!!!Trigger Warnings!!! A Primer For My Well-intentioned Friends That Don't Quite "Get it"


Look. This is not my normal content. It really isn't. And I don't want to be "that" person about all this but honestly, I can't bite my tongue, or press my frustration down any further or I will end up either tongueless or exploded. Okay? I need you to just listen. Got it? Got it. 

Toxic Masculinity: 

What you seem to think it means: Masculinity=Men. Men=bad. All men are bad ewww men. 

If I see one more "Masculinity isn't toxic" post, I will scream. Because intentionally or not that is completely missing the point. 

What it actually means (not according to the "woke" crowd, we'll get there later)but according to the actual dictionary: a cultural concept of manliness that glorifies stoicism, strength, virility, and dominance, and that is socially maladaptive or harmful to mental health: Men and women both suffer when toxic masculinity perpetuates expectations that are restrictive and traumatizing.

 Examples include but are not limited to: "Be a man. Men don't cry." "He runs like a girl", "I never let my woman wear the pants in the relationship" Men's work not including anything that could be considered women's work such as housework, child-rearing, teaching, laundry, etc.  Considering someone to be a "pussy" if they wear a "girl" color or are interested in clothes, makeup, or anything else considered feminine. Not knowing or understanding, nor even caring about female reproduction as it relates to females. Insisting the women don't know what their own bodies are feeling. 

White Privilege :

What you seem to think it means: an excuse a black person uses for being in poverty. 

What it is: The systemic, radical, intentional exclusion of people of color from positions of power, wealth, and socioeconomic independence from white people. 

America was built on the back of slavery. That is an indisputable fact. Schools are moving to remove that information, and any reference to the civil rights marches from the curriculum because it might make white children feel bad about themselves. Read more about that herehere, and here. Do a Google and see for yourself. Just let that percolate for a minute. Many generations of people of color have suffered not because they are "lazy" but because of their skin pigmentation. The white privilege that is spoken of is the unseen but still felt default "whiteness" of the policymakers and politicians. 

Look up gerrymandering, and redlining. Read an article about black wall street. Don't worry. I'll wait. 

Ruby Bridges is only in her 60s. We are not talking about ancient history here. This is all still very front and center for people of color. Between systemic racism and just good old-fashioned racism, there is no good way to defend the idea there is no privilege to being born a white male in the United States. 

No one is saying that you individually are wealthier, better off, or generally more advantaged than any other random person of color (though, you probably are, honestly). It is not a personal attack on you and your whiteness. But it is absolutely your privilege talking when you talk about how you don't see the racism around us. That's on purpose. Privilege is invisible to the people it is benefiting. 

If you'd like to feel extra horrified today read this article about immigrants trying to enter the US. 



What you are using it to mean: shorthand for black, gay, or others you may disagree with. See also "inner city", "those people" and unspeakable slurs.  Especially when done with air quotes, we know you mean something other than what you are saying. It's not cute. 

What it actually means: Shorthand for "woke up to this situation"  Such as but not limited to "I recently became woke to the systemic racism in the United States. 

If you're unsure about whether or not something you are doing or saying is racist, intentionally or otherwise I am begging you to think twice before lashing out. Watching these videos gave me a perspective I lacked and I find myself cringing retroactively over encounters I've seen or had personally.  




Traditional "Christian" Values

What you seem to think it means: You have the high ground. You're morally and spiritually superior to those around you. Men have specified roles and women have specified roles. This is "God ordained" 

A perfectly good reason to keep abused women in terrible abusive marriages. (God may hate divorce but you know what he hates more? Women and children being abused.)

What it is really: I could go so many ways with this. But the one that is most important to me personally as a torch bearer for Jesus is this. I am to love all of the people around me because that how we will be known. This doesn't mean that Christians are the only people to know what love really means. That is the uttermost of presumption and ego. Bare minimum saying that somehow Christians have the monopoly on love is the height of arrogance. Because really we aren't. The only human to ever have perfected love was Jesus. We are all just cheap imitations of the real thing. 

We're the Louisa Vittooon of hand bags. The Praada backpacks and Jamie Chooose of high heels.  (To be clear, those are knock-off examples of Louis Vitton, Prada, and Jimmy Choo. In case you aren't familiar.) We're the sketchy merchandise set up on a sheet in New York city that gets scooped up at a moment's notice when the police are nearby. We have no right to tell everyone else we've got this all figured out because we absolutely do not.  Exhibit A to this point is the fact that the KKK was and is comprised of a vast number of "Christian" folk who kill and torment others based on the color of their skin. (Sidebar. Do these people understand that Jesus himself would have been brown-skinned? He would have looked "foreign" to them?And, shocker, he works not have spoken English. )

There is no designation in the bible for "men's work" and "women's work". There were cultural bends but they were not part of Christianity. Jesus himself traveled with single women, which would have been controversial in the days he walked the earth. There is no checklist to go down and say men can't be a stay at home parent and women can't work outside the home. There is nothing emasculating for a man to wash dishes, put away laundry, change a diaper, or care for a sick child. There is nothing inherently feminine about housekeeping tasks. Look. If you want to live in a world that says men have all the power because Jesus said so, I guess live your life how you want. Just don't get in other people's faces because the woman has a six figure job and the man stays at home and watches the kids. There is nothing "un-christian" about that.

There are a lot of other people who have better things to say about this than me. Sheila Wray Gregoir and her Bare Marriage podcast has been a breath of fresh air. 

Ok I think that mostly covers it but I'm sure I'll think of more in the coming weeks. I am more than interested in civil debate. I am not interested in name-calling or rudeness. Proceed to the comment section with caution.

love you guys. Thank you.


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