feet). You should now be standing two full foot lengths away from the wall. Place a chair under you touching the wall (or have someone else do it). Bend forward over the chair at a roughly 90-degree angle and lean the top of your head against the wall. Grab the chair by its seat and raise it to your chest. Then, stand up! That’s all there is to it! We tested this out at our house, and I found while I could almost, sort of, kind of do it in my socks, there was no way once I had shoes on, as that brought me just a smidgeon further away from the wall. Meanwhile, my wife did it with ease. So why the consistent results? A number of possible explanations have been offered: Men generally have larger feet, putting them further from the wall. Women generally have a lower relative center meaning more of their weight is over their feet making it easier to move off the wall. Women are generally more flexible than men, making it easier for them to shift the center of mass. Whatever the reason, a sharp male/female divide is evident and that makes this not only a funny experiment to try, but also an important one. God says we are created male and female (Genesis 2:17) and for different roles (Ephesians 5:22-33). Our rebellious world dares insist the opposite: infinite genders, no notable differences between them. Now we’ve got an experiment that makes the self-evident obvious again. ...

News

“Gender confirmation”? Why words matter

In a May article FoxNews.com used a new term for what it has to this point commonly called “sex change operations.” In reporting on a 20% American increase for such surgeries from 2015 to 2016, they described them as “gender confirmation surgeries.” Why is this notable? Because the terms used in a debate can have a big impact on how the public perceives it. Just consider: The liberal media label us as “anti-abortion” rather than “pro-life” because, after all, who wants to be anti? While “homosexuality” is still in use, the term is clinical, cold, thus the adoption of “gay” with its much more innocent vibe. The switch from "global warming" to "climate change" means that should the planetary warming stop, the doom and gloom doesn't need to because "change" is a catch-all phrase that can be applied to any sort of weather. We lost the marriage debate when it was commonly accepted as being between those for and against “gay marriage.” Then even those defending traditional marriage were speaking of “gay marriage” as if it were a real, possible, thing, which was the very point in dispute. What’s notable in the Fox News article is how this new terminology takes things one step further. “Sex change” and “gender confirmation” both presume that it is possible to surgically alter what God has irrevocably assigned (Matt. 19:4). So both are lies. But the latter also asserts that what is happening is not so much a choice, as simply a “confirmation” of what needed to be done. That’s why you can expect to hear this change in vocabulary much more moving forward. As servants of the Truth, we need to think through the terminology we are going to use – there is a need for accuracy, but considerations also for being winsome (Col. 4:6). So, for example, in LGBT  discussions, truth is why we might use “homosexual” rather than “gay” and winsome is why we might use “homosexual” rather than “sodomite.” And when it comes to the climate, it is more accurate and yet still winsome to describe the debate as being about "cataclysmic global warming" rather than "climate change" or even "global warming" because it is primarily whether the warming will be cataclysmic that is the real point of contention. However, when it comes to these surgeries, the most accurate description would be “genital mutilation”....but those are fighting words! Perhaps we could go with Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Paul McHugh who described it as “surgically amputating normal organs.” Still accurate and a little less contentious…but probably too long for general use. So is there anything we can use that is accurate and winsome? It would be good to try, in this case it may not be possible. When it comes to genital mutilation it would seem the truth is unavoidably brutal....