Friday, January 31, 2014

men are human

I've lately been saying to any about to be married couple we come across that they shouldn't worry so much about roles and headship and submission. Certainly, they should worry enough to try to obey the scripture. The man should be a man and should love his wife. The woman should be a woman and should respect her husband unconditionally, even if he doesn't deserve it. That's the whole point. He imputes love to her that she doesn't deserve. She imputes respect to him that he doesn't deserve. And there you are, they should both seek Jesus and love him and obey him and not worry so much. 

But then it seems that sometimes young couples, and sometimes even older married ones, are confused and troubled and get into tussles and difficulties. And then I think the trouble is that neither of them knows how to be human. Try being a human being and letting the other person be human, I say, waving my arms around. That's one of the things that's being torn asunder and ruined in this declining civilization. So confused is the question of gender the very humanness of each person is actually obscured.

Last century Dorothy Sayers wrote so cleverly, "Indeed, it is my experience that both men and women are fundamentally human, and that there is very little mystery about either sex, except the exasperating mysteriousness of human beings in general. And though for certain purposes it may still be necessary, as it undoubtedly was in the immediate past, for women to band themselves together, as women, to secure recognition of their requirements as a sex, I am sure the time has now come to insist more strongly on each woman's--and indeed each man's-- requirements as an individual person."*

I would say that the time has far far past for women to band themselves together on that score. Sayers is quite right. The time has come to stop doing that. And having done it too too much, and for a century wallowed in a falsehood that being a woman is a great trial and every man must give way to the Woman, to the furthest possible extent that he even stops being a man, every woman should turn around and walk in the other direction and let the poor man be human. She has not loved him as she loves herself. She should repent. He is a human being and she should open her eyes and heart and see that he is one. Her life is not a great trial or burden. She does not suffer more than anyone has ever suffered because of her gender. He has not destroyed her by being a man, any more than the child she could or has born has destroyed her. 

It was a great shock, so long ago, for the west to discover that women are human. It will be a shock, now, a seismic shift, to learn that men are too.

*Are Women Human? Dorothy Sayers, 1938

5 comments:

At A Hen's Pace said...

Yes, yes, yes! Great post, Anne.

Cindy Lou who said...

So well said!

Dale Matson said...

Age and infirmity serve to increase the patina of humanity on a man, so I hear.

Jessica Snell said...

"Try being a human being and letting the other person be human, I say, waving my arms around."
Now can we have a pre-marriage retreat curriculum based on this general principle? (maybe with an accompanying video of you waving your hands around)

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful, sent to my husband and my children and grandchildren.